It’s disappointing when a carefully penned letter does not make it into the pages of the Byron Shire Echo but at least there is a degree of moderation by editors balancing viewpoints.
Recent attacks on Facebook and the Telegraph against myself claiming the Byron Shire Council were acting on my requests is a worrying trend toward uninformed and cheap accusation, in this case garnering 400 followers which stopped council in its tracks. (Lord of the Flies Byron Style).
For the accusers and those who read Sunday Tele (Sun 10/12) I knew nothing of rocks being dumped and access restricted at the end of 7 Mile Beach Rd until it happened. It was a council decision.
I have been a driving force in the Broken Head Protection Committee since the mid 80s attempting to hold back the tide of development.
No Club Med on two sites at Broken Head, No Cape Byron International Academy on 7 Mile, the original caravan park saved from development under the Wran Government which described it as the ‘Crown Jewel of the North Coast’ before attempting to flog it off, Councillor Anhudie Wentworth (remember her?) sat in front of the bulldozer cutting a road to a back beach for Shirley Maclean to privatise the centre of the Broken Head Reserve. (A Nature Reserve has a higher ecological standing than a national park.)
Ongoing militant action for decades with local support but now visitors, both interstate and locals flog their way up 7 Mile Beach Rd with no consideration for the wildlife.
I have pictures of dead wallabies, there was the 3.5 python which used to lay across the road. There are other recreational users who would like to enjoy a walk or bike in the rare littoral rainforest without harassment by speeding vehicles. You can’t kill native animals on that road unless you are speeding.
Locals have been lobbying council for more rangers, coordination between agencies and appropriate education for several years. The recent media beat up and one sided Murdoch style campaign on the internet will only do more to destroy the area.
By the way all the ‘free shit in the bush campers’, you probably don’t know that the Broken Head Caravan Park is Arakwal Land, a major victory for the local Aboriginal people and worthy of support.
Ian Cohen, Broken Head