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April 13, 2021

Mismanagement puts public lands at risk: Bruns forum

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Calls for a parliamentary inquiry to review the current mismanagement of public lands was one outcome from a recent meeting held in Brunswick Heads.

Greens MLC and former mayor Jan Barham facilitated the meeting, and said a range of community representatives highlighted how the mismanagement of public lands is at a ‘desperate point that hasn’t been experienced for over 20 years.’

‘It was shocking to hear from the representatives about the lack of community consultation and protection of our social, natural and economic environment,’ Ms Barham said.

The forum heard presentations about coastal management, biodiversity, forests, Brunswick caravan parks and foreshores and Aboriginal land claims.

Lack of community input

John Corkill, a former Coastal Council member, outlined the state of play in relation to coastal protection and identified the lack of community input to the Byron Shire Council’s move to build a rock wall at Belongil and called for the government to intervene to prevent the works.

Also at the meeting, Brunswick Heads Progress Association president, Leonie Bolt, said the community did not support the current harbour and foreshore works. A Brunswick community meeting adopted a resolution that calls on the NSW government to suspend the Plans of Management pending a review and investigation into the process of their preparation.

Harbour dredging

‘The lack of regard for the community views puts at risk the character and future enjoyment of the Brunswick Heads village for residents and visitors. The dredging of the harbour has proceeded without the appropriate consultation with Aboriginal representatives and has not clarified the long-term management issues,’ said Ms Bolt.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith (Greens) and Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson (Greens) also took part in the meeting. The next meeting will be held at the South Tweed Community Centre from 10am, Saturday August 29.


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