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Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Throwing ratepayer money away on Belongil rock wall

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At Byron Shire Council’s meeting last Thursday, five of nine councillors were rock solid on their pet project to put rocks on the beach at Belongil.

The last administrative step is now complete: funding for the wall on what is left of Manfred Street. The stub of ‘street’ itself is a monument to the futility of holding back the sea. There was a whole street block out there in the now surf zone.

Sadly, I have just spent two years asking the shire to tighten its belt and to put up with potholes, etc while we get the shire’s finances in order. I thank the Shire for coming with us on that.

I’m sad however to report that, after you scrimped and saved on almost everything, the little pots of money that council was able to put aside in reserves for such tasks are to be raided for rocks on our beach. And you the shire haven’t been asked whether you want it.

The election in 2012 is cited as a mandate – not unlike the broken promises of Tony Abbott. On Thursday I asked the five rock councillors to wait and to ask your permission for the rock project, by using due process in a Coastal Zone Management Plan. They won’t.

Instead, funding will come (in descending value) from the shire’s:

1) Infrastructure Renewal Reserve, set up to make us dollar-ready as well as shovel-ready to ask for government grants anywhere in the shire;

2) Coastal Rectification Works, for the whole shire’s coast;

3) Infrastructure Services Carryover Reserve, a buffer against our next round of natural disasters (eg landslips);

4) Beach Protection Works, for the whole coast; and

5) Employee Leave Entitlements Reserve, for staff needs!

Your funding as above will be supplemented by contributions from the ‘benefiting neighbours’ of the walls. Their amounts are still being negotiated, hence the amounts you are paying are ‘Confidential’ until the deals with the neighbours are done.

Byron Shire councillor Duncan Dey


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  1. Well to those five councilors that voted for this I hope you really understand what a position that you have put council in as South golden Beach and New Brighton parts of Brunswick may also have the same situation happen, and you have set a precedent by not waiting for the Coastal Zone Management plan………

  2. The usual suspects have yet again combined to ram this through. Rose Wanchap now holds the casting vote and is systematically dismantling what so many people have fought so hard for so long to retain here. Resign Rose. Do it now before you do any more damage to your name – and more importantly this beautiful place.

  3. When will Cr Dey stop misleading the community? Cr Dey was clearly informed at the meeting by staff that Council has already spent over $2 million on rebuilding and maintaining and repairing the current vulnerable geo-bag walls as required by the 2002 consent.
    Cr Day failed motion would have continued and endorsed the further waste of $millions.on geo-bags. Further Council he was told that Council would now still be obliged by the current consent to spend a further $600,000 or so rebuilding the geo-bag wall at Manfred St. Where is the savings there Cr Dey? One can be thankful that some Councillors have a real grasp of economics and the nous to avoid further waste, rather than pandering to the expensive political whims of Cr Dey and crew.


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