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Byron Shire
March 24, 2023

OSCA’s Roundhouse plan not favoured

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Who are these OSCA (Ocean Shores Community Association) people, supposing to support 10 per cent of the local community? I don’t think so.

So, they have pulled out a legal opposition to the council selling off the 11 private blocks, three days before the sale of four were about to commence at the Roundhouse.

I live in Ocean Shores and have lived in the shire for 28 years. The proposal by the opposition is to create a cultural centre with accommodation for tourism.

Quote, from the OSCA website: ‘Tourism is the most important economic driver in the Byron Shire with more than two million visitor nights each year. There is a need for tourist accommodation in Ocean Shores with only one motel at present to service the needs of the town. Research indicates a very high occupancy rate for the short stay units can be achieved. Promotion of the site and Ocean Shores would benefit all tourist accommodation businesses in the area.’

Tourism may be the economic driver but we residents have had enough of being driven out of house and home, losing our heritage buildings to modern development, losing our cute and arty shops, and local restaurants to the commercial big companies.

I love Byron Bay, but can no longer afford to live there.

I moved to Ocean Shores to get away from traffic congestion and tourists and hotel operators, who rule the town. 

Do we want that in the middle of a quiet residential area such as Ocean Shores? Definitely not.

To propose parking for 88 cars is ludicrous, how would the nearby residents like to deal with that all day and night?

The exit from the Roundhouse site into Orana Road is quite dangerous and would not support that much traffic.

Has anyone asked the neighbours if they want a large commercial ‘artist cultural centre’ next door with 21 apartments, restaurant, art gallery, museum and kids’ playground?

Not in my backyard. Residents who have not heard of what OSCA is proposing in your name, should read the website design proposal.

I suggest that they go and buy a disused farm with massive acreage and go and develop the cultural centre in an appropriate setting, not in the quiet, residential suburbs.

Radha Kate Koch, Ocean Shores

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  1. Many Ocean Shores people are concerned by the efforts of a few to turn this quiet, safe, place into another tourist destination with all the downsides as we’ve seen in Byron.

    For people who believe a cultural centre is necessary, a more more appropriate and cost effective solution would be to utilise the current Community Centre which is in a better location, would cause little disruption for residents, with land available for expansion with plenty of parking around.

    Business people who want more profits can always relocate to Byron or the Gold Coast.

  2. A cultural centre proposal is for broad community use and benefit. Accommodation is to serve the centre and the golf club, for example for an exhibition attracting artists or a golf tournament. The accommodation also serves as a revenue stream to help finance the centre. We are fortunate to have the community centre near the shopping centre as a hall for hire but with limited venue space it is unable to provide for the needs of a large population. The community has no place to establish permanent centres for art, history or larger performances with more than 200 seats. Several events each year are held at the primary school for hundreds of participants, they are short term and don’t conflict with school needs. A cultural centre for a population of several thousands is needed.
    The Roundhouse site is on three acres of land and was purchased by council for community purposes in 1988. The site was in use since 1967 before the surrounding housing was built. If someone builds or buys a house next to a huge public site, they should expect to share the area and roads with the public accessing the site.
    The wider community has a need to be consulted about the best use of the site to benefit the whole community. Privatisation would be permanent loss for the whole community. Financial difficulties for the whole shire are not the burden of a section of the shire. There are no other sites available to replace the Roundhouse site.


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