Byron Shire Cr Rose Wanchap, Byron Bay
Yes, the lady is not for turning. I did lurch but to the centre away from unfunded ideologies that have kept our shire locked down for two decades and kept our community living in shanties all over the hills and in sub-standard illegal granny flats and garages paying rents that cost them two thirds of their weekly income.
It will probably surprise many as it did me that The Byron greens party, when I joined had only 100 or so members. Of all the meetings I attended there would have been barely 10 to 20 members turn up. A few members dominated those meetings. Of a shire made up of some 30,000 people, to have policy being made for all of them by a handful of old school radicals is in my opinion a travesty.
It is true to say that very few members or indeed the wider public actually had a true understanding of what planned retreat meant. I soon learned very quickly that planned retreat was actually a planned “assault” on a whole suburb where by some 30 to 40 homes along the ocean front at Belongil would be ordered under planned retreat to remove their existing protective rock walls that have been there for 20 to 30 years and allow their homes and land to fall into the ocean.
It is a sad reflection of our local medias reporting on the recent storm that the Manfred st rock wall failed. Without that wall we surely would have had homes dangling into the ocean. We would surely have had a breech between the ocean and the estuary. With some 30 or so homes cut off, maintenance workers would have been ferrying those at risk across to safety. Yes! the wall was an amazing success and just in the nick of time or else our shore line would have looked like Collaroys and cost millions of dollars to reinstate instead of just a few thousand dollars to replace plantings.
The cleanup would be in the millions and we would be asking for a hand out from the state to help us.
The Planned Retreat policy advocated for by the far left comes with a $40M price tag as per the Cost Benefit Analyisis and is financially irresponsible. No matter how you look at it, it is truly the dumbest idea I have ever heard. I could never be part of pushing our council and ultimately the rate payers of this shire into a $40M debt. A clear and sure path to bankruptcy and amalgamation.