21.1 C
Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

Council takes carrot-and-stick approach to Ocean Shores

Latest News

Children approached by stranger in Murwillumbah

Police say a Queensland man has been charged following two alleged child approaches in Murwillumbah today.

Other News

Byron Wildlife Hospital’s DA up for public comment

A development application for the mobile Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital is now before the public.

Contemporary Byron

David Morris, Byron Bay ‘In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/A stately pleasure-dome decree’, Coleridge. Lines penned supposedly after being woken from...

Koala groups lobby Tweed MP Geoff Provest for action

Local koala groups have been taking action to protect NSW koalas by meeting with Tweed State Member of Parliament, Geoff Provest seeking his support for action on koala protections and asking him not to support the koala killing legislation his government are putting forward.

No more MOs for Tweed Shire

In a move that may have surprised some council watchers, it was the conservative councillors who voted in favour of keeping multiple occupancies (MO) in Tweed Shire.

Ben Hamilton riding for kids with cancer

Ballina man Ben Hamilton is riding his bike 500km to help young kids with cancer.

Ballina Dragon Boaters win world championships

Shelley Cornish from Tintenbar has won two gold medals in the world indoor rowing championships as well as a world record time, while husband Paul Hurley chimed in with a silver medal.

The Roundhouse site. Ocean Shores improvements await its sale.
The Roundhouse site. Ocean Shores improvements await its sale.

Chris Dobney

Byron Shire Council is offering some tasty treats to residents of Ocean Shores in its latest budget – more than a million dollars’ worth of improvements to the town.

But there’s a catch: the money will only flow when the sale of the controversial Roundhouse lots is complete.

In the coming financial year’s budget, details of which were released yesterday, Council has earmarked $500,000 for stage one of much-needed roadworks on Kolora Way, Ocean Shores,  a further $300,000 for the Kolora Way Bridge upgrade and $250,000 for design development of the Shara Boulevard sportsfields.

But GM Ken Gainger has made it clear the works won’t start until the sale of 11 Council-owned Roundhouse lots, some of which have spectacular ocean views, are sold and the money is in Council’s coffers.

Sale of the sites has been in Council’s too-hard basket for years but with the appointment of the new GM and the appearance of a financial black hole, Council took the tough decision last year to sell the sites to raise much-needed cash.

With just days to go before the planned sale in early March, the Ocean Shores Community Association (OSCA) took legal action  to prevent the sale, demanding the land be retained for community use.

The legal action is still pending, despite Council’s subsequently announcing the purchase of new land for sportsfields in the town.

Enough is enough for Mr Gainger, who has drawn a line in the sand over the proposed works.

‘If Council finds that it cannot progress the sale of the blocks of land at Roundhouse as planned owing to threatened legal action, these projects will not proceed until such time as funding can be allocated in future budgets,’ he said.

He added, however, that despite the stoush with OSCA Council’s legal expenses were down this financial year.

‘[A] major contributor to the current budget is a reduction in the legal services budget of $200,000. This is owing to Council’s being less litigious and making the most of mediation opportunities,’ he said.

With a forecast $50,000 budget surplus and an accumulated surplus (working funds) sitting at $1,144,500, Mr Gainger said the budget’s stronger bottom line was generally a result of a detailed review of Council’s operations to achieve savings and efficiencies.

‘Council’s administration has been through stage one of an organisational restructure with further efficiencies still to be implemented. The restructure has enabled Council to reallocate resources to ensure that areas that have high need for resources, such as community infrastructure, can be beefed up,’ he added.

Roads and parks

Mr Gainger said the new budget would see Byron Shire re-focus its efforts in improving roads and parks around the shire, with money set aside for improvements in all of the larger towns.

‘A very positive outcome within the budget is that we have been able to allocate an additional $487,300 or 13 per cent increase in funding for road maintenance and renewal works, as well as an additional $163,800 or 4.6 per cent funding increase for open space and recreation maintenance expenditure, over the 2013/2014 budget,’ Mr Gainger said.

Some of the key capital works and initiatives for the upcoming financial year include:

  • $100,000 improvement for the Lighthouse Road Captain Cook carpark
  • $500,000 on stage 1 of Kolora Way Ocean Shores roadworks
  • $300,000 for the Kolora Way Bridge upgrade (Ocean Shores)
  • $250,000 for design development of the Shara Boulevard sportsfields
  • $150,000 for Deacon Street, Bangalow, carparking
  • $175,000 for upgrading the Poinciana carpark, Mullumbimby
  • $100,000 for completing the Marine Parade footpath at Wategos
  • $470,000 road upgrade Broken Head Road (south of Clifford Street), Suffolk Park
  • $250,000 for additional lighting at the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex.

The works will be funded from a range of increase in Council’s rates and charges.

  • Water fixed charges and consumption charges are increased by 3.38 per cent and 4.98 per cent respectively.
  • Sewer fixed charges and consumption charges are increased by 2.97 per cent and 0.58 per cent respectively.
  • Domestic Waste and Non-Domestic Waste charges have increased by 10.18 per cent.
  • Myocum Waste Facility fees have increased between 3 per cent and 20 per cent depending upon the waste type; this ranges from $0.50 to $7.
  • Restructure of fees and charges at the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex.
  • Section 68 approval fees have increased between 25 per cent and 47.37 per cent; this includes an extra $10 for the initial approval to operate a caravan park, an extra $90 for a pre-purchase onsite sewage management system inspection, and an extra $150 for the transport of waste over or under a public place.
  • Swimming pool entry fees are proposed to be increased by 80 cents for spectators, an additional 40 cents per child, and increases in all season passes up to an extra $130 for a family. The increased fees bring the pool fees into line with charges in neighbouring council areas.
  • Landing fees at Tyagarah airstrip of between $1 and $2 per landing, $5 per day for parking  for commercial operators and a new fee structure for non-commercial landing fees.
  • New fees associated with use of Council-owned or -controlled land for temporary activities such as weddings.
  • Childcare fees increased slightly higher than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to recover the costs of providing childcare at Sandhills. The fee per day is proposed to be increased by $3.
  • Cemeteries fees are increasing between $1 and up to $384.00 (reserving a plot in the old parts of the cemeteries).

Byron Shire Council staff will be available at the farmers markets from the week beginning May 5 to talk to anyone who would like to know more about the draft delivery program, budget, and draft fees and charges schedule.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Seem to be all good to sweeten the Ocean Shores Residends.
    The forgotten part of the Shire
    South Golden Beach still waits to get their Pothole riddeld Roads fixes as it was promised y our Mayor.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Police exchange gun fire at Dunoon – man arrested

At a media conference outside the Lismore police station this morning, Acting Superintendent Susan Johnston, Commander, Richmond Police Area Command, said that a man has been charged over an incident at Dunoon last night.

Byron carjacker and stolen vehicle still not found

Police say that a man carjacked a 17-year-old in Byron Bay just before midnight on Friday.

Man arrested after shots fired in Dunoon

A police report says a 63-year-old man man has been arrested following multiple public place shots fired overnight.

Police operation Billinudgel Nature Reserve

Gary Opit, Brunswick Heads On 22 February residents on Jones Road noticed a major police operation with officers from eight police cars and associated dogs entering...