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Byron Shire
July 6, 2022

SGB resident thrown out of Parklands meeting

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Stephen Nuske, South Golden Beach

On Saturday I attended a meeting at South Golden Beach “community” hall regarding North Byron Parklands’ application for permanency. My brother-in-law came with me. We have both recently purchased homes at South Golden Beach.

I am also employed by North Byron Parklands as Groundsman…not a political lobbyist, not a strategist of any kind…Groundsman.

After a short time, anyone who profits from NBP, or any of the events held there, was asked to raise their hand and consequently asked to leave. So I had to go, and my brother-in-law came with me, even though I had received an invitation to the meeting and am a property owner and pay rates.

I have since been informed that a number of the people at that meeting, including some of those who called for me to be thrown out, don’t actually live or own property in South Golden Beach. They were allowed to stay, yet I wasn’t? And this happened in the presence of a number of Byron Shire Council members who remained silent.

The thing that really struck me was the hostile and very aggressive manner in which the meeting was conducted. There was something incredibly ugly about it all and I’m now very glad that I didn’t take my children along as I was truly shocked by the way some of the people in that room behaved.

I’m not sure what happened after we were asked to leave but I can only image that there were calls to “build a wall and make NBP pay for it” and “make SGB great again.” Sound familiar?

 

 


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9 COMMENTS

  1. I was feeling sorry for you Steve until, “I’m not sure what happened after we were asked to leave but I can only image that there were calls to ‘build a wall and make NBP pay for it’ and ‘make SGB great again.’ Sound familiar?”.

    Sounds like a good call was made in the end.

  2. Stephen, you were asked to leave the meeting courteously and by a vote of hands. The unfortunate fact is that The General Manager of North Byron Parklands, Mat Morris attended, uninvited. It was felt by the majority, that, as it was a “community” meeting, Mr Morris should leave. The fact that you are a resident as well as an employee of Parklands created an unfortunate position based on the lack of trust that the majority of the attendees hold for Parklands and their development proposal.
    There were no calls for “walls” or whatever slant you wish to put on the meeting it was well run, informative and far from “aggressive”.
    Please understand that your neighbours, the community surrounding Parklands is alarmed about what your employers are planning, we have been ignored by The NSW Planning Department over the understandable concerns we hold. Please investigate for yourself and see if you really like what they plan for your new home.

  3. Stephen, the meeting was not limited to residents of South Golden Beach. It was sponsored by the South Golden Beach Community Association for residents in the area who are concerned about Parklands’ latest proposal to greatly expand the use of their festival site. South Golden Beach residents and others attended. Some people objected to the presence of Mat Morris (General Manager of Parklands) and the employees of Parklands who were there with him, while others thought Mr. Morris should be able to ask questions. The group voted to address questions to Mr. Morris, and he answered them. When people had no more questions for him, the moderator asked for another vote: Did the people want him to stay or not? The large majority voted for him and the other Parklands’ employees to leave at that point. The rest of the meeting was devoted to providing additional accurate information about the Parklands proposal, with reference to documents made public by Parklands and the Department of Planning, and to sharing people’s concerns about the development. People were firm in expressing their opinions because they feel very strongly about the negative impacts the development has had on their lives so far–impacts that they expect will be worse if this new proposal is approved–but it’s not true that the group was “hostile and aggressive” and children would not have been in any danger by being in the room.

  4. I nearly choked on my morning cup of chai reading Mr Arrowsmith’s statement regarding Stephen Nuske’s response to being ejected from a SGB meeting about North Byron Parklands. Mr Arrowsmith, with respect you should also have been asked to leave. As a property owner of glenwoodhomestead.com.au, you are personally profiting from Splendour ! In fact your website for the residence clearly states that ‘The property is within walking distance to The North Byron Parklands Festival site, home to Splendour in the Grass and The Falls Festival’. Walking distance? Your nightly rate over the Splendour week is the most expensive of the year. Maybe it’s time to address your moral compass Mr Arrowsmith when you are profiting on something that you are clearly so vocally against. You can’t have your gluten free cake and eat it too!

  5. LOL Byron Shire is full of self serving hypocrites. From the pseudo socialists of the Echo editorial team who thrive in capitalism’s greatest scam, real estate, and the ads they sell, to the undercover cops who deal drugs..a cesspit of corruption. Why should this issue attract anyone different?

  6. I am surprised that the letter heading suggests the Mr Nuske was “thrown out” of the meeting. A vote was taken and that was the outcome. As a councillor, I have to leave the chamber if something comes before Council that I have a connection to so there is no suggestion of a conflict of interest. This can be a pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest. There does not have to be an actual conflict of interest but if there is a public perception of it then it is up to me to make the call to leave if it has not already been pointed out to me. Mr Nuske did the right thing by identifying himself and leaving when he did — as Matt Morris and other NBP staff agreed to do. It was not directed at him personally and was not meant to cause distress.

    Saturday’s meeting was to talk about the issues affecting the community from NBP and the festivals and about formulating a response to it. It was not appropriate that staff should be there. To me it is a clear conflict of interest because those people derive a personal benefit from NB Parklands and have an interest in furthering the aims of NBP. People were wanting to strategise and share information about how to take action to control was they see as a major intrusion into their lives.

    Many residents of the Shire are aware of incidents in recent times where local people speaking at public meetings were hit with defamation suits by developers that cost them millions of dollars and exacted a great personal toll. The community has to trust that they can talk freely an they cannot feel free to express themselves whilst there are employees of Parklands there, however well intentioned they see themselves as being.

    Parklands hosted their own meeting the following weekend – which I understand was by invitation and not open to the whole community. Staff and representatives had the opportunity to speak to the community then.

    Whilst I understand that it was uncomfortable and perhaps distressing to be asked to leave, I think if, considered from the perspective of people there, one can appreciate why the community there took a democratic vote and determined it had to be that way. That the community voted the way they did is perhaps a reflection of the emotions associated with this issue and that there is not a good level of trust from residents towards NBP.

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