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Byron Shire
October 16, 2021

Bid to stop Belongil rocks

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Duncan Dey, Byron Shire Greens councillor

In early 2013, council changed tack and has worked since to get rocks onto the beach at Belongil. This will happen in December 2014 if the last issue in its way is resolved at the council meeting on Thursday 30 October. That issue is funding.

Shares in the construction are moving around, with questions over the state government’s $300,000 share and over contributions by the ‘benefiting neighbours’. In the end, council could be funding up to $600,000 towards the first of the three sites, at Manfred Street.

Council’s budgeting system has ways of making that money available but in essence it is about 1 per cent of our annual budget and of the order of 10 per cent of our annual infrastructure spend. You can repair a lot of roadway for that much, for example.

Recent advice from the state funding authority (Office of Environment & Heritage) urges council to hold off on the construction and instead complete our well-advanced Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for the Byron Bay Embayment. The plan is considering exactly the question of whether ‘to rock or not to rock’.  That is the question… but it has not been asked of the community. Or rather, when it was asked during preparation of a previous CZMP, some people didn’t like the answer.

I have given Notice of a Motion to be debated by council on 30 October, to put the rocks project on hold and instead focus on the CZMP. The process for the CZMP includes community consultation on matters which include the rocks question. The agenda for the meeting should be on http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/meetings from Tuesday 21 October.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. Rock funding? Duncan you could also “repair a lot of roadway” but for the significant real loss on the Council’s Telstra site sale as well.
    You said, “In early 2013, council changed tack and has worked since to get rocks onto the beach at Belongil.” This statement is far from the historic truth. In March 2000 Council including all Green Councillors of the day together with the Coastline Management Committed clearly recommended and “resolved” to build an interim rock works at Belongil. It was the relevant State Department at the time which changed this “tack” against firm expert engineering advice. The Department recommended and part funded the doomed geo-bag walls. Given the expert engineering advice at hand, the Council and staff of the day should have told the Department where to shove their geo-bags.
    CZMP: As is recorded, the public input via consultation process into both the current and the Draft CZMP of 2008 both firmly favoured management of the beach and the protection of both the town center and Belongil beach. It was the Greens who didn’t like both public consultation process outcome and the expert report recommendations.
    The final expert report into the last abandoned draft CZMP recommended beach management and end control structures for Belongil beach. Devoid of Coastline Management Committee input, the process went astray or off “tack” in the 2008 via the use of former Mayor Jan Barham’s casting vote. After first adopting as a CZMP precondition the protection for the town center via an enhanced Jonson St protective structure; the Mayor’s casting vote directed draft policy to unplanned “retreat” for Belongil beach.
    The former Mayor’s legacy is an abandoned and failed draft CZMP, a plan without a clear implementation plan or economic impact statement. A draft CZMP that expressed the clear intent to remove the historic Belongil rock works placed from 1976. Rock works which decades had been protected most of Belongil beach from the coastal realignment caused by the impacts of the expanded town center coastal works of the mid 1970s.
    Is this the zombie like plan that you Duncan wish to resurrect? A failed plan that protects the businesses and residents of the town’s center at the expense of the Belongil community?
    You said, “Recent advice from the state funding authority (Office of Environment & Heritage) urges council to hold off on the construction and instead complete our well-advanced Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for the Byron Bay Embayment. The plan is considering exactly the question of whether ‘to rock or not to rock’.”
    I agree, the CZMP is well advance, get on with it! This Council has already resolved to protect the town center and rezoned the coastal lands protected by the Jonson St structure in the recent LEP. The Council has only to get on with dealing with the CZMP for the immediate embayment not the whole Shire. The public consultation process with impacted residents and community interest groups is complete. The current expert reports and advice is in. It’s just a matter for this Council to get a draft CZMP out on public exhibition to complete the process.
    Duncan to make matters clear in relation to the proposed rock interim works, why don’t you amend your proposed motion and just get on and vote on the issue of protecting both the town center together with Belongil beach on the 30th October.

