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Byron Shire
September 25, 2022

Cr Rose Wanchap responds to her critics

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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.



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  1. I was at the intersection of Childe and Shirley behind two cars, a red P plate driver and a “hippie van” complete with all the cliches you can imagine including the dreads. The P Plater was having trouble getting across the intersection as the town bound drivers refuse to slow to let anyone across (note: fatal accident waiting to happen). The driver of the van sat on his horn 4 times and must have caused intense stress on the young driver. I was one step away from walking out and physically stopping traffic for the panicked driver when a gap opened and he/she was able to proceed.

    It struck me as a metaphor for some people who scream the cliched epithets without using logic and reason. Good on you Rose for providing rational and reasonable policies on how to take the planning mistakes made in the past and balancing that with current needs and new and positive direction for the future. Ignore those horns and proceed carefully and responsibly. You have my vote.
    Now, back to my rainforest regeneration project.

  2. Rose

    Not for turning?

    What about the u turn on your strident and often repeated opposition to paid parking? As, for example, reported by the Echo on July 1st 2015.

    ‘Cr Rose Wanchap made an impassioned speech [against paid parking], warning of empty shops if this were to go ahead.’


    Your support for the introduction of paid parking has made life immeasurably more difficult for many of those that you describe above as …’ 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.’ A lot these people are ineligible for a parking permit and cannot afford hourly parking fees.

    Paid parking has also harmed several small bushiness.

    In addition, it is hard to imagine how building an expensive rock wall to protect a handful of million dollar houses will help poor people living in garages.

  3. S Cantril,

    Tree planting will enhance the value of your real estate.

    But it does not confer legitimacy, coherence or logic on your utterances .

  4. Rose, if your behaviour has been so honourable, and your judgement so sensible, I expect to see you standing for re-election in September.

  5. Rose, shame on you for spending public money fighting the unwinnable battle against the physical forces of the ocean and rising sea levels. I hope you and your offspring live to see the now inevitable flow of the ocean over the areas you seek to protect.. Maybe those waters will then be able to wash you clean, because what you have done in the course of your defection is really dirty…

  6. Good on you Rose. Saying it how it is, while sensibly making the hard decisions – without resorting to easy populist politics or buying into the games played by your opponents. We don’t need people following party lines, we need people using good judgement to make good decisions given all the facts and information available at the time. And yes, there would be nothing dumber than planned retreat… A totally moronic idea which has no beneficial outcomes for anyone. It would send the community broke and turn Belongil into a rubbish dump.

  7. David,

    Good on Rose for saying how it is? That’s a good one.

    It is risible to see Rose represent herself as an advocate for those in the community that live, as she puts it, ‘…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.’

    Give it up David. Watching you defend the indefensible in order to protect your risky Belongil beach real estate investment is excruciating.

  8. Rose and David’s talk about ideology is very interesting.

    A corollary of David and Rose’s comments is that their own world view is natural and value free. When in point of fact, David and Rose’s world view’s are deeply ideological. For example, in relation to real estate, David and Rose’s most cherished ideals are the product of the three great bourgeois revolutions. The English Civil War in 1649; The North American Revolution of 1776; and the model case of for a bourgeois revolution, the French Revolution of 1789.

    Now it may surprise Rose and David to hear that although we enjoy 21st century technology, we inhabit a 17th century social system. But this is indeed the case. For more information, David and Rose could read the excellent introductory text entitled Australian Sociology 4 by David Holmes (2015). This text will assist them to be more self-aware, better informed and stay up to speed with the conversation.

    • Pete, you do not know the first thing about my values or world view, or how ‘self aware’ I am. How judgemental of you to assume that just because I live at Belongil and defended a Councillor for making her own decisions (and standing up to ignorant bullies) that you know anything about my values.

      And Blake, this is not about defending a ‘real estate investment’. I am right across the issues and my home doesn’t need defending from the ocean or the law, only from bumper sticker activists who don’t understand the issues and don’t want to hear the truth.

      Have you got anything to contribute other than personal attacks?

  9. David,

    Sadly, your support for Rose opens a window on your values. For as Tom Tabart (who endorsed Rose as a Greens candidate) wrote in the letter of apology dated 9th June 2016 ‘In leaving the Greens and joining the pro-development faction early in the current term of Council, Rose Wanchap destroyed the political model voted for in 2012 by the Byron electors and enabled decisions contrary to their clearly expressed values’.

    Rose, who is a real estate agent, justifies her actions by stating that Greens meetings were poorly attended. Yet disengagement is a hallmark of contemporary politics. Moreover, it is generally acknowledged that as a consequence of this disengagement sociopaths are able to gain political office.

    After the 1980’s, in order to garner more than 50% of the popular vote (at both local and national levels), such right wing sociopaths have increasingly put individual profit and property rights before the public good.

    David, the book I have recommended will sociologically contextualize these historical processes for you. This is but one way the recommended reading will help you to be more self- aware and locate the ideology which underpins your own world view. Through this self- reflexive process, you will be better equipped to stay up to speed with the conversation surrounding the building of an expensive sea wall to protect a handful of multi- million dollar houses at Belongil beach in an area zoned for demount-able dwellings e.g caravans.

  10. Well there must be egg on some of the councilor faces in council lately , the rock works at Manfred st Belongil was a huge success and no matter how much your argue it is certainly now a fact , it did what it was designed for , it worked well .
    Well done to the engineers whom worked on that project and just in time too and especially those councilors whom let common sense come forward ., you certainly got my vote if you run again .


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