Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads
With regard to the court case over the removal of barricades at Riverside Crescent, Brunswick Heads, earlier this year:
This public road was compulsorily acquired by the Crown effective 4 May 2012.
It did not automatically become part of the caravan park, whose boundaries are determined, not by North Coast Accommodation Trust or park managers, but by Byron Shire Council (BSC), which has legal capacity to do so.
For years BSC has repeatedly refused to include the 20m road reserve in the caravan park. Instead, the council has supported community groups who have relentlessly lobbied for it to be part of the foreshore public open space and recreational area to be shared by members of the public, inclusive of caravan park patrons, and to provide access to the public boat ramp.
The barricading of Crown land, by default making this an internal road of the caravan park, is in effect what park management has done. This action is in contradiction of Council’s 9 August 2012 licensing conditions. Worse, there was no adherence by park management to the legal formalities required to change the status of the former road reserve.
Ownership of the barricades is definitely in question.
Council’s executive infrastructure manager has stated that they do not belong to BSC. There are no markings on them to indicate they are council property. Park management claims they belong to them and thus they were ‘stolen’. Problem with this claim is that there are no markings on them to indicate ownership. In the meantime, these barricades look suspiciously similar to the barricades used to stop vehicles travelling down the Old Pacific Highway to where the former bridge across the Brunswick River used to be.
They didn’t have markings on them either. So, where are the barricades that were used to block the Old Pacific Highway and who owned them after the RTA passed all the land to Byron Shire Council, barricades inclusive?