Dear GM

Jim Beatson, Byron Bay

I am calling on you as the general manager (GM) of Byron Shire Council (BSC) to review the workload and competency of planning and infrastructure staff. Apparently, staff reports fail to understand and act on the priorities set by Byron Shire councillors or community.

Since July: 1. BSC failed to have its two Council representatives attend the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) meeting to determine the Development Application (DA) for alleged private medical rooms on the intersection of Ewingsdale Road and McGettigans Lane. This was later approved by the JRPP.

2. The DA proposal on the corner Jonson and Browning Sts: planning staff’s report to the JRPP on this four-storey development recommended ‘approval’. During the meeting the JRPP members discussed the inadequate quality of the work undertaken by Council’s planning staff and lack of community consultation. The JRPP then refused the DA.

3.  Two West Byron DAs: Council staff accepted late applications from developers, leading to the matter’s being deferred.

4. Rezoning West Byron: staff’s proposed rezoning of West Byron fails. There is permission for over 1,000 dwellings and traffic and water issues remain unresolved. It ignores the proposed 20m setback from Ewingsdale Road. Deletes many current E-zones. The area reserved for koalas is reduced for more housing and fails to maximise retention of existing core koala habitat. It fails to meet the need to buffer the western Wallum sedge frog. Fails to protect coastal wetlands. Fails to limit development in flood-prone areas and SEPP wetland buffers.

Why do I pay rates only to have professional staff appear to act against the direction of Councillors the responses of community?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsors Brunswick Picture House and Billi Christmas Affair.