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Byron Shire
August 9, 2022

Byron council screwed over hospital sewerage

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The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

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I refer to Echo story concerning the decision to connect the new hospital’s sewerage to the central system rather than construct an onsite disposal system.

I am concerned that council staff are reported as saying ‘The decision to connect to the sewer line was a Health Department decision’. This is quite misleading: Clause 45 of the LEP quite unambiguously says that unless ‘satisfactory arrangements’ have been made with Council for the disposal of sewage, development consent will not be issued. In other words the onus is on the developer to put up a proposal and Council has the final say; it is not a matter of the Health Department saying ‘This is how it’s gonna be’, as the reported staff comment implies.

I don’t write this letter primarily out of concern for what happens to Ewingsdale sewage, but rather as an illustration of a deep-seated knowledge void within Simon’s all-smiling council. The problem is that your elected councillors have absolved themselves of all responsibility for legal matters by delegating them to the GM to resolve, meaning that they are quite happy to grope around in the dark and rely on what the staff choose to tell them.

Recently the GM issued a press release lauding himself over the legal fees Council had saved over the past year! I suppose Ewingsdale developers will be similarly lauding him if, as Cr Dey clearly suspects, the Health Department installs sufficient spare sewerage capacity at taxpayers’ expense to warrant further private development at Ewingsdale.

I note that Ewingsdale developers had sufficient influence with roads authorities to ensure that the new highway is insulated soundwise with a massive earth embankment that must have cost many millions. This is unprecedented to my knowledge anywhere in Australia.

Fast Buck$, Coorabell


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  1. While constantly criticised by Buck$ the last council at least had a component that was constantly on the the staff’s case – and they hated it. The then GM departed with his tail between his legs largely as a result of this pressure. However, the real staff power component was left in place and any of the limited reforms (e.g. vehicle control) have long since been overturned. while the current crop of councillors live in a rosy haze of ignorance or black frustration. The Internal Audit Committee which should be on top of governance failures is nothing but a paid tea club assiduously examining areas where they are unlikely to find any thing of ‘interest’.
    While the progressive councillors fight the ascendant development junta the staff run the show as they please.
    And don’t be mislead into thinking the GM is the centre of staff influence.


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