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Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

Belongil landowners sue independent coastal panel

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The NSW Coastal Panel, an independent body of experts who advise the NSW government on coastal matters, is being taken to court by Belongil landowners after it rejected recent plans for rock walls.

The hearing has been set for September 17 at the Byron Local Court, and will follow a site inspection at the street entrance to Old Jetty Park, opposite 35 Childe Street, Byron Bay.

It’s the latest in a long running series of court actions by the beachfront landowners, who are seeking to protect their properties from erosion with rock structures.

Yet placing rocks or hard structures on beaches is a contentious issue owing to their eroding beaches over time.

The Echo understands that their rock wall DAs do not guarantee that the world-renowned surfing beach would not erode over time.   

The NSW Coastal Panel comprises Emeritus Professor Bruce Thom AM (chairperson), Dr Kate Brooks, Jane Lofthouse, Angus Gordon, Annelise Tuor, associate professor William Glamore and associate professor Ron Cox.

The Echo has previously reported that almost all of the Belongil landowners who submitted their DAs do not live at the properties and are some of Australia’s wealthiest individuals.

If you wish to make an oral submission to the court on September 17, you can notify the NSW Transitional Coastal Panel (no later than August 31) via email at [email protected] or by phone on (02) 4927 3184.

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  1. The Belongil landowners have missed an opportunity. Why not club together and register themselves as a job service provider company? That way, they can recruit the unemployed to build their seawall. The trick is to give the unemployed an extra twenty dollars a week for bus fares and call it a training program. When the seawall is finished, these unemployed people can be subcontracted to a US company in order to work on the Mexican border wall.

    By the time that particular wall is finished, several of the more greedy unemployed participants will have set up their own job service provider companies. Soon enough, these go getters will be enlisting unemployed people to build more walls. Perhaps around suburban houses or even whole towns. This way, when sea levels rise, the world will be ready to protect the private property of rich people. Which, as the court claimants of Belongil know, is the core principle of our legal system.

    • That’s so funny. With the right kind of government incentives the perpendicular walls of ‘Belongil Keep’ could rise 10m from the sea, and the much-loved feudal system could rise again from the coastal marshes… an army of job service providers and barristers building castles throughout the land like the band Alfred the Great led from the marshes of Somerset.

  2. He he! Sabrina, I recall that in the1990’s there was a work for the dole program that did do some sand bagging and planting work.

  3. Hi,
    Australian Coastal Walls is still able to help with a tried and proven system that is used all over the World. It is now available right on your Australian doorstep.
    It has been tested for Australian conditions by a division of the NSW Government, namely Manly Hydraulic Laboratories who found that it would easily handle a ” Once in a hundred year event” You can’t do much better than that and it also completely out performs sandbags and rock walls. The Shire has tried both and been relatively unsuccessful with high maintenance costs.

    Something to think about ?.


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