Proposed workers village at Evans cops more flak

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 Evans Head Aerodrome Committee is calling on the Richmond Valley Council to either withdraw or reject an application to build a worker’s village adjacent to the Evans Head airport.

With submissions to the application closing on Wedneday, the committee’s president Dr Richard Gates described the proposal as ‘inappropriate’, saying it would compromise the future use of the aerodrome, and impact on the local environment.

Dr Gates has also accused the council of altering minutes relating to the proposal.

‘In the initial application Council pre-lodgement minutes from the June 2015 meeting between Richmond Valley Council and the proponent states that ”Outback Camps has been engaged by the Pacific Highway (Woolgoolga to Ballina) project builder to investigate and instigate accommodation for future highway construction workers at two sites, one at Evans Head…….”

Dr Richard Gates.

Dr Richard Gates.

Dr Gates said there was ittle doubt in the minds of the public that NSW Roads & Maritime and Pacific Partners had initiated the Outback Camps project to accommodate fly-in, fly-out highway workers.

However, after asking for confirmation from the highay upgrade project builder, it turned out that the proposed village is a private business venture, with no guarantees that highway workers would be accommodated.

The revised development application that has been on display makes no mention that the minutes were amended, although the change is mentioned in an attachment to the DA.

Other concerns raised by the committee focus on the impacts that the proposal would have on the aerodrome and the surrounding environment.

Dr Gates also claims that the current proposal is a ‘Trojan Horse’ for future residential development on the site.

‘It is an inappropriate development for Evans Head and will compromise the future use of the State Heritage Listed Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome and our precious environment on which we depend,’ Dr Gates said.

‘Given the unsatisfactory nature of council processes and the problematic revised DA my committee is now taking this matter elsewhere.

‘Previously we obtained independent advice from a specialist town planner in Sydney about this matter. The resultant submission to council has been completely ignored.

‘The consultant asked that they be kept up to date but were not extended the courtesy of advice about a revised report nor did council provide any reply to the cogent criticisms of the consultant.

‘Not good enough.’


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