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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Brunswick Heads locals were ignored on park plans

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Recent comments that Brunswick Heads locals had made constructive input into the plans of management fore the crown reserve parks in the village and that ‘their input has to a large degree been acknowledged’, could not be further from the truth and is the main reason why the local progress association is holding a public meeting on the issue on Monday, March 2.

In 2014, more than 2,500 people signed an online petition objecting to the Brunswick Heads plans of management and specifically about the development of the foreshore and not having complete access to it.

Of these 2,500, over 650 not only submitted their objection but wrote additional comments to the stated objection. These comments are fabulous reading and are still at https://www.change.org/p/nsw-state-government-nswchpt-stop-the-nsw-government-privatising-our-foreshores.

This petition was specifically done online and submitted to the listed PoM email address as we had no faith that North Coast Holiday Parks (NCHP) would honestly convey the real results if it was just them doing the collation.

This was basically the developer being in charge of the complaints process. We thought if it was online they could not refute it.

Unfortunately we were wrong and despite the real results being there for all to see, NCHP did not report this massive objection to the Trust or the minister.

Questions to the Trust about why 2,500 objections were not recorded remain unanswered.

If you read NCHP’s tally about objections in the PoM report, instead of saying there were 2,600 objections to foreshore development it says there were only 45 (or 5,000 per cent less than the real figure).

So who were the locals who had the ‘constructive input’ that Geoffrey Suthon (a regular, unabashed supporter of NCHP) mentions?

I am of the understanding that the so called community stakeholders that manager of NCHP Jim Bolger ‘consulted’ regarding the plans for Banner Park were two people from the Chamber of Commerce (which is sponsored by NCHP), a representative of the Woodchop committee and two people from McGregors Carnival (both ‘tenants’ of NCHP), and a playground builder (an NCHP supplier).

Not one real community group was present, and the Brunswick Heads Progress Association was not even contacted.

If this was the case which I have been told is documented (and I invite Jim Bolger to correct me) then NCHP’s consultation was with only six people, all of who are very reliant on NCHP and four of whom don’t even live in Brunswick Heads.

When the plans were eventually put to the ‘real people’, there was a resounding objection (400 times more).

So it appears the only stakeholders NCHP consults with are people indebted to them and their limited supporters are their tenants who are desperate to keep in their favour.

This is why the progress association is holding the meeting on 2 March at the Memorial Hall at 7pm and why, if you want to tell NCHP what you think of their consultation process and development plans, you should turn up.

Sean O’Meara, Brunswick Heads


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Here’s my point Sean. The chances of there being an informed and neutral debate (about the proposed park changes)within this community is zero. After the extensive, biased, one sided, and at times abusive, reporting and campaign of misinformation on this issue, undertaken by the FPG and the Echo, that is just not going to happen. As you and Patricia have demonstrated in your letters, anyone who is is neutral on, or supports, the changes is belittled and portrayed as being anti this community and/or having their own agenda. It’s a cheap shot and far from the truth.

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