16.9 C
Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Minister backs dept on West Byron development

Latest News

Lismore City Council declares housing emergency, wants more units

A Lismore City Council housing survey had shown more than 60 per cent of residents were living by themselves or with one other person, Cr Ekins said, prompting ‘a real need for smaller housing or units’.

Other News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Cartoon of the week – 12 May, 2021

Letters to the editor We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters...

Water outage in Ballina this Thursday

Residents on Crane and Owen Streets in Ballina are advised of a planned water outage this Thursday May 13.

Respect for Country

Léandra Martiniello, Whian Whian It is the night of the full moon, I have just watched it rise. On the...

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’...

Any questions?

‘This is a great chance for foodies to ask me anything they want’, says local chef Darren Robertson, who...

NSW planning minister Pru Goward.
NSW planning minister Pru Goward is sticking by her department’s projected growth figures for Byron shire used to justify the controversial West Byron and Ewingsdale developments.

Luis Feliu

NSW planning minister Pru Goward has stuck by her department’s population growth figures used to justify giving the green light to the controversial plan to build 1,000 homes at West Byron.

A community group opposed to the development met with Ms Goward last Wednesday in Sydney to put residents’ concerns directly with the minister, who they say was being misled by her department about the supposed need for the housing development.

The Byron Residents Group (BRG) said state planners were ‘cooking up a planning shortage’ of housing in Byron shire that did not exist in order to justify the contentious development.

But in a reply to questions from Echonetdaily, Ms Goward’s office issued a brief response ‘from a departmental spokesperson’ saying that ‘based on population projections released earlier in 2014, Byron Bay will grow 18 per cent by 2031, which means the area needs more housing for the future’.

The response also said ‘the views of the West Byron community have been taken into account at every stage of the West Byron proposal with protection of the environment a key consideration’.

The West Byron development is being determined by the planning minister rather than Byron Shire Council, which has concerns about impacts on traffic, koala habitat, sewerage capacity and acid-sulfate soils.

Residents group spokesperson Cate Coorey said before the meeting that planning department population projections for the far north coast used to justify rezoning at West Byron and Ewingsdale were outdated and did not give an accurate picture.

After the meeting, Ms Coorey said the delegation ‘explained that most of the information that she had been receiving about West Byron was from the developers’ perspective. Their reports for this rezoning are incomplete, insufficient or misleading’.

The group also urged Ms Goward to ‘right the wrongs of the previous government and return planning powers to the council’ and discussed growth strategies, koalas, traffic, acid sulphate soils ‘and the need to meet community concerns about due process’.

‘The matter is still in the department of planning hands when it should be in the hands of the local
community and council,’ Ms Coorey told Echonetdaily.

Ms Coorey told the minister the local council was completing its own regional growth strategy update and asked that the process be respected.

The five members of the BRG delegation were Ms Coorey, Dailain Pugh, Yvette Steinhauer, Andrew Murray and Mary Gardner.

Ms Steinhauer told the minister of community concerns about the dangers of loss of koala habitat, Mr Pugh presented growth and development figures for Byron which showed why there was no imperative to develop more land to reach growth targets, while Ms Gardner explained how the site was long recognised as an acid soil hotspot.

Mr Murray asked the minister ‘why an isolated separately zoned precinct with externally‐imposed development controls was even being considered as a good way to further develop Byron Bay’.

The minister is expected to make a decision on the development in the near future.

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. I hate to be negative, but the writing is already on the wall and I don’t think it would make much difference if the BSC was involved. We see the type of mass development already around the shire that will proliferate, we see it at Suffolk Park already and quite a few other sites.

    The mass development strategy works because it’s easy for those with big money to do and it’s easy for planners etc to tick the boxes on….so expect more bland in Byron….If you want a bit of style go inland!

  2. This was hardly surprising. Goward told the leafy north of Sydney they were going to cop
    hostile rezonings to accommodate an 8 million-person Sydney.

    Goward is part of the immigration/construction/debt industry. The endless growth people. Our enemies.

  3. Why are Politicians always on the Developers side ? Maybe thats a question ICAC is answering right now as if we needed to ask . Independent councils were promised at the last election and now we get to find out what they mean by independent . Independent of the Community that lives there and the people that are elected to represent them . Labour had already inflicted the policy of imposing developments on Communities whether they like it or not trying to remove any means by which they can be challenged . The Liberals after much crowing before the election have adopted exactly the same policy . Only one solution vote them out , make sure it’s a resounding loss and let them know it’s an issue the community takes very seriously .


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

How much do you know about koalas?

How well do you know your koala facts? Test your knowledge at the June 2 Koala Hard Quiz in Mullumbimby.

Tweed residents facing rate rise in 2021/2022 financial year

Tweed residents are invited to provide feedback on their council's budget, revenue policy and fees and charges, as Tweed Council prepares to finalise its delivery program and operational plan for the next financial year.

Exotic and hybrid

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay I was shocked to see the abundant exotic and hybrid plantings at Byron’s new bus interchange. As Byron Council used to have...

Locals call for automatic revocation of speeding fines on Hinterland Way in first half of April

When local man Nathan Hicks saw posts on Facebook about locals who had received fines they believed were incorrect he decided to look into challenging his own fine.