It is great that some of the less progressive Byron Shire councillors and the Brunswick Heads business community are finally recognising the nature of the ongoing battle to be consulted, in the true sense of the word, by the state government via their private-enterprise buddies.
The well-meaning suggestion of ‘mediation’ or compromise, however, is not going to change the existing power dynamic, or give more say to the local community.
For successful mediation, leading to a ‘win-win’ situation, both parties have to have something to lose. Common needs and values have to be established, before there is any motivation to ‘give way’ to the other party. In this new situation, the public/private enterprises have all the legal power, and the community has very little. All we can do is keep annoying them, like the story about the tiny mosquitoes overcoming the huge elephant.
The compromise approach was tried with Council, who do have some power, in that they have to approve the caravan park licences. And what was the final outcome? The new plans show that the planners have reneged on their commitments/compromises, despite Council’s upholding their own.
We can only hope that a majority of councillors, whatever their orientation, can see their own power being siphoned off and stand strong to insist on appropriate development before approving licences.
Eleanor Sharman, Brunswick Heads