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Byron Shire
April 14, 2021

Belongil rock wall saga: do the ends justify the means?

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

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It is of public interest to learn that Lismore City ouncil has won the contract to dump 10,000 metres of rock at the Belongil.

I was not aware that councils can be commercial enterprises. I do not know if there were other tenders.

Eastern coastal foreshores are currently being brutalised by market forces, e.g. Brunswick and the Belongil. Hence, ratepayers/renters have the right to ask: does the end justify the means?

Yes, the ‘Belongil Rocks’ train-wreck saga is in process and the targeted rocks will no doubt create the controversial rock wall at the sensitive Belongil.

Needless to say many outstanding questions that require public clarification have been ignored by the dominant council faction, despite many requests for information being published recently in the Byron Shire Echo and Echonetdaily.

I ask again. What does ‘interim’ mean in relation to the placement of these rocks?  Are the houses built over the eroding coastal development zone legally approved by Council?

Concerning the issue of duty of care now residing in the lap of ratepayers, what legal protection exists for them when inevitably disaster strikes?

The train wreck began in Council when democratic representation and the subsequent outcome at the last council election revealed the deformed intentions of an elected ‘Clayton Green’ that saw greater rewards in joining forces with the hostile economic rationalists.

In so doing, democratic representation was perverted and so we inherited a dominant economic rationalist faction totally dismissive of seriously addressing any ecological imperatives or indeed creating space for an ecological voice.

A faction devoid of respect for country, expertise, vision, and indeed extremely hostile to same.

The haste underlying the placement of these rocks raises more questions than answers and has also meant the total dismissal of concerns articulated by the NSW Office of Environment and the NSW Coastal Panel.

If the above questions are not answered, are the ratepayers willing to pay for the sense of entitlement articulated by the properties that were originally issued with duty of care notices?

Should the few reap the public benefit from the many? Should vital infrastructures be ignored e.g. safe roads?

And finally does the end justify the means?  I think not. Let us raise the moral compass in democratic representation and demand transparency.

Why pay for personal/ecological repression?  Why deny our rights and the rights of foreshores to exist, to ebb and flow within the rights of their historical natural integrity.

Why contribute to the total loss of a sense of place?

Jo Faith, Newtown


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