The Byron Masterplan Guidance Group (BMGG), which oversees improvements to the town on behalf of Council, will now employ an official executive and publish formal minutes, which will be published on the group’s Facebook page and uploaded onto Council’s website.
It follows issues which arose late last year; Byron Shire Council staff were caught out when they tried to claim that the masterplan group had supported the removal of the Byron Environment Centre’s (BEC) rotunda from Railway Park.
This was compounded by the removal of several trees in the park by staff without warning.
The masterplan team insisted at the time that they had no knowledge of either plan, and in fact, are not an approving body for such works or decisions.
It’s also been confirmed that developer Graham Dunn is now no longer a BMGG member. His membership to the group was brought into question after he lodged a massive $23.18m mixed residential/commercial DA for the town’s CBD.
Meanwhile, BEC president and former councillor John Lazarus told The Echo he has been dissatisfied with Council’s transparency over the issues that plagued it late last year.
He said, ‘I have continually asked Council to demonstrate the actual alleged community input that has resulted in the extension of the “three” storey area, the extension of the CBD to Butler Street, the potential redevelopment of the pool, First Sun caravan park, Lawson Street carpark, and housing development behind the library.’
Council staff told The Echo that they will be looking to fill three positions on the BMGG in the coming months.
Members who are interested in joining the group will be required to apply through the council’s expressions-of- interest process.
‘There will be a specific focus on recruiting additional members that represent youth and environmental groups,’ they said.