18.3 C
Byron Shire
October 19, 2021

Who’s Swindelling whom over West Byron

Latest News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 19 October, 2021

Check out what's on at the cinema this week in Ballina and Byron

Other News

Raucous AUKUS

Over the last 20 years or more, Australia has benefited greatly from its economic relationship with China. You may...

Fence sitter

Fence sitters, when given a tickle, will generally tumble off on the side of self-interest. So it’s interesting to...

Celebrating and supporting carers

Every day there are family and friends who provide care to others in their life. National Carers Week, 10–16 October, aims to recognise those 2.65 million carers in Australia who support those family and friends who have a disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged and need support.

Creative definition of affordable housing before Byron Council 

A development application is (again) coming before this week’s planning meeting, which attempts to use ‘farm stay’ accommodation to provide affordable housing for students enrolled in agriculture-related courses.


Corruption, neither noble, nor unavoidable, nor the fault of the ICAC – the NSW premier messed up! Our premier has...

Covid Cassandra peers into the future

As the COVID lockdowns draw to a close, there are still people who profess themselves unwilling to vaccinate under any circumstances, and who object to bearing any consequences that may arise.

Ms Swindell, the ‘reputation manager’ for the West Byron developers, claims they have followed department of planning process ‘to the letter’. It is surprising that Ms Swindell says that ‘to our knowledge’the Preliminary Acid Sulfate Soil Study was put on exhibition in 2011 since the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) stated that:

‘no acid sulphate soil study has been included in the appendices to justify the conclusions reached in the planning report. Until a study is prepared or presented, consistent with OEH standards, the potential impacts cannot be reviewed.’

After later receiving a Preliminary ASS report, the EPA wrote ‘the extent of sampling is considered insufficient, compared with the requirement of the Assessment Guidelines in the Acid Sulfate Soils Manual 1998’. Those guidelines also state, in regard to rezoning, that ‘an Acid Sulfate Soils Study should be prepared when any intensification of land use on acid sulfate soils is proposed.’ The proponents’ inadequate report is hardly ‘to the letter’. No rezoning should be considered when even a preliminary study does not meet Department guidelines.

The developers’ original koala report by the respected Biolink consultants was, according to Ms Swindell,  peer reviewed and then discounted. Who peer reviewed it and why was that review not part of the available documentation?  The Biolink report was consistent with the Office of Environment and Heritage who, in their submission in 2012, described the area as Core Koala Habitat. The OEH was critical of the Environmental Assessment report prepared by the West Byron Landpartners, commenting that:

‘The [report] prepared by Landpartners … states that the koala population recorded on the site is most probably migratory rather than resident. This statement appears misleading and may lack scientific credibility given the historical and current use of the site by a number of koala individuals.’

The West Urban Release Area State Significant Site Study Guidelines say that, with regard to traffic and transport, the proposal must ‘include a traffic study in accordance with the RTA Guide to Traffic Generating Developments’. The West Byron developers’  traffic study does not conform to those guidelines – hardly following the process ‘to the letter’.

I am not, as Ms Swindell suggest, trying to ‘drum up community concern’ but rather the Byron Residents’ Group is responding to the  will of the 2500 plus people who have signed our petitions so far. We have done genuine community consultation on a scale with which the developers cannot compare. We hear how Byron locals are astonished by the effrontery of a handful of developers who have dismissed Council’s recommendations and taken their irresponsible, oversized and unwanted proposal to the state government to decide.

Cate Coorey, president, Byron Residents’ Group


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. How do you get justice for the environment when you are battling governments that are tainted with the likes of Obeid ,Tripodi and McDonald.I I am sure there is still a fair few ministers with skeletons in the closet .

  2. If these Swindellers haven’t met the required level of community consultation I suggest they be reported to the ICAC as Metgasco has been reported. Occasionally society needs a good ICAC enema and detox. We are indeed fortunate in the northern rivers to have such diligent and well informed gate keepers against the Orcs of Mordor. LOCK THE GATE!! MAN THE BARRICADES.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Iona Herbs

Pam Morrow from Iona Herbs is a one-woman-show. She has spent her whole life growing herbs and produce on the Tyagarah property where she...

The Great Reopening

S Haslam What a time to go out in Byron – easy to park and, for the shy retiring types like myself, a less frantic...

Bring your people together!

It’s time to bring people together! Wherever you might like to party, Event Byron Bay has you covered. From dining table set-ups to the...

Stranded local artist shares stories from India

Vrinda Gleeson prepared for her new exhibition in a small London bedsit where she is living until she can return to her Northern Rivers home.