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Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Councillor Ndiaye prefers fear-mongering over sound advice

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Cr Sarah Ndiaye’s response to my letter represents an abysmal lack of understanding about what the community is losing in what is proposed by NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust (NSWCHPT) for Massey Greene and Ferry caravan parks.

The councillor is invited to cross-reference the documents cited herein which were used in my original letter 22.12.17.

Plans of Management (POM) for the caravan parks on Crown Reserves determine the developer’s intentions. Once approved no DAs are required.

The 2014 approved POM generated substantive criticisms forcing amendments. At stake were disagreements between Council as representing the community and Crown Lands over operational boundaries and a range of compliance issues. As yet, amended POM have not gone on public exhibition and have not been approved by the Minister.

But it is the local Council under s68 of the Local Government Act (LGA) that sets the boundaries and conditions of operation for the caravan park within a Crown Reserve. This is Council’s powerful legislative tool called an ‘Approval to Operate’ (ATO). It is expected to be used by Council to keep the caravan parks in compliance with the LGA .

The community’s position on boundary and setback issues at stake in both Massey Greene and Ferry had council’s support until Cr Richardson’s led backflip 25 August 2016 (Res 16-464). This was aided and abetted by Cr Ndiaye’s rescission motion of 25 May 2017 (Res 17-184) and now supported by the resolutions of 14.12.17 to grant a 3 year ATO to the Trust.

Cr Ndiaye needs to read NSWCHPT’s glossy, Ferry Reserve Design Intent Report (C) 2017-01-17 page15 to begin to understand some what the community is losing:

(i) The operational boundary now adds compulsorily acquired lands, (worth well over $3m in 2012) including Council’s road reserve, Riverside Crescent and 50% of what was invaluable public foreshore parkland, leaving a 10m setback from the top of the rock wall. The community has lost 50% of it foreshore parkland and it brings into question the rehabilitation of the wildlife corridor which had been a requirement for the RTA to do following the Pacific Highway upgrade.

Caravans have been prohibited on the foreshore since 1972 when the park boundary was clearly established along the southern side of Riverside Cres, in the newly created Ferry Caravan Park. One would assume built structures ie cabins and camp kitchens would not be permitted on the foreshore either.  Previous BSC license agreements only allowed tents during Xmas & Easter holidays to elude the State’s legislative requirement.

(ii) The public boat ramp is on Crown Reserve but remains outside the operational boundary. Public car parking is to be provided but there are no public amenities. So if you want to ‘enjoy’ what remains of the foreshore park, share ‘The Common’ and use the ramp, BYO bucket for toileting!

NSWCHPT’s similar glossy on Massey Greenepage 17 reads:

(i) ‘3m wide path and 10m setback from top of wall to all permanent structures within the park’s boundary.’ There is no 10m setback along the length of the Brunswick River (northern boundary) as per any 17-184 resolution of Council.

(ii) ‘Tweed Street Reclamation – 1300m2 linear public open space’ is a gazetted road from which a 10m setback is required under s89 of the LGA. Instead, the Trust is relocating its operational boundary eastward and siting some of its cabins on the road reserve.

(iii) The ‘road’ leading to the proposed unpowered watercraft boat ramp on the western side of Massey Greene is not gazetted as a road. The Trust has taken advantage of this and located setbacks for its development proposals in varying widths with a minimum of 3m from its proposed boundary. Not only has the Trust taken the whole of Lot 7005 but it has extended its operational boundary westward of the Lot thus narrowing the strip of land along the foreshore. The POM has then allowed for a the ‘road’ to function as a narrow one-way access to the boat ramp, ‘river walkway’ and bay parking, ignoring proposals included in Brunswick Harbour Masterplan for this same strip of land.

  1. iv) The Trust is required to provide visitor car parking yet the POM appears to rely on a small section of Lot 7005 adjoining Tweed St that remains outside the holiday park for additional parking.

Cr Ndiaye only recently become involved with the caravan parks.

To my mind she has no historic context on which to base her decisions and appears to be ignorant of legal requirements of the LGA.

Her refusal to accept legal opinion and rely instead on fear mongering as a basis for decision making in public office is appalling.

For many in the community, who worked long and hard to retain invaluable public lands for public use, we have certainly lost far more than we have gained. Unfortunately, our loss has been led by the Green councillors who behave more and more like blind mice.

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads


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