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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Ready for commercial expansion?

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Henrietta Fraser, Ocean Shores

In answer to your headline last week: Ready for commercial expansion? – ‘No!’

I understand planning for the future, but to see large industrial, retail and business centres springing up is a further nail in the coffin of Byron as we want it.

Can we slow down? Chill out? What’s the other word? oh – cheer up? I’m feeling pretty grumpy about all this rapid expansion – look at Ewingsdale Road!

There are many other questions to answer before this one is posed to the long-suffering, ever-bullied community, such as, ‘Are all the commercial and retail spaces full in the existing industrial estates in the Shire?’; ‘Have all the empty shops been made more available for commercial activity?’; ‘Are there empty sheds and garages in private hands that could be leased out and subsidised for small, non-invasive commercial projects such as in food, plant, clothing or art production?’

Why is bigger thought of as better? There have been great small cottage industries happening here for decades, which supply a lot of our unique local homemade products and bring people to our shops and markets.

Rather than create large-scale industrial complexes, we need to use what exists and support the multitude of small creative enterprises that keep bubbling up locally.

Do we really want large-scale businesses to be attracted here because the large-scale industrial spaces have been built?

I decry the terminology, supposed to tug at the pocket-strings of job-seekers. Land should not be described as Employment Land. This description looks like a cover-up for what is a purely commercial development. Sure, some jobs will eventuate, but does Council think using the word ‘employment’ will sway us to see it more favourably?

The report isn’t out till August 9, but already it sounds suss to me. Many, many questions!

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  1. Yes we should be building solar panels and lithium batteries from materials mined in our shire . Why do we allow other regions and other countries to be mined with the resulting environmental destruction and we then buy the finished product ? No thought goes into those poor people living with a huge extraction mine in their shire and yet we live in a theoretical Green Shire that won’t allow mining or any environmental destruction! Talk about hypocrisy.
    And a huge steel and iron foundry so that we can build solar powered trains and buses .


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