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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

Roundhouse trickery

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Byron Shire Council has its claws into the Roundhouse site again. Last year BSC went off half-cocked in an attempt to sell 11 blocks to raise money for its general deficit, but were halted by the information that the land is ‘community’ zoned and cannot be sold.

In a doorknock survey five years ago the huge majority (over 3/4) wanted this iconic land with 360 views to remain for community and public use. Some ideas proposed and designed were a cultural centre with art gallery, museum and coffee shop with native gardens, or a retirement home, a public park, a youth centre, a library, a theatre, a skate park. Everyone knows Ocean Shores has none of these, let alone a high school, police station, fire station, hospital. With an expanding population we desperately need public space, even if it can’t yet be developed for community use at the moment..

Now BSC plans to shed community zoning in a tricky sequence of reclassifications of the land.

According to Hilary Stone, Solicitor, ‘BSC intends to reclassify the land from operational to community and then back to operational. This is because BSC doesn’t know what the classification actually is and is therefore having a bet both ways.’

What sort of smoke and mirrors will council try next to wrest this beautiful hilltop away from residents?

Apart from this travesty, I am appalled at Phil Holloway’s comments (Echo Feb 25) suggesting that when Roundhouse blocks are sold, Waterlily Park, roads, drainage and sportsfields can be funded. Smells like a bribe, looks like a bribe…?  Do other townships have to sell assets to receive their road repair, toilet block maintenance,  repair to parks? Doesn’t Council fairly allocate rates and expenditure equally Shire-wide?

Public submissions are open at [email protected] before March 4. Everyone across the Shire is invited to support this community’s long-held wishes. Hoping the Council does too. After all, Councillors represent us?

Ri Fraser, Ocean Shores

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