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‘Flying saucer crashed into Byron Lighthouse’

Cape Byron viewed from the Byron Bay Surf Club 'looks like a flying saucer has landed', according to Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith. Photo contributed

Cape Byron viewed from the Byron Bay Surf Club ‘looks like a flying saucer has landed’, according to Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith. Photo contributed

Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith has lashed out at a new structure at the Cape Byron Lighthouse café describing it as looking like a flying saucer has crashed into the lighthouse.

That’s certainly how it looks in this photograph provided by an Echonetdaily reader, taken from the Byron Bay Surf Club.

The structure is designed to provide undercover seating for about 25 café patrons but Ms Smith says it was illegally constructed and she wants it removed.

‘I will keep coming back to the minister and just keep explaining that it’s not about whether you’re up there and say “on this is not that big a deal” it’s about when you look up from Byron at that iconic landscape and you see something that’s like a flying saucer,’ she told ABC radio.

‘I’m not giving up on it and I’m hoping that common sense will prevail,’ she added.

Cape Byron Trust mismanagement

In March this year, Ms Smith wrote to Planning Minister Mark Speakman to outline her concerns.

The undercover area as it appears from the cafe. File photo

The undercover area as it appears from the cafe. File photo

‘The management plan for the light station refers to low impact structures being permissible if they don’t obscure or intrude in any way on views to and from the site,’ Ms Smith wrote.

‘The briefing and photography included suggest that this awning is an intrusive structure that interferes with the view to the site; that it is not in keeping with the plan of management, and that mismanagement of the work by Cape Byron Trust may have occurred,’ she added.

‘Dr Donald Ellsmore DPhil FAPT, author of the Cape Byron Lightstation Precinct Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 2008, advised that in his view the structure is not consistent with the Conservation Management Plan and that he was not consulted about the new structure.

‘David Milledge, the co-author of the CMP stated publicly that the cafe development is diametrically opposed to what is written in the CMP.

‘A Review of Environmental Factors was conducted but it remains unclear who was consulted as the roof structure is not in line with the CMP. [I have] requested a copy of the REF formally from the Cape Byron Trust but they have not been forthcoming,’ Ms Smith wrote.

Liquor licence withdrawn

It’s not the first time the café has come under criticism in recent months.

An application for a liquor licence to serve customers up until 8pm each day was withdrawn in April after complaints from Arakwal co-managers of the park that they had not been consulted.

Echonetdaily understands National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff also had not been informed by management of the application.

And a former Cape Byron ranger has told Echonetdaily that the NPWS is ‘pressing ahead with plans to install a gondola’ within the park.

Given the cafe building is illegal, and the gondola is already being worked on as a done deal, the NSW government agency is running a very dodgy show at the top of the hill,’ he said.


6 responses to “‘Flying saucer crashed into Byron Lighthouse’”

  1. Alfred A Arnold says:

    I cant understand, It is a great talking point and if publicized it can become a great attraction for the community.
    Stop you winging and accept it.

    • Alfred. Mate. For a start – there are over 50 coffee shops in Byron Bay. Does Cape Byron need one? If it does, then it does NOT need to have a roof with big metal beams holding it up – that degrade the heritage values of the Cape Byron LH Prininct site. Over a million dollars has been spent restoring the site to its original state over the last 25 years. It degrades Arakwal’s dreamtime relationship with Nguthungulli (Julian Rocks), it degrades the 115 year old heritage buildings, and it degrades views to and from the site for the over 1 million people who come to both the Bay and the LH each year. The other part of the story is that because it breaks every rule in the heritage book, NPWS had to produce bogus documents to approve it. By signing off on what was known to be bogus documents, NPWS Managers have acted illegally. But approving this development without commuity consultation is illegal. So I am sorry, but it is 2016, and plenty of people are fed up with government agencies acting illegally to build something at the expense / lost of valuable heritage sites and the people nwho hold vlue to them. Of course you are free to not care. But sorry, that does not mean you are free to tell anyone they are whingers because they do.

  2. A Hewson says:

    Surely our politicians should be doing something worthwhile – like pushing for solar panels on the roof of this structure to power the cafe and other buildings – rather than running a critique on modern architecture.

    If the NPWS is pushing for a gondola as an easier option than upgrading it’s walking tracks – what a ridiculous idea the gondola is. Doing the lighthouse walk burns calories of those that walk the tracks – they should be upgraded and made safer for the ‘widening’ population!

  3. Joe says:

    Get over yourselves, Greenies. No wonder you’re all becoming known as the party with no real policies except stomping on people’s enjoyment and freedoms.

  4. Mullum Rush says:

    How about wind turbines up there too while we are at it! I can hear the wingers whoops was that whiners or whingers now.

  5. Bob Beale says:

    As a former employee of 18 years 17 at Cape Byron as Senior Field Officer responsible for Boating Safety and compliance it is of no shock to me to again see Management going it alone and not following Public Service procedures, it is how they removed me from my position 4 years ago.Time after time when bringing matters of non compliance to the Regional and Area Managers notice i was told to work within the confines of my position, as soon as i began taking the matters to Sydney i was transferred to the Murwillumbah Depot and from their forcibly retired. It is hoped the Minister takes a good look at these people before more embarrassment is suffered by National Parks staff diligently caring for the Environment and not part of this possible corrupt folly enacted by Senior Management.
    Bob Beale

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