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Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

Cr Hunter’s move will hurt Byron ratepayers

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Cockroach climate

The cockroaches in the Byron Council offices are experiencing bright daylight at night. They are trying to determine whether...

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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Shopping Centres Scare Me

I feel trapped. There isn’t a single time I attend where I don’t check my proximity to the exits, or imagine what I’d do if there was a fire, or worse, a shooter. The sense of being enclosed is unnatural, I can’t tell what time of day it is, I lose my sense of direction. It’s designed to be disorienting. It feels otherworldly. And never in a good way. They are designed to make you stay longer. They are by design, disorienting.

Grand opening in Casino on Saturday

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Musicians and MLC support the save Wallum fight

As the drama unfolded between police and protesters at the Wallum Development in Brunswick Heads yesterday, people were drawn to the site by the red alerts sent out by the Save Wallum organisers.

A festival in laneways

Mullumbimby, a town known for its abundance of artists and creatives with a passion for what drives them, is set to host the much-anticipated Laneways Festival 2024 on May 4 and 5.

Ballina Greens announce ticket for 2024

Aiming to build on their two existing councillors, the Ballina Greens have announced their team of candidates for the upcoming Ballina Shire Council elections, set for 14 September this year.

WATER Northern Rivers says Rous County Council is wrong

WATER Northern Rivers Alliance says despite decades of objection, Rous County Council have just commissioned yet another heritage and biodiversity study in the Rocky Creek valley, between Dunoon and The Channon, in the heart of the Northern Rivers.

Bloodied but unbowed! After the almost unanimous rejection of his 2016 Development Application for his mega-mini-storage complex by his fellow Byron shire councillors, the worthy Cr Alan Hunter strikes back with an appeal to the Land and Environment Court against the decision.

In a tactical master-stroke he simultaneously lodges an Application to vary the Conditions attached to the Approval for the mini-mini-storage complex which he is currently operating. The point being that the  original DA had a two year ‘sunset clause’ attached to it which he now wants removed from the Consent Conditions to allow this activity to run indefinitely without the scheduled September 2017 review. confused yet?

In a saga that has been running for almost as long as that great Australian production ‘Blue Hills’, this latest two-pronged assault will, of course, now consume vast amounts of council staff time, payments to independent consultants and, in the case of the Land and Environment  Court case, briefing of Council’s lawyers, all of which cost is borne, in one form or the other, by the ratepayers of the shire.

To cap it all off, we now have the absurd situation where one of our elected representatives is  in an extended legal battle with the very council he is a member of, conducted by that body’s permanent staff and funded by the same people who re-elected him to office less than twelve months ago! So much for fiscal discipline and the careful management of council’s financial and human resources.

I note that, much to the chagrin of his ‘long suffering neighbours’, a steady stream of pantechnicons, cars/trailers, utilities and vans is still parading down Pinegroves Road towards the complex of sheds which the councillor has repeatedly asserted are ‘farm sheds’ and which, in fact, form the centrepiece of the DA which was rejected last year and will now be considered by the court.

This is, of course, commercial activity for which no consent is currently in place but council staff, when challenged on this subject, have advised local residents that council’s policy in these matters is not to enter into enforcement action while a Development Application covering the activity is in process.

Nice work if you can get away with it, Alan.

Graham Mathews, Pinegroves Road 


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1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks Graham, this is a very accurate synopsis of the situation. Australia is still subject to the colonial mentality that saw its creation / demise starting 240 years ago, where the elites get away with murder or its equivalent. I wish the Pinegroves community strength and I send you my support, as an Australian with their eyes open.

    I also think the rum corps still rule in Sydney, as demonstrated by Eddy Obeid & Co, then more recently by Baird resigning from Premier for a more lucrative career. Yuk!

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