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Byron Shire
April 16, 2021

In whose interests is Cr Wanchap acting?

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If the Greens have been bullying Rose Wanchap as she is suggesting then I am repulsed by that.

However if she feels bullied because everyone is angry with her then I think she needs to consider how betrayed the people who voted for her feel. They thought they were getting a person who supported Greens ideals and would protect the town form vested interests yet she has voted against those ideals, often. On this latest urgency motion she voted with the pro-development councillors to support a development that is dodgy in the extreme.

Her naïvete in saying we could have an eco-friendly development on the site is frightening. If the developers wanted that they would have sought zoning for that – not for 1100 medium and low-density dwellings and several commercial/industrial lots. It’s a lovely rather quixotic idea Rose, but I’d be surprised the developers will go for it – much lower ROI on that one.

Rose says, in a somewhat contradictory vision, that she believes that there is a ‘housing crisis’. If so then implicitly she does serve to benefit from 1100 more houses being built. BBSC’s Code of Conduct guidelines say, ‘A conflict of interests exists where a reasonable and informed person would perceive that you could be influenced by a private interest when carrying out your public duty. ‘

You don’t have to have a conflict of interest, one need only be perceived. Easy to understand.

Politicians who say one thing before an election and do the opposite – shamelessly and openly–are now across all tiers of government and we are all angry about it. Tony Abbott has set the tone as a liar, the state coalition said they would cut Part 3A of the Planning Act and return planning to the people but their new laws tried to give even more power to developers over communities, and here in Byron a person presented themselves as a Green and then acted to oppose Green goals; neither a team nor a community player.

The recent urgency motion put forward by the mayor was asking that truth, transparency and procedural fairness be seen to be in place before a decision on the rezoning West Byron was made. Proper community consultation has not been followed – a majority of people in Byron hate this development. They bitterly resent that the planning department could decide Byron’s future.  It is even more galling when the department has not even ensured that its own procedures be followed.

Some very serious questions need to be asked: Why was a study that showed Acid Sulfate Soil on more than 75 per cent of the site not included in the first public exhibition? Why did the consultants bury the Biolink report that showed significant koala habitat on the site and get a second report done – and even then didn’t exhibit that until some eagle-eyed locals asked for it? Why did the developers’ traffic study not conform to RTA guidelines for assessing traffic movements when it shows some clear anomalies –such as only one person travelling to each of the businesses on the site – no customers or other clients – and it shows 75 per cent of traffic from the site travelling away from town. The traffic report’s conclusions are spurious and illogical and require scrutiny.

The mayor’s motion was only requesting a deferral of the decision on rezoning until some clarity could be shed on genuine community concerns about this rezoning. If the councillors who voted against this motion have nothing to fear about ensuring community confidence through procedural fairness and transparency then why could they not support the motion?

Catherine Coorey, Byron Residents Group

 


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1 COMMENT

  1. Councillor Rose Wanchap’s fanciful assertion she’s been ‘bullied’, is an inch short of libellous and a cheap shot to avoid responsibility for her bizarre actions since being elected. I understand her attendance at meetings of and involvement with the Byron Greens during this time has been the equivalent of the boy who cried wolf – i.e. practically zilch. Clearly the vetting of her as a candidate was lacking, proved by her disturbing animosity towards towards Green policies – and lack of teamwork in her voting record which has seen her time and time again side with the conservative bloc lead by Di Woods and against the Greens philosophies.
    Given her truly odd ‘environmental’ views, why she joined the Greens in the first place baffles me- and i’m sure many others- but when you won’t work constructively with your team, actively betray them and work against their interests, you lose your credibility and playing the ‘bullied’ card is beyond rich. It’s just pathetic.
    If Councillor Wanchap wants to be the loose canon then she can’t expect any level of trust from those trying to do the best for our community. If she always planned on being an independant and voting on whim then the Greens aren’t the only ones she’s fooled.
    Chris Anderson.

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