Cr Sarah Ndiaye, Byron Shire Council.
I saw Jan Barham’s article in The Echo in support of Byron Shire Council’s motion 9.3 on Brunswick Heads parkland and acknowledge all the points made; there’s been a lot of bad blood and great injustice. So why did I put forward a rescission motion?
I didn’t feel comfortable with the decision we made. The motion changed too much on the floor, and we didn’t discuss it or get legal or planning advice. I knew that it would have an adverse impact on our ability to negotiate the best outcome on the foreshore, especially for The Terrace.
Motion 9.3 was perceived by the NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust (NSWCHPT) as a deemed refusal, putting them in a position where to continue to operate they would revert to the previously approved 2014 Plan of Management (PoM) – while highly unpopular they have ministerial approval for it.
People have worked for years to get certain crucial aspects of the PoM changed. The 10m setbacks, unfettered access along the foreshore, smaller footprint, fewer beds, cabins off most of the foreshore, public access to launching areas, boat ramps and any other gains the community has fought for, like public playgrounds and extra parking, were all in jeopardy.
My alternative proposal does not approve the current plans for The Terrace and seeks to continue to negotiate for a better outcome with community involvement, but we do allow for the current plans for Massey Greene and Ferry Reserve to go on exhibition.
Please look at the revised maps (council agenda p5–8), remember back to original plans with boardwalks, tiny foreshore paths (where they had them), limited, timed access, cabins all along the foreshore, boat ramps only accessible through a boom gate and all the other absurdity. Tell me this isn’t a whole lot better, and that’s because people like you cared, protested, lobbied, had input, emailed, called, researched and invested your time and energy – and it worked.
The bitter pill we have to swallow is that, under the Local Government Act 2005, Council is unable to grant approval or impose any condition of approval that the NSWCHPT objects to without the minister’s consent. To lose what we’ve gained with legal action, in this instance, would not be serving the community at all.