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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Engineering fixes for coastline erosion are doomed

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Is Byron Bay in danger of being turned into Dubai Bay?

The coastline of the bay is facing a real and present danger from our current council. The majority of councillors, however well intentioned, are clearly voting to establish engineering solutions to beach and sand movements within the bay. This is demonstrated consistently in Council meetings and has reached a critical point.

This trend cannot be stopped by having a Greens mayor. He is just one vote amongst nine councillors. He has no veto.

The decision to build a rock wall on Belongil Beach is now being followed up with ideas for a series of beach groynes and to mechanically extract and pump sand from Tallow Beach across Arakwal National Park to main beach. What will be next? Infilling the bay for sand sculpting and artificial islands to create more real estate opportunities?

The last meeting of council demonstrated the farcical position we are now facing. Council could not even agree to the operation and composition of a consultation group as prescribed under the Coastal Protection Act 1979. Such a group would normally have representatives from coastal agencies, local aboriginal groups and community representatives to provide ongoing feedback. Both an amended proposal and original motion were voted down.

Where does this leave our coastline? In serious risk. The votes of the minority group of councillors who support natural management solutions for our coastline is not enough.

Decisions to be made by this council over the coming months will determine the shape and reality of the Byron Bay coastline for generations to come. People need to let councillors know their views on these matters before it is too late.

The time to act is now.

Cr Paul Spooner, Byron Bay

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  1. Paul, how much damage can the gang-of-five do before 10 September 2016 (the date for next local elections)?

    They must surely know that its going to be a 6-3 (or even 7-2) Council after the next election given the state election results, and wildly unpopular decisions such as West Byron. Why can’t the next Council just put a stop to this madness?

  2. Once again this is not the whole story, the last green council placed the last rocks on the beach in front of the first sun caravan park. this current proposal is only to replace the existing sand bags which are expensive to maintain and pollute the marine environment as they break down. Come on Paul, tell the whole story, you can do better!


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