Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay.
It is no wonder that people are disillusioned with politics as it does not matter who we vote for because nothing changes.
After all our efforts to get a better outcome for West Byron our justified concerns were ignored by the government when they inserted the developer’s grandiose plans into our Local Environment Plan. The Nationals and Liberals displayed their contempt for environmental issues and community concerns.
In the lead up to the March 2015 NSW election the National Party gave in to community protests and restored Byron Shire Council’s right to prepare its own Development Control Plan (DCP) for West Byron. Despite this token gesture the Nationals were booted out and The Greens won Ballina.
Council then came up with a shocker of a DCP which basically rehashed the developer’s proposal without addressing the numerous concerns raised by the community regarding traffic, Acid Sulfate Soils, water quality, fill, Koalas, Wallum Sedge Frogs etc.
So in September 2016, again partially because of West Byron, the community threw out the red-necks from Byron Council and ‘progressives’ swept to power.
So here we are almost nine months later and we still don’t have a DCP. The Greens and ALP have proven no better that the Nationals. The minister has even threatened to take the decision on the DCP back from council because they seem incapable of delivering.
Meanwhile Villa World have completed their Development Application, which is due to go on public exhibition on June 8 for five 5 weeks. It covers around a half of the low density residential zone and is for some 288 lots, many of which will comprise multi-unit developments, with some lots up to 3,300 square metres (blocks of flats?).
Villa World’s DA will be determined by the Northern Region Joint Planning Panel rather than the council. With no DCP, they will just rubber stamp it. The community have been denied our only remaining opportunity to have a meaningful say on the future development of West Byron.
We changed our state member and our council, but what are our newly elected representatives doing about West Byron? Bugger all. They should be ashamed of themselves.