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Byron Shire
April 25, 2024

Rate rise amid fears of amalgamation

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Blockades continue as councillors wave next Wallum certificate through

A second subdivision works certificate for the Wallum estate was signed off by a majority of councillors last week, who again argued that they have no legal standing to further impede an approved development.

Other News

Wallum ponds

There are currently two proposed developments in the Byron Shire that will endanger, if not locally exterminate, frog species.  Many...

Anzac Day events in the Northern Rivers

Around Australia people will come together this Thursday to pay their respects and remember those who have served, and continue to serve, the nation during times of conflict. Listed are details for Tweed, Ballina, Lismore, Byron, Kyogle, and Richmond Valley Council areas.

Funds sought to complete clubhouse

Byron Bay Football Club may finally get the funds to complete its new clubhouse, with Byron councillors to consider loaning the club $200,000 at this week’s meeting.

‘No-one ever came back but all reports indicate it’s lovely,’ and so begins this wickedly funny play about death and motherhood. Directed by the Drill’s accomplished artistic director, Liz Chance, Ghosting the Party tells the story of three generations of women who face questions of mortality and life with rigour, honesty and humour.

More Byron CBD height exceedance approved

Two multi-storey mixed-use developments with a combined value of $36.2 million have been approved for the centre of Byron Bay, despite both exceeding height limits for that part of the Shire.

Waterlily Park weed control underway 

The reintroduction of weevils that have previously kept weeds at bay at Waterlily Park in Ocean Shores is now underway while the weather is favourable, say Council staff.

Council road crews regraded the gravel surface of the busy Minyon Falls Road recently after  rain caused more ruts and potholes.
Council road crews regraded the gravel surface of the busy Minyon Falls Road after rain caused more ruts and potholes.

Byron Shire Council has forged ahead with the Special Rates Variation (SRV) amid fears of amalgamation at Thursday’s council meeting. The SRV is primarily aimed at fixing the Shire’s roads.

Following comments from the public that were against the rise, councillors took around an hour discussing how the increase could be reduced for residents and the possibility of the burden being more equitable with tourist operators sharing more of that cost. 

Councillors called into question their commitment to transparency when nominating a new member to the Regulatory Working Group (RWG) for North Byron Parklands festival site at Yelgun. Councillor Alan Hunter called the process ‘sloppy,’ in nominating a third member of the RWG. Cr Paul Spooner pointed out due process had been done in nominating the two sitting community members and both opposed the motion. 

The appointment was supported by the Yelgun progress association said Cr Cameron.

While  there was no mention of alternatives, the obvious solution was to call for a tender for the third the position in the RWG.

Councillor Basil Cameron with the support of all other councillors – Cr Hackett absent – went ahead with the appointment. 

Councillor Hunter’s development application (DA) before council was refused with Crs Hunter and Spooner declaring a conflict of interest in the DA. Councillors voted to let the trail period of his current DA run to its end and consider the review of the overall operations required at that point.

Having looked into the support for evening council meetings, Cr Sarah Ndiaye proposed that two meetings be held in the evening over the next year to facilitate broader community access. This motion was passed with Crs Hunter and Jeanette Martin opposing. These evening meetings will take place on February 23 and August 24 at the Mullumbimby council chambers. 

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  1. Amalgamation fears are real for some people, but unfounded. An infrastructure backlog has not been a reason for the state government to declare a shire not fit for the future. Council passed the last audit with flying colours without a massive rate rise. The assessment summery says ” In achieving these results, the council relies on efficiency savings as well the successful application for an adoption of a special variation from 2016-17 of 22.5% cumulative over 4 years (13% above the rate peg)” Where has this official option been canvassed to the residents of the shire?


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