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Byron Shire
April 20, 2021

Residents group rejects Evans Head donga village

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Dr Richard Gates.
Dr Richard Gates.

Evans Head residents are calling on Richmond Valley Council to ‘stop the clock’ on a development application to build a donga village to house 400 Pacific Highway workers.

The Evans Head Residents for Sustainable Development community group said the DA was ‘grossly incomplete and lacked information critical for proper assessment by the public.

Group spokesman Dr Richard Gates said the DA provided no technical information about water supply, sewerage services, stormwater, telecommunications or social impact.

Dr Gates said it was also unclear whether the council was proposing to subsidise some of these services.’

‘These are all reports critical to the application and to understanding the effects the development will have on the community yet they are not available for public scrutiny.’

‘Until these reports are available the clock must be stopped on the development.

‘Once available, the DA should be readvertised for a full 28 day period as set down in the Minutes of council’s pre-lodgement meeting with the developer, not the current 14 days which is clearly insufficient time to assess this already complex issue.”

‘Current documentation is more than 350 pages in length.

Dr Gates said the land on which the donga is to be built is ‘not without controversy’.

‘The land was cleared illegally many years ago and there was never any prosecution. SEPP 14 Wetlands were affected by the clearing. It is our understanding that there was at least one senior staff council resignation at the time. We know that council staff were interviewed by investigators.’

Dr Gates said the land was not included in the council’s recent submission to the state government with regard to the North Coast Regional Growth and Infrastructure Plan- Changes to Future Urban Growth Boundaries nor was it included in the controversial Frank Sartor 2006 Far North Coast Regional Strategy or the Council’s 2007 Urban Land Release Strategy for Evans Head.



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  1. On top of the infrastructure and environmental issues the big question is what will become of the site, once the highway project is completed?

    My biggest fear is that it will end up as low cost housing. You know what that means? Without proper management and screening of tenants it will become a hot bed of crime and constant domestic disputes. Evans Head and Woodburn Police staff will have to be quadrupled. But that will not happen of course!

    I am sure some of the strategically placed businessmen will have dollar signs in their eyes which will blind them to the social consequences for Evans Head and surrounding areas.

    Low cost housing providers on the North Coast do not have a good record for keeping properties clean and presentable or maintaining good standards already in place.

  2. This guy does not represent the wider community. At a recent meeting at the Bowling Club (pretty sure Richard wasn’t there) there was an overwhelming feeling of what good this might bring to the town. The majority seemed to be for the development. Stop trying to halt Evans Head in it’s tracks. Very disappointed in Echo netdaily, again haven’t done enough research and trying to portray that it’s ALL of the Evans Head residents when it is a very small minority.


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