8.8 C
Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

MPs criticised over landslip response

Latest News

Fast Buck$ ejected from Byron Council meeting

During this morning's Byron Shire Council meeting a dispute between the Mayor Simon Richardson and local activist and agitator Fast Buck$ over the pronunciation of Cr Sarah Ndiaye's name led to the meeting being suspended.

Other News

MVP is its own award

It’s easy to get excited about Byron’s new MVP restaurant in Lawson St – it’s not only got standout dishes such as Blue Spirulina Linguine with blue swimmer crab and Yamba prawns, and Fettuccine al Ragù with Hayters Hill beef ragù sauce, feta and baby peas, but it’s also all sustainably sourced from local growers, available in takeaway (even delivered if you’re close to town) and more than half of the menu is plant-based.

The Channon resilient after disaster

Northern Rivers communities are nothing if not resilient and The Channon community is preparing to take a proactive stance when it comes to disasters in the area.

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Could pyrolysis help solve the plastics crisis?

Philippe Dupuy from the Lismore Environment Centre thinks there is a role for pyrolysis technology in dealing with the global plastic waste dilemma, with new technology making it possible to turn plastic waste into a useful resource.

Arakwal chemicals

David Gilet, Byron Bay I have long been dismayed by the use of Glyphosate by Parks & Wildlife in Arakwal National...

Cr Keith Williams calls for consultation on South Ballina Beach access

At today's Ballina Council meeting, Cr Keith Williams is going to urge council to write to the NSW Minister for Crown Lands about South Ballina beach, which has recently been closed to public 4WD access.

Wilsons Creek Road is again reduced to one lane due to a landslip. Photo Byron Shire Council
Wilsons Creek Road is again reduced to one lane due to a landslip. Photo Byron Shire Council

Wilsons Creek residents have vented their anger at local Nationals MPs over what they say is an inadequate response to landslips in their valley, located west of Mullumbimby.

One resident, Andy Maclean, asked what had Ballina MP Don Page and Lismore MP Thomas George done on the residents’ behalf when contacted by many members of the community in 2013 ‘when we were restricted to a two tonne limit on the road and facing possible collapse with no access in or out?’

Mr Maclean said the residents formed an online action group, and then in collaboration with Byron Shire Council commenced a reference group of councillors, staff and residents, which eventually resulted in two of the seven landslips affecting the Wilsons Creek, Huonbrook, and Wanganui communities being completed, and the other five being fully funded.

‘Thanks should go to [councillors] Duncan Dey and Basil Cameron for their outstanding representation on our behalf, and to Phil Holloway, manager of community infrastructure and his staff.’

‘However the delays are still totally unacceptable. Our near neighbours at Upper Coopers Creek were totally isolated for months due to total collapse of their road, with total disruption to lifestyle.

‘The process of applying to the state government for disaster relief funding takes way too long in emergency situations such as these.

‘At the time of the action group Thomas George was our state member, and Don Page was the minister for local government. Both were invited to the Wilsons Creek Landslip Project Reference Group.

‘Both gave their apologies.

‘Don Page is now back to being our local member due to an electoral redistribution. Between now and the next election, Mr Page, what can we expect you to do to improve the speed in which disaster relief funding is allocated to isolated communities with no other access?’

In response Mr Page told The Echo, ‘It should be noted that both Wilsons Creek and Upper Coopers Creek are not in my electorate and were not at the time of the landslips.

‘Although due to a change in boundaries both locations will be in the Ballina Electorate from the next state election in March 2015.

‘Both these roads are a council responsibility.

‘Contrary to [Mr Maclean’s] views, Thomas George MP made a number of representations on behalf of constituents in the Wilsons Creek area to Byron Council and Roads & Maritime Services during the original landslip. He also worked with the Department of Education to help ensure children were able to safely get to and from school.

‘Unfortunately due to parliament sitting, Mr George was unable to attend reference group meetings; however, he received copies of minutes and acted upon any matters which needed his assistance.

‘As minister for the north coast at the time, I arranged for the Department of Premier and Cabinet to become involved as part of the Upper Coopers Creek Recovery Committee to work through the issues as they arose. This committee was chaired by mayor Richardson and also attended by residents and government department representatives.’

Mr Maclean also suggested the Byron Shire community as a whole, and the various pressure groups within it, ‘could keep in mind while they lobby hard for their various project funding that without our rural roads your farmers markets would dwindle to nothing, your hinterland tourism will become an unsafe joke, and you’ll need to find funds for a lot of helicopters. Allow the Council the funds they need to adequately maintain drains, reseal and fill potholes, as boring as that may sound.’


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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. It’s now two years since Wanganui Road suffered landslips. As I wrote in my letter to the Echo back then, these slips (one in particular) were at least partially man-made, not ‘natural’ disasters, due to lack of maintenance. We used to get updates on when the repair work would be done, but that stopped ages ago, and now we get … ZIP! I cleaned all the drains myself, at my own expense, with my tractor and back-blade to keep the waters moving down the drains and not along the roads. I also erected all the safety barriers at the slips because Council wouldn’t lift a finger! Where should I send my bill? I have told at least four people in Council, from workers on the road to those in the offices, that I can share my extensive ‘local knowledge’ on where the problems lie … but nothing … nada… from anybody. Thanks for nothing, Council and Politicians.

  2. I find it criminal that critical infrastructure in this region can be dismissed as apparently “unimportant” by a city-centric state government. The health (economic, social & personal) of country communities deserves better. Failing to act affects everyone – not just those in regional areas

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Pandemic plate lickers release lockdown dessert

The 2020 pandemic lockdown meant the entire entertainment industry was cancelled, but making music cannot be cancelled.

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Tony Barry, Ben Chifley and FD’s Four Freedoms

Local actor-vist, Tony Barry, has taken on a lot since he moved to the Northern Rivers, and though cancer took one of his legs, Tony still manages to put in the hard yards for social, environmental and human rights causes.