In an extraordinary show of bipartisanship, Lennox Head based Liberal MLC Catherine Cusack will MC tomorrow night’s meeting opposing a massive extension to a sand mine just outside the town.
The meeting will also be addressed by Nationals MLC Ben Franklin, Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith and Ballina councillor Jeff Johnson, all of whom have indicated they oppose the expanded mine.
A DA for the proposal from McGeary’s Quarries is currently on exhibition and will be decided by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP).
A spokesperson for the organising group, No New Sand Mining for Lennox Head, told Echonetdaily that Cr Johnson would speak about the role of council and the JRPP, Mr Franklin will talk about strategies on influencing the JRPP’s decision, while Ms Smith will speak on the importance of standing up for community.
Councillors can’t see staff report
Under a bizarre twist, the council’s official submission and recommendation to the JRPP is written by staff and submitted without first being made available to councillors.
‘The first they see of it is when it appears on the JRPP’s website,’ the spokesperson said.
He added the staff report could only be ‘on the merits of the DA and can’t refer to external issues such as amenity and community opposition’.
Ballina councillors have now agreed to prepare their own report on the issue but Echonetdaily understands they cannot use any of the staff who prepared the original report to do it.
‘Ballina Council has estimated it may take up the three months to wade through the massive report’, the spokesperson said.
Where & when
The meeting will take place at Lennox Head Community Centre on, Wednesday, May 9. at 6.00pm.