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Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

Highway donga at Evans Head on hold

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The location of the proposed donga, adjacent to the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome. (supplied)
The location of the proposed donga, adjacent to the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome. (supplied)

The Richmond Valley Council has ‘stopped the clock’ on an application to build a donga village next to the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome.

The donga village is intended to house workers from the Pacific Highway upgrade in this region.

But the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome group, which fears it could spell the death knell for the airport, has roundly attacked the application.

Concerns have also been raised that the DA lacks technical information on such things as water supply, sewerage services, stormwater, telecommunications or social impact.

Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome president Richard Gates told Echonetdaily last month that the proposed donga, along with several other proposed developments being considered, could create a ‘pincer movement’ that would eventually surround the airport on three sides with housing.

‘Our concern is that there is to be a residential development so close to the aerodrome and that this “temporary” residential development will be used as a Trojan Horse for future residential development around the aerodrome,’ Dr Gates said.

Since then, Dr Gates said the Aerodrome Committee had received a letter from Richmond Valley Council chief executive John Walker advising that the council had ‘stopped the clock’ on the development application.

But the win is expected to be short-lived.

Dr Gates said the council had also indicated that once all the information was available the development application would be readvertised for a further 14-day period.

Dr Gates said his committee had been “irritated by the fact that such an incomplete application had gone for public comment”.

‘Not only does this waste our time but you have to wonder how much public money is being wasted through what is essentially a very inefficient process,’ he said.

‘We would expect an application to be complete before public comment is called for.

‘The community should not have to be doing council’s work for it.

‘In our view council should have insisted that all the necessary reports were to hand before advertising occurred. This is not the first time this has happened.’

Dr Gates said that despite the ‘stop the clock’ action by council those who were concerned about the proposal should still put in their objections by close of business today to Richmond Valley Council.

The DA is 2016.0022 and the email address for objections is council[email protected]

The Statement of Environmental Effects and related supporting documents from the DA are available on council’s website at:


Dr Gates said the DA application was not available online so anyone wanting to view it would have to visit the council’s offices at Evans Head or Casino.


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