11.7 C
Byron Shire
June 14, 2021

Mayor claims coastal management plan derailed by Belongil landowners

Latest News

Gambian: ‘State budget must encourage uptake of electric vehicles’

The Nature Conservation Council has launched a campaign to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in NSW, with a video and a petition.

Other News

Interview with NORPA dancer Alice Misty Boscheinen and writer and performer, Kate McDowell

When Alice and her support worker Kate venture into the forest for the night – the shapeshifting Dingo is ready for them. Into the Forest is a magical theatre experience performed and devised by dancer Alice Misty Boscheinen with writer and performer Kate McDowell, who is also Alice’s support worker off the stage. Directed and devised by NORPA’s Artistic Director, Julian Louis, Into the Forest explores themes of caring, independence, friendship and fantasy.

Power Pair Claim New Table Tennis Trophy

The Byron Bay Table Tennis Club held their inaugural mixed doubles tournament last week at Newrybar Hall and declared Ian Evans and Janice Best champions, after they won three from three matches.

Celebrating 35 years of The Echo

The Echo Awards, held every five years, was a great success on Wednesday night as it celebrated 35 years of local independent journalism in the Northern Rivers and the community that have supported it throughout those times.

Byron Golf Clubs Crowns New Ladies Foursome

Kerry Lollback and Joan Neate will have their names added to the Byron Bay Ladies Foursomes Champions board after winning the 27-hole championship held at Byron Bay golf Club.

Independence key?

Christine Willmot, Sunrise Thanks Echo, for getting worthy successors for the Mungo Comment space. Margo Kingston, for instance, in a recent...

Three men stabbed in Goonellabah

Police say a man has been charged and will face court, while three men remain in hospital following an alleged stabbing yesterday.

Belongil Beach, Rock Wall. – Photo Mary Gardener

An urgent meeting with the premier on coastal zone management has been requested by mayor Simon Richardson to clarify a government backflip on Byron’s Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP).

Council’s latest attempt in the long-running saga of establishing a strategy to manage Byron Shire’s coastline was to exclude Belongil Spit from the plan.

Yet despite Council’s latest CZMP being endorsed by the state government, the mayor claims they were ‘over-ridden following lobbying from landholders of properties at Belongil Beach.’

Legal uncertainty

A Council staff report tabled at the Coastal Estuary Catchment Panel meeting on November 29 outlines the issues raised.

The report says Belongil Beach landowners are dissatisfied with Council’s decision to ‘separate the previous CZMP BBE (2016) into two locations and develop a newly formed plan excluding the Belongil Spit’.

Owing to ‘considerable legal uncertainty’, staff say the office of environment and heritage (OEH) have told Council it was not appropriate to recommend the CZMP (2018) be certified.

The report says instead that Council have been advised to commence development of a CZMP for the whole Byron Bay Embayment.

Council staff say they have commenced the planning for the coastline (Cape Byron to South Golden Beach).

‘The coastal protection works at Main Beach (JSPW) are degraded and not to contemporary engineering standards with Council committed to the redesign and modification of this structure.

‘Previous advice of the NSW Coastal Panel considered Master Planning of the Jonson Street area (town centre of Byron Bay) a high priority for implementation. As such, the upgrade/modification of the JSPW is at the forefront of the CZMP (2018).’

Cr Richardson said in a press release, ‘We were well down the track of a highly co-operative coastal management process with the state government’s Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and we made a joint decision, based on a large foundation of scientific evidence, to separate the previous CZMP Byron Bay Embayment (2016) into two locations and develop a newly formed plan excluding the Belongil Spit.’

Govt backflip

‘This was initially supported by the minister for environment, who invited Council to re-submit a coastal zone management plan excluding the Belongil Spit, so that’s what we did over eight months, to get certification of the plan.

‘Next thing we know, there appears to be a backflip from the state government, going against this invitation and the advice and work of its own department – and it appears that this is the result of complaints from a few landholders of properties at Belongil Beach.

‘We are extremely disappointed that all our hard work and this cooperative process between OEH and Council, not to mention the science, appears to have been subverted due to disproportionate influence by a few local landholders.

‘The reality is that there is no opposition to our coastal management planning from the wider Byron Shire community – who, let’s face it, are all key stakeholders when it comes to the management of our precious coast and what the impacts of climate change and sea level rise will mean for all of us in the future. 

‘What I want to ask the minister for the environment is whether she believes that opposition to this scientifically backed approach to achieving the best coastal management planning outcomes for Byron Shire by one stakeholder group should supersede getting this right for the whole community,’ he said.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Two WRHS rescue flights from Tabulam in one day

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WRHS) say they travelled to Tabulam twice yesterday in separate incidents in the town.

Drug and firearm offences – Tweed Heads

Police say a man has appeared in court after allegedly being found in possession of firearms, drugs and nearly $10,000 cash in Tweed Heads.


Kate Coxall, BSC Green candidate, Wilsons Creek In response to the silencing tactics of unaware and privileged men in last week’s Echo, I say ‘No’. We, as women,...

Big donation and new poetry competition for BR4R

Local community group Ballina Region for Refugees is having a big month, with a major anonymous donation amongst other news.