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Byron Shire
July 27, 2021

Byron mayor in cahoots with holiday park trust

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Michele Grant, Convenor, Foreshore Protection Group.

We witnessed another standout performance from mayor Simon Richardson as he boldly handed over the last piece of disputed land in the southern area of Terrace Reserve to NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust (CHPT) last Friday.

After berating community members for attending the consultation meeting without an invitation, the mayor enthusiastically endorsed CHPT’s latest ‘revised’ plan for Terrace Holiday Park.

CHPT propose a 7m setback for public access along the riverfront with camping to continue 24/7 amid the memorial pine trees between Nana and Tweed Streets. Fencing will encircle the vulnerable pines to help protect them from park activities. An additional 6m of road reserve land has already been retained for public use along Terrace roadway, so the overall width of land available for camping is reduced by 13m, which will limit the number and size of camp sites permitted in the area.  

The fate of the dodgy ‘temporary’ toilet block remains to be seen. Apparently there will be DAs submitted for proposed new works, so new ablutions and the number and size of cabins and other proposed structures can now be reviewed before they’re erected onsite.

Permanent dwellings are to be shifted back the required 10m from the riverbank and it appears that most long-term tenants will remain on their existing foreshore sites. In some areas the path will be squeezed to a 3m setback, owing to lack of space or issues with relocation which have yet to be resolved.

That’s part of the outcome from our 20 years of ‘consultation and negotiation’ with Council and park management to address contentious park boundaries, public access, compliance and amenity issues.

It’s bittersweet – poor management practices are rewarded, vulnerable encroached lands aren’t rehabilitated and saved from ongoing degradation or transformed into parkland, but given over for commercial activity. The big achievement is management and park residents will now comply with setback regulations to enable the reinstatement of public access along Simpsons Creek.

The big disappointment is the buffoonery from the mayor, who trashed his relationship with the community in order to enhance his status with his new friends at CHPT.

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