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Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Aboriginal protest over North Lismore Plateau development

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Bundjalung elder Michael Ryan on the North Lismore Plateau.

Bundjalung Aboriginal elders and traditional owners along with community supporters will be performing a sacred fire and smoking ceremony to protest the controversial North Lismore Plateau development.

The ceremony will be held at 12 noon, Friday, 17 May at  the entrance for the proposed plateau at SextonRoad, off Dunoon road opposite Lