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Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

The ‘non-road’ under threat

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Council’s Draft Complaint Handling Policy is on exhibition! It’s a document that, if drafted carefully, could provide the public with confidence that Council take complaints seriously and accountability will apply when a complaint is found to be true.

There is a boat ramp for small watercraft between the boat harbour and Massey Greene Caravan Park. To access this ramp there is a bitumen-sealed ‘improvement’ on Crown land. As it is not classified as a road, Council is not responsible for it.

Adjoining the ‘improvement’ is the contentious Lot 7005, the whole of which North Coast Holiday Parks wants, against both the community’s and Council’s position, to take into the caravan park.

For some time the Brunswick Heads Cruising Yacht Club (BHCYC) have been lobbying for No Standing signs along the ‘non-road’. Crown Lands was agreeable to providing a letter of authority giving permission for Byron Shire Council to erect the signs.

But NCHP was having no part of it, arguing in March 2014 that the plans of management (POM) for Massey Greene provides for more parking within the park. Thus there is no need for any signage! Events since then proved otherwise.

On the April 20 there was an incident at the boat ramp requiring an ambulance to attend. The vehicle had to be shepherded through the cars parked along the ‘non-road’ and in so doing vindicated the BHCYC concerns about access for emergency vehicles.

So why is NCHP so sensitive, unless there is something more sinister at stake even to the point of labelling in the POM the ‘non-road’ as a ‘Proposed Shared Pedestrian & Vehicular Public Accessway’?

The controlling Local Government Act 2005 Reg 89 states, ‘A dwelling site or camp site must not be located closer than 10 metres to a public road or three metres to any other boundary of the caravan park or camping ground unless the approval for the caravan park or camping ground so allows’.

The recently exhibited POM for the Massey Greene site infrastructure and short-term camping sites well within 10m of the ‘non-road’ make them totally illegal if the ‘non-road’ was deemed a ‘road’. Perhaps putting up No Standing signage could be leveraged to classify it as a ‘road’.

What is even more insidious is the fact that NCHP makes it blatantly clear that it wants the boat ramp opened for its clientele. For that to function the ‘non-road’ would have to function, as it does today, as an access road not only for the caravan park clientele but also for the general public.

Meanwhile, from the evidence at hand, it would appear that providing unfettered access for emergency vehicles is not a consideration of any worth if it means costing a 10m setback in any POM for Massey Greene Caravan Park.

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads


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