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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Ballina Council roundup

Latest News

‘Hollywood’ drug squads over the top

I guess we have to thank Hollywood for the enduring myth that a black-clad squad of elite 'blokes', preferably with cool helicopters, from the capital are needed to crack down on really serious crime in hick parts of the country like Mullumbimby.

Other News

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: There is no place like home… actually there are no places

Local low income residents in Byron Bay are the human koalas of our Shire. They too have lost much of their habitat. We need affordable housing now, not in three years, or five years, or ten. Now.

Loveday wins All Shorts second year in a row

Filmmakers travelled from where COVID allowed this weekend to be part of the 30th birthday celebrations for Flickerfest in...

Cult Covid

John Scrivener, Main Arm A careful analysis of Cult Covid must clearly distinguish between four separate and distinct yet interconnected...

Ballina sludge a mixture of blue-green algae species

A reader has sent Echonetdaily some photos of what he described as 'something nasty and green coming down the Richmond River'.

True lies

Darren Hiller Smith, Mullumbimby May I present some scientifical facts to edumacate readers about how cons-piracy theorists manipulate stuff....

Police confirm Main Arm drug operation

NSW Police have finally confirmed what pretty much every one in Main Arm already knows – they are conducting drug operations in the north of the Shire.

Skennars Head development

Ballina Councillors deferred the decision on increasing the size of the commercial zone at the controversial Intrapac development at Skennars Head at their meeting on Thursday October 25. Staff had recommended the amended proposal from developers be accepted, however, Cr Nathan Willis moved to defer the decision with a view to decreasing the size of the commercial floor space area. Concerns over the increasing commercial space in the vicinity of Lennox Head was also highlighted by Cr Ben Smith and he noted the recent approval of the larger shopping centre by the JRPP at Epic and the potential impact on the Lennox CBD if too much commercial space was made available.

Mayor David Wright has since said he will be putting in a rescission motion that raised concerns with other councillors that the briefing will not go ahead leaving councillors in the dark.

Speaking to Echonetdaily both Mayor David Wright and Steve Barnier, group manager for strategic planning at Ballina Council, confirmed that the briefing will go ahead.

‘We want to make sure that it comes back to council quickly’ said Mayor Wright.

‘The briefing didn’t have a report time back to council and we want it reporting backing in November. I don’t want to cost the community any more money.’

The financial cost appears to stem from the case from earlier this year when Intrpac took council to the Land and Environment Court over a separate development at Cumbalum in West Ballina on the basis of deemed refusal (council didn’t make a decision on the development application (DA) within the prescribed time frame). The developers won the case and were able to go ahead with the development while the council was left with a million dollar bill.

However, Mr Barnier told Echonetdaily that the question that the council is dealing with is not a DA but a planning proposal and therefore they have ‘no appeal right’.

‘Their only option would be to refer the matter to the department of planning and to remove council as the decision making body’.

Asphalt plant and sand quarry

Council cannot prevent extractive industries anywhere in a rural zone or in a zone in which agriculture is allowed due to overriding state planning policies. The result being that council is also unable to reject an asphalt or concrete batching plant at an approved extractive industry site. Therefore, staff recommended amendments to the Ballina development control plans (DCP) to specify minimum buffer distances and Cr Parry’s amendment required the submission to call for an amendment to the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) to prohibit extractive industries within 1,000m of residential areas. This was supported unanimously.

Council amended the staff recommendation on the applications to be made to the Building Better Regions Fund, supporting the Airport runway improvement project of $20 million and the dual-laning of the Ballina town entry for $35 million, but adding a bid for the $7 million Lennox Head Village Renewal project.

‘I was delighted to get the support of councillors for this key project to help Lennox cope with the growth its is experiencing,’ said Cr Keith Williams.

Late in the agenda Council approved the project to replace all Shire street lights with LED bulbs with the proposal paying for itself within four years, Council allocated $750,000 toward the cost via an internal loan.


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Local fisherfolk caught in the parking fine net

FIsherfolk have been caught in the net of parking fines designed to stop travellers parking up for the night on the Tweed Coast Road and they are seeking help to access their beaches at night without fines.

Family Court scrapped

Despite overwhelming opposition from Australia’s family law specialists and advocates, the federal Liberal-Nationals government and cross benchers scrapped the Family Law Court and subsumed it into the circuit courts last week.

Cavanbah centre gets a taste of 3×3 basketball

The Byron Beez basketball team in collaboration with the U League hosted a 3x3 tournament at the Cavanbah centre at the end of January that attracted 30 teams.

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault acquitted

Magistrate Michael Dakin has ordered a common assault charge against a former Byron-based policeman be dropped after an altercation involving a naked youth in Byron Bay three years ago.