12.3 C
Byron Shire
October 17, 2021

Iron Gates to ‘cost residents dearly’

Latest News

Let’s get real

AFL Aussie Rules Grand Final in Western Australia... Rugby League Grand Final in Queensland... Melbourne Cup in Tasmania?    Margaret Keating,...

Other News

Zoran Radovanovic and son enter guilty pleas after sending region into lockdown

The father and son from Sydney's eastern suburbs who sent the region into lockdown by bringing COVID to Byron, have pleaded guilty to some of the charges against them.

COVID-19 hospital horror – opening up and the dangers ahead

A hospital is not a health farm. For a start, the food has a terrible reputation. Seriously though, when life is on the brink, a hospital is the destination.

Satvik Foods simply: sauté, simmer & serve

Easy. Delicious. Healthy. Satvik Foods ready to go packs will have you coming back for thirds! Their range includes...

Girl Guides launch Child Safe Child Friendly Framework

It’s International Day of the Girl Child and Girl Guides Australia are taking the opportunity to launch their Child Safe Child Friendly Framework.

Mandatory vax

I write to you in response to the article on the front page of The Echo relating to mandatory...

The storm season has started

The storm season has officially started, the NSW Government and NSW State Emergency Service (SES) have announced.

A section of the cleared land at Iron Gates, Evans Head. (supplied)
A section of the cleared land at Iron Gates, Evans Head. (photo supplied)

Darren Coyne

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has confirmed it is investigating clearing at the controversial Iron Gates site at Evans Head, but it could be ‘weeks or months’ before action is taken.

Echonetdaily reported early last month that a bulldozer had been spotted clearing vegetation at the site, which is bordered on three sides by national park, and fronts the Evans River.

Richmond Valley Council has also confirmed that it has held talks with the developer, the Ingles Group, about a possible development application for the site, despite previous legal action between the two parties.

Evans Head resident Dr Richard Gates, an opponent of the development from its inception, said ratepayers would end up footing the bill.

‘General manager Walker has indicated that Iron Gates could accommodate 170 to 180 houses,’ Dr Gates said.

At its recent meeting, the council considered a report in which staff outlined options that might be available to attract the developer.

One of those was to reduce the cost of sewerage works from $32,437 to $8,000 per tenement.

At those rates, Dr Gates argues that the council would be providing a subsidy of $4,154,290 for 170 houses, or $4,398,660 for 180 houses.

‘So Richmond Valley Council is prepared to subsidise a developer, most likely Iron Gates Pty Ltd, with a subsidy of somewhere between $4.15 and $4.4 million for residential development while at the same time imposing a 39.1 per cent special rate rise on one of the most disadvantaged local government areas in NSW’, Dr Gates said.

‘In effect this is a subsidy of between $189 and $200 paid by every man, woman and child in the whole local government area.

‘It is nothing less than a bloody disgrace.  Where are our councillors? And does IPART know about these discounts or did it take them into account in its decision to approve the massive rate rise?’

Meanwhile, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is understood to have taken legal advice regarding the clearing.

A spokesperson told Echonetdaily that officers had met with the developer and had also inspected the site.

The spokesperson said however that it could be weeks or months before any action is taken.

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. That’s about right regarding the EPA. There is an inquiry into its ability to handle cases like this.


    The inquiry terms of reference are ostensibly to “measure the EPA’s recent performance against its objectives pursuant to section 6 of the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991”, with a particular focus on the following matters.

    (i) land contamination issues at Botany and Hillsdale

    (ii) EPA investigations and public statements about the effects of coal dust pollution in the Hunter

    (iii) EPA investigation into ground water contamination in the Pilliga by Santos’ coal seam gas exploration

    (iv) the prosecution of Du Pont (Australia) Ltd for the alleged offence of land pollution in the western Sydney suburb of Girraween

    (v) the regulation of cruise passenger ships at the White Bay Cruise Terminal at Balmain

    (vi) the regulation of forestry practices in Royal Camp State Forest

    It really is getting annoying to see corporations, politicians and mining companies handed get out of gaol free cards. It seems like the EPA and regulatory agencies pick and choose who they hold to account and it’s usually the average person.

  2. What b***!!! If they go any further with these development plans, I swear I’m gonna huff and puff and blow those houses down. All them rich pigs will be runnin’. Rant over

  3. About 10 years ago many others and I stood before the bulldozers to protest at this development. That was at the time when Byron Bay cared for the environment unlike now. Do we have to do it all over again?

  4. Yes Hope, it’s almost always the average person as they can’t fight back with million dollar lawyers…
    The EPA ‘act’ is now very similar to the way things are done in the US, the Erroneously Polluting Australia act…
    We ALL need to huff and puff and blow away the corruption that is filling our political and bureacratic systems!
    Rant only just beginning…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Mandatory vax

I write to you in response to the article on the front page of The Echo relating to mandatory vax. I find it extremely...

End the cult

A military conflict between China and the USA would very likely result in global nuclear war, a major setback to human civilisation and possibly...

Hundreds queue to have COVID test and two new cases in the NNSWLHD

Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) is urging people to continue coming forward for testing and vaccination after two further COVID-19 cases were reported in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, October 14. 

Charges after cars damaged in police pursuit – Coffs Harbour

Police say a man has been charged following a pursuit, where a number of cars – including an unmarked police car – were sideswiped on the Mid-North Coast yesterday.