We constantly hear about the dangerous and irresponsible behaviour of young people, but it’s our political and business leaders that are the real vandals, destroying our towns and communities with inappropriate, sub-standard, poorly planned developments, exploiting the environment with wanton disregard for the consequences, dismissing community concerns as an unwelcome impediment to their personal ambitions.
Adults rely on corruption/patronage and subterfuge to twist and manipulate the evidence, the facts, the law to facilitate their greedy, grasping psychopathic behaviour. We’re never safe from the profiteers.
One would expect our Public Trustees to exhibit best practice and adopt the highest standards as an example to the private sector, but unfortunately the new plans of management for Brunswick Heads Crown Reserve caravan parks fail to adhere to even the most basic requirements.
Jim Bolger, administrator of North Coast Holiday Parks (now the NSW Crown Holiday Parks Truest) clearly thinks he’s above the law and doesn’t have to comply with the Local Government Act or Byron Council’s new licence conditions (adopted August, 2012).
Mr Bolger relies on a 12-month interim licence that expires on 14 May, 2014, to justify his continued occupation of disputed encroached lands.
Byron Shire Council issued the licence with strict instructions for NCHP to exhibit a new PoM (plan of management) within six months and the new plans were to include Council’s newly adopted boundaries and licence conditions.
Instead a new two-storey manager’s office/residence and new cabins are proposed at Massey Greene on the contentious Lot 7005 alongside the boat harbour.
A second option locates the new structures on encroached road reserve land near Mona Lane, both outside Council’s preferred boundaries.
NCHP relies on 30-year-old ‘exemptions’ to avoid implementing minimum setback standards from roadways and park boundaries.
Many camp sites will remain undersized and fail to provide on or off site parking.
Two-metre-wide, all weather foreshore pathways are featured in NCHP plans for our public parks, but not along the only section of riverbank where pedestrian access is impeded, by non-compliant campsites in Terrace Caravan Park.
Since 2000, Council resolutions have repeatedly instructed park management to reinstate a three-metre buffer zone and 10-metre building setback along the riverbank, a position Council has reiterated in the new licence agreement.
Instead, children’s safety will be compromised by NCHP’s proposed pedestrian pathway plan though Terrace Caravan Park.
The plan violates OH&S (occupational health and safety) regulations and generates conflict and security issues by insisting the public use the narrow (undersized) internal roads through the park instead of a separate path along the foreshore.
The proposed ‘access protocol’ will restrict use to 9am-5pm, the park’s office hours, with access prohibited during holidays and long weekends!
The same protocols will apply to users of the public boat ramp at Ferry Reserve.
Our public lands will be fenced and gated and handed over to the private sector with long term commercial leases.
The ongoing assault on public lands, the commercialisation and privatisation of public assets is not considered theft or an abuse of ethics and principles by our Public Trustees, but the long term impact on social equity and the environment will have far greater repercussions for the community than anything our kids do on a big night out.
Michele Grant, Ocean Shores