Jan Barham, Broken Head.
Congratulations community, a record number of submissions on West Byron mega developments.
Now we face the potential of losing our beaches, so it’s urgent to do another submission. This time it’s applications for rock walls at Belongil beach that will put at risk the future of our coastline. The five applications are being assessed by the NSW Coastal Panel. See the Byron Residents Group’s FB page for info on submission writing.
For over 30 years Byron Shire has had a policy of NO rock walls under the Planned Retreat policy. It was recognised that the coastline is threatened by cyclones, storms surges and sea level rise. We will not be able to hold back the ocean: erosion is inevitable.
The 1988 policy of planned retreat provided clear advice to landowners, prior to purchase, that there was a known risk from coastal erosion. It was part of the policy that homes were able to built back from the erosion escarpment but if the erosion came close, then the approval lapsed and relocation was required. The landowners have challenged council for decades, but lost so many cases.
The state government has always been required to be involved as the beaches belong to the people, held in trust by the state as Crown land. Together council and the state defended the planned retreat policy.
Over time, more councils and governments around the world have adopted this approach, particularly as climate change has become more real. So if you want to walk along the beaches of Byron and enjoy the right to access the public space that is the beach, then you must do a submission.
We must defend our right to protect our beaches and environment from the risk of degradation by a few landowners who don’t accept that they bought land with full knowledge of the risk. PLEASE take the time to do this, if this isn’t stopped then our other beaches could be subjected to rock walls too.
The beach is public, it belongs to all of us, it isn’t private, so hands off to landowners who think they have the right to take that away from all us.
No rock walls on our beaches!