11.5 C
Byron Shire
April 14, 2021

Council should vote on Suffolk Park tower

Latest News

Local sailor triumphs in blustery Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race

Local sailor Craig Watson battled near gale-force winds on Coopers to have one of his best ever Brisbane to Gladstone yacht races claiming fourth place in line honours.

Other News

Is it solar fair?

Meg Pickup, Ballina The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) draft rule change will result in solar households and businesses being...

Poor Pauline

Bob Vinnicombe, Sefton A lot of hypocrisy from Labor and The Greens about respect for women. Look at the treatment...

Local start-up brings you breakfast in bed

Breakfast is now a whole lot more luxurious with the recent launch of Le Petit Brekkie in the Byron Shire. Changing how we enjoy breakfast, Emma and Kevin, the team behind the business, curate fresh, locally sourced breakfast boxes to be delivered directly to their clients’ doors. With the tagline ‘breakfast in bed, delivered’, Le Petit Brekkie hopes to make the indulgence of a lazy lie-in even more tempting.

HuskeeSwap launches in Lennox

An exciting initiative to keep coffee cups out of landfill launched in Lennox Head yesterday. Ballina Shire Council is backing the HuskeeSwap program with free coffees at different cafes in Lennox this week, for coffeeholics keen to try a new solution to a growing problem.

Local photographer finalist in National Portrait Prize

Lismore-based photographer R J Poole is one of eighty finalists from over 3,000 entries in this year's Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize.

A man dead after boat capsizes on Ballina Bar

Police have confirmed that a man has died after a boat capsized at Ballina earlier today.

At its ordinary meeting on 10 October 2013 Byron Shire Council authorised its general manager to: ‘… undertake all necessary actions to negotiate and finalise the Access Deed with Telstra…’

The site of the access deed in question is a disused water tower situated on recreational community land in Suffolk Park, now occupied by Telstra for over 10 years without paying rent, operating six mobile telephone communications towers. There was no consultation with, and fierce opposition from, the Suffolk Park Progress Association (SPPA) and the local community, including a lengthy blockade of the site, only to be finally reopened one day at 4am by a strong force of police officers.

The community’s main concerns at the time were the loss of $350,000 it paid council for use of the land for recreational purposes, and the threat from emissions affecting not only hundreds of residents living within a few metres of the installations, but the close proximity of proposed and now operating child care and sporting facilities.

Despite attempts by council, SPPA and the community, Telstra consistently refused to vacate the site or, when the opportunity presented itself, relocate with another carrier, Optus, who respected community sentiments and chose a more suitable site for their transmission tower. Recently, even in the face of more and very strong opposition, Telstra upgraded their facility with a considerable increase in health-threatening emissions.

The Telstra installation is classified ‘low impact’ by federal definition and therefore ‘above’ the law. But, not content with having ruined community aspirations forever, in their draft deed document Telstra now demand the inclusion of their right to sub-let the site to unspecified users for the proposed duration of the lease, or twenty years (Section 16 of the draft deed).

This might not only recover their proposed rental of under $15,000 per annum but opens up the site, with hundreds of residents living within a considered dangerous perimeter, to other telecommunications operators, even television stations. It is not inconceivable to see the site resembling that of the Paterson Street water tower, with a multitude of towers of all descriptions and, if the deed is signed as is, beyond the power of refusal or even consultation with Council or the community.

Now the time has finally arrived for Byron Shire Council’s general manager Ken Gainger to use his power, given him by Council Resolution 13-531, to sign a deed that would remove any council authority over what was once a beautiful piece of community land, as well as destroying any hope the community may have had for their land, forever. The SPPA strongly urges him to resubmit this threatening document to a meeting of councillors, the elected representatives of the community, to scrutinise and debate, to consult and hopefully throw out Section 16 and all its inherent dangers and threats to the community of Suffolk Park.

Donald Maughan, president, Suffolk Park Progress Association

 


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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Local girls go big at Oz grom cup

Byron Bay’s Leihani Kaloha Zoric won her second Billabong Oz Grom Cup title, taking out the 10-and-under girls division at Park beach in Coffs Harbour last weekend.

Sprout lovers

Sprouts can sometimes be overlooked on the weekly grocery list… except for those in the know, of course!

Interview with Mitch King from Dream Bigger

Dream Bigger is presenting Lismore Youth Festival in partnership with numerous organisations in Lismore. Dream Bigger connects established artists with potential future artists to make their ideas a reality through engaging workshops and collaboration. The Echo spoke to Mitch King from Dream Bigger.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 14 April, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 14 April, 2021