22.1 C
Byron Shire
May 16, 2022

Calls for Suffolk Park sports field to be gifted

Latest News

Interviews with Richmond candidates 2022: Independent Terry Sharples

Terry Sharples is a retired accountant living in the Tweed Shire and running as an Independent for the federal...

Other News

What happens after two years?

The recent floods have left many people homeless. Trying to address this problem, local councils have waived some of...

Transparency and open government 

Like Adrian Gattenhof (Letters, 13/4), I voted for Council candidates I believed would really represent the community interest and...

Vale Dr Karel Hromek

Karel found his soul place at Boogarem, the farm with the waterfall, in the hills of Mullumbimby.

Far from Common – much loved community space says farewell

For five years a warm glow has emanated from a small cluster of buildings and greenery near the Mullumbimby Showgrounds on Main Arm Road.

Health

I heard on the radio this morning (1 May) that a man spent ‘a record 48 hours’ in a...

Creating homelessness

Having lived for 80 years on Argyle Street with a history of family living from number 1 to number...

Renee Simone entertains Suffolk Park residents at Wendesday's Save Our Village Green rally. Photo contributed
Renee Simone entertains Suffolk Park residents at Wendesday’s Save Our Village Green rally. Photo contributed

While negotiations for Byron Shire Council to purchase Suffolk Park’s sports field on Beech Drive are ongoing, there are increasing calls for the land to be gifted, not sold.

It appears to have wedged local Nationals MLC Ben Franklin, who told The Echo he ‘strongly supports’ entering into purchase negotiations as he believes that ‘the goodwill of both minister Adrian Piccoli and Byron Council has led to a great outcome for the community.’

Mr Franklin was quick to lobby his National Party colleague to retain the land for community use after the NSW education department declared it surplus and scheduled the land’s auction for November 29.

Mr Franklin said, ‘Byron Council wrote to the minister for finance earlier this month stating that the property has an “estimated value range of $870,000 – $1,099,999” and that Council [would] be able to “enter into purchase negotiations” forthwith.’

Piccoli supports gift

But Byron Shire Council staff, local Greens MP Tamara Smith and Labor’s Walt Secord now support the land being gifted, not sold.

Remarkably the man responsible for the asset, eduction minister Adrain Piccoli (National Party), agrees.

Ms Smith told The Echo, ‘When I asked about the issue, minister Piccoli said to me last Thursday on the way into question time, and I quote, “Given that the government has made an extra five billion dollars from the poles and wires, we shouldn’t be ­selling off that land.”

It comes as an estimated 1,000 people attended a community rally to save Suffolk Park’s ‘village green’ last Wednesday afternoon.

A performance by local singer and mum Renee Simone had the crowd dancing and singing along to We are Family.

Speakers included community representatives and Byron Shire councillors.

Labor’s Walt Secord said that under the plan, Byron Shire Council has first option to buy the land, ‘but it does not guarantee it would remain in public hands.’

‘I fear that this is a trick. The Nationals should give the land to the community for a symbolic amount such as $10.

Mr Franklin also told The Echo ‘It is typical of a Labor Party who don’t understand the importance of sound economic management to all residents of NSW.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Releasing the chokehold on Australia’s water

What the trading of 40 gigalitres of water from the Barmah Choke means for the Murray Darling Basin.

COVID-19 update: May 16

The Northern NSW Local Health District says that to 4pm yesterday, 15 May, 384 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the District, including 82 positive PCR tests and 302 positive rapid antigen tests.

‘Unprecedented’ but not unpredicted – we are now suffering from our failure to listen to scientists’ predictions of the impacts of climate change 30...

As Australians head into another election season just as many parts of the east coast are recovering from ‘unprecedented’ flooding since February, and the national psyche is still reeling from the trauma of the ‘unprecedented’ Black Summer bushfires before that, it is critical now more than ever to vote according to your environmental conscience and fear for the future.

2022 Community Building Partnership Program

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin is encouraging local not-for-profit groups and councils to apply for their share of $400,000 in grants under the 2022 Community Building Partnership Program.