  2. October 20, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Rock funding? Duncan you could also “repair a lot of roadway” but for the significant real loss on the Council’s Telstra site sale as well.
    You said, “In early 2013, council changed tack and has worked since to get rocks onto the beach at Belongil.” This statement is far from the historic truth. In March 2000 Council including all Green Councillors of the day together with the Coastline Management Committed clearly recommended and “resolved” to build an interim rock works at Belongil. It was the relevant State Department at the time which changed this “tack” against firm expert engineering advice. The Department recommended and part funded the doomed geo-bag walls. Given the expert engineering advice at hand, the Council and staff of the day should have told the Department where to shove their geo-bags.
    CZMP: As is recorded, the public input via consultation process into both the current and the Draft CZMP of 2008 both firmly favoured management of the beach and the protection of both the town center and Belongil beach. It was the Greens who didn’t like both public consultation process outcome and the expert report recommendations.
    The final expert report into the last abandoned draft CZMP recommended beach management and end control structures for Belongil beach. Devoid of Coastline Management Committee input, the process went astray or off “tack” in the 2008 via the use of former Mayor Jan Barham’s casting vote. After first adopting as a CZMP precondition the protection for the town center via an enhanced Jonson St protective structure; the Mayor’s casting vote directed draft policy to unplanned “retreat” for Belongil beach.
    The former Mayor’s legacy is an abandoned and failed draft CZMP, a plan without a clear implementation plan or economic impact statement. A draft CZMP that expressed the clear intent to remove the historic Belongil rock works placed from 1976. Rock works which for decades had been protecting most of Belongil beach from the coastal realignment caused by the impacts of the expanded town center coastal works of the mid 1970s.
    Is this the zombie like plan that you Duncan wish to resurrect? A failed plan that protects the businesses and residents of the town’s center at the expense of the Belongil community?
    You said, “Recent advice from the state funding authority (Office of Environment & Heritage) urges council to hold off on the construction and instead complete our well-advanced Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for the Byron Bay Embayment. The plan is considering exactly the question of whether ‘to rock or not to rock’.”
    I agree, the CZMP is well advanced, get on with it! This Council has already resolved to protect the town center and rezoned the coastal lands protected by the Jonson St structure in the recent LEP. The Council has only to get on with dealing with the CZMP for the immediate embayment not the whole Shire. The public consultation process with impacted residents and community interest groups is complete. The current expert reports and advice is in. It’s just a matter for this Council to get a draft CZMP out on public exhibition to complete the process.
    Duncan to make matters clear in relation to the proposed rock interim works, why don’t you amend your proposed motion and just get on and vote on the issue of protecting both the town center together with Belongil beach on the 30th October.

  3. Rock funding? Duncan you could also “repair a lot of roadway” but for the significant real loss on the Council’s Telstra site sale as well.
    You said, “In early 2013, council changed tack and has worked since to get rocks onto the beach at Belongil.” This statement is far from the historic truth. In March 2000 Council including all Green Councillors of the day together with the Coastline Management Committed clearly recommended and “resolved” to build an interim rock works at Belongil. It was the relevant State Department at the time which changed this “tack” against firm expert engineering advice. The Department recommended and part funded the doomed geo-bag walls. Given the expert engineering advice at hand, the Council and staff of the day should have told the Department where to shove their geo-bags.
    CZMP: As is recorded, the public input via consultation process into both the current and the Draft CZMP of 2008 both firmly favoured management of the beach and the protection of both the town centre and Belongil beach. It was the Greens who didn’t like both public consultation process outcome and the expert report recommendations.
    The final expert report into the last abandoned draft CZMP recommended beach management and end control structures for Belongil beach. Devoid of Coastline Management Committee input, the process went astray or off “tack” in the 2008 via the use of former Mayor Jan Barham’s casting vote. After first adopting as a CZMP precondition the protection for the town centre via an enhanced Jonson St protective structure; the Mayor’s casting vote directed draft policy to unplanned “retreat” for Belongil beach.
    The former Mayor’s legacy is an abandoned and failed draft CZMP, a plan without a clear implementation plan or economic impact statement. A draft CZMP that expressed the clear intent to remove the historic Belongil rock works placed from 1976. Rock works which for decades had protected most of Belongil beach from the coastal realignment caused by the impacts of the expanded town centre coastal works of the mid 1970s.
    Is this the zombie like plan that you Duncan wish to resurrect? A plan fashioned to protect the businesses and residents of the town’s centre at the expense of the Belongil community?
    You said, “Recent advice from the state funding authority (Office of Environment & Heritage) urges council to hold off on the construction and instead complete our well-advanced Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for the Byron Bay Embayment. The plan is considering exactly the question of whether ‘to rock or not to rock’.”
    I agree, the CZMP is well advanced, get on with it! This Council has already resolved to protect the town centre and rezoned the coastal lands protected by the Jonson St structure in the recent LEP. The Council has only to get on with dealing with the CZMP for the immediate embayment not the whole Shire. The public consultation process with impacted residents and community interest groups is complete. The current expert reports and advice is in. It’s just a matter for this Council to get a draft CZMP out on public exhibition to complete the process.
    Duncan to make matters clear in relation to the proposed rock interim works, why don’t you amend your proposed motion and just get on and vote on the issue of protecting both the town centre together with Belongil beach on the 30th October.

  4. One can only hope that Cr Rose Wanchap will vote in support of shire wide road maintainance that saves lives, and funding for much needed infrastructure.
    Cr Duncan Dey has shown himself to be an honest broker on this issue (of funding).
    It would be good to see all councillors support road safety and infrastructure development for all the residents of Byron Shire by supporting Cr Dey’s Notice of Motion.
    The other option, “to rock”, should be held off until funds are fully available and not drawn from the existing shrinking council budgets. If it is a suitable solution to overall coastal management.
    For some, it will be hard to decide to vote for the safety of residents and road users over a few, unfortunately affected residents.
    If “Byron is open for business”, well maintained, safe roads and infrastructure is good for business.
    This Notice of Motion should not be used to trash the previous Council decisions and The Greens.

  5. What Paul said. ^ Though if dear Rose has not resigned by then (I really wish she would…), the cabal of five will probably do exactly as Paul suggests they might.

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