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Byron Shire
June 20, 2021

Catholic church bid to buy section of Lismore road

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A map showing the proposed road closure. (supplied)
A map showing the proposed road closure. (supplied)

The Lismore City Council is considering closing a public road and selling it to the Catholic Church despite concerns from local residents.

The Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Lismore Diocese applied for the closure at the start of this year, and the council had given the proposal in-principle support subject to public consultation.

The Church wants exclusive use of a part of Brunswick Street which runs between Trinity Catholic College and parklands adjacent to the Wilson River.

The council published the proposal in its publication Local Matters in March, and received five objections from residents.

Nearby residents have complained that the road closure would result in loss of access to the parklands, and force them to access the park via the busier Orion and Dawson Streets roundabout, which channels all traffic from Bangalow Road into Lismore.

Concerns have also been raised about loss of access for emergency vehicles.

Despite those concerns, the staff recommendation to the councillors is that the road be sold to the Church.

The recommendation to be considered this evening would authorise the general manager to negotiate a market value sale price for the land, and apply to the state government for permission to close the road.

Stipulations of the sale include that the Diocese pay all costs associated with the proposed closure, and accept that the land would not have any building entitlements.

The council would also require mechanisms to be included in the sale, to the satisfaction of its solicitors, protecting the council’s interests should the land be deemed to be required as part of a proposed future river crossing in this vicinity.

The matter will be determined when the council meets this evening at 6pm.


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  1. What right has this nest of child abusers to close off publicly owned access and so prevent more scrutiny of their nefarious activities ? They have already destroyed the flow of traffic on Leycester and conned the public into footing the bill for that hugely expensive underpass for the exclusive use of the publicly funded private school. This is the most fabulously wealthy organisation operating in Lismore and so powerful, that it doesn’t even have to front Pell to the Royal Commission into their child abuse practices.


    • What is the possible connection between this article and the child abuse of some men, some of whom were religious and some of those Catholic? And unless it is relevant to the article why mention it? And what is the significance of the school being private and publicly funded – are we still living in the fifties and debating whether Catholic children should be entitled to a proportion of the money we provide for the education of Australian children? And why do you suggest Pell did not appear before the Royal Commission when his appearance before was broadcast over several days for all of us to see.

      • Petrus, there is a big huge significance between child abuse and and Trinity wanting to purchase public Council land. Trinity has had Marist Brothers in its ranks that have been child abusers. Look at the recent example of ex principal Brother Peter Pemble who was sentenced to prison. At least he had the sense to plead guilty. There are other examples including one Brother who skipped the country to the US and had to be deported to face the charges of abuse of primary school children. Don,t forget the faulty gate beside this road that killed a five year old.All this information is on the public record.

        Trinity should carefully look at the example of Canberra Marist Brothers school that opened a memorial to victims of child sexual abuse and apologised to them last night. Instead of spending money on a road, spend money on a memorial instead.

        • What I asked was the connection between the abuse and the issues around infrastructure relating tot eh school -and nothing in your response provides any connection. We know the background to the abuse and the poor handling of it by some in the church – none of that has anything to do with the provision of infrastructure to the benefit of pupils there now. The recent service and memorial in Canberra were commendable and received wide coverage in Canberra, but again what has that got to do with the provision of new infrastructure to benefit its pupils? I can appreciate peoples’ anger at what occurred but trying to punish the institution by interfering with the schools improvement is a pointless exercise that will be to the dis-benefit of and its current and future pupils. On the comment “Don’t they own enough land” Ii is a long standing tradition in Australia to denigrate the Catholic Church as wealthy landholders. Those that do conveniently forget that the Church provided an education to a around 30% of the Australian population for many decades at little or no expense to the Australian people, leaving Catholic taxpayers paying for the education of others in the public school system.- that is a debt that has never been repaid .

  2. Spot on Ken. Don’t they own enough land. They seem to have taken over this land anyway. Why do they now have to own it, and part of the park.!! Keep it in public hands and allow them to still use it. Enough empire building. Save the money to give to the thousands of victims of the church.


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