More important than whether or not the state ‘did not support it’ – the citizens of Byron Shire ‘did not support it’.
Five Byron shire councillors – Ibrahim, Cubis, Hunter, Woods and ‘Wanchap the betrayer’ – demonstrated their contempt for democratic process by voting in favour of the Belongil Beach rock wall with ‘reasonable expectation’ that the majority of Byron Shire citizens objected to paying $2,000,000 – and object to paying a further $1,000,000 – to protect the private property of millionaires who chose to build or purchase homes on a sand spit.
The pretence that the legal realities of the Jonson Street and Belongil Beach rock walls are identical is ‘ethically bankrupt’.
Other than both being made of rocks – the two rock walls have little in common, thus it is not “hypocritical” to support the Jonson Street rock wall and oppose the Belongil Beach rock wall/s.
Being a Pagan, I am not a fan of rock walls on beachfronts. However, from a legal perspective, the Jonson Street rock wall is lawfully constructed (by an agent of ‘the government’) upon Crown Land (rest and recreational reserve), that is, publicly owned land, with intent to protect Crown land (rest and recreational reserve) and the main street of Byron Bay (Crown land, road), that is, a large amount of publicly owned property and the general public; hence the public paying the cost.
The number of persons, value of public property and private property protected by the Jonson Street rock wall justifies the cost and construction.
However, the Belongil Beach rock walls are consequent of illegal dumping of rocks upon Crown land by adjacent private property owners, effectively enabling private property owners to unlawfully annex Crown land and prevent the general public from accessing Crown land (the beachfront, all the land between natural low tide and high tide).
When making the decision to protect a ‘handful’ of private property owners, Council negligently failed to factor-in the greater risk to the general public posed by the installation of the geo-bag wall (barrier to safety); and cost of the geo-bag wall far exceeds any benefit to the general public (the benefit to the handful of residents at Belongil Beach does not justify the cost to the public).
Adding to the aforementioned waste of public monies with further expenditure of $1,000,000 for a rock wall, is ‘economically irresponsible’.
As for Cr Sol Ibrahim’s declaration: ‘they are not rich’ – oh, do behave!
Belongil Beach properties are worth upwards of $2,000,000. From the perspective of 99 per cent of the residents of Byron Shire – the suckers who are expected to pay for the stupidity of millionaires, that is rich (in both the literal and literary sense of the word).
Morgan (Ms), Byron Bay
PS. As letters to the editor are restricted to 200 words, then editor should also restrict the published ‘verbal diarrhoea’ of politicians to 200 words.