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Byron Shire
July 31, 2021

Did Byron mayor lie over van park motion?

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Byron Shire Council’s decision to support NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust putting their development plans for Massy Greene and Ferry caravan parks on public exhibition but leave the Terrace for further negotiations reflects on how blind some of these councillors are. Not only does this reflect their naivety, indeed foolhardiness to think that the Trust, already well aware of the problems with both caravan parks, will make further amendments to the Machiavellian prepared 2014 Plans of Management (POM) but it is also discriminatory. All caravan parks should have come back to the table.

In August 2016 the Mayor successfully pushed through an ‘in principal support’ for the 10m setback in Resolution 16-464. I was later admonished for embarrassing him when I, at a Council Roundtable Meeting questioned him if, by default, he had agreed to all the other boundaries wanted by the Trust? He emphatically replied, ‘No’. Had he not agreed, then he should have embraced the Notion of Motion of the 20.4.17 which simply brought together a myriad of Council’s previous resolutions, indeed in which he was involved, and added to the Trust’s advantage, the formalisation of including 20,302sqm of the compulsorily acquired land at Ferry into the caravan park.

Instead, he vehemently opposed it and called it ‘mischievous’. Does this mean he lied when questioned about the ‘default position’ in the August 2016 resolution? Also, be aware of the implication in the Mayor’s latest blog in relation to the Terrace,’We will most likely achieve the 10 metre set back, either along the whole stretch, or the vast majority of it.”

So let’s look at what the August resolution means and which the Mayor referenced in debate in support of Cr Sarah’s Ndiaye’s Rescission Motion.

At Ferry, under compulsory acquisition 23,426sqm of land has been added to the Crown Reserve. Because of the volume of added land, both Council and the Trust in 2012 agreed that Ferry had to be considered as a ‘new’ park. As yet none of this land is in the caravan park because the Trust hasn’t got a s68 license from Council to include it.

The contentious bit is 3,124sqm of foreshore land which the community wants as shared open public space. The mantra we had to listen to was that the Trust has ‘given us’ more than a 10m setback when it need only have given us a 3m setback for unfettered public access.

What we do have in NSWCHPT’s development plans is land that is zoned predominantly 7(b) Coastal Habitat as an unfettered walkway. This is part of a koala wildlife corridor linking east and west of the bridge over the Brunswick River. Developers within the shire would understand this zoning prohibits development. Any setback should, at a minimum be taken from this zoning. Council, since its resolution in 2000 and repeated adnauseam has kept the contentious area outside the caravan park. Perhaps those supporting the rescission motion have lost sight of this fact!

At Massy Greene, the Trust by compulsory acquisition and transfer of land has added 4958sqm to the Crown Reserve. They intend to claim another 1300sqm of Council’s road reserve bringing the total to 6,258sqm. None of this is, as yet in the caravan park. The touted public open space in the development plans are predominantly outside their proposed boundaries and along the foreshore, 1200sq goes under water.

At the Terrace, the Trust has compulsorily acquired 4331.2sqm of land and added it to the Crown Reserve. Again, this is not yet within the caravan park. The Trust is proposing to give 765sqm of Lot 7005 back in the form of an unsuitably sited children’s playground made more so when another option is available.

Unless the Mayor can contradict, the aforementioned is the default position in his August 2016 resolution, which essentially has been given endorsement in the successful rescission motion of 25.5.17.





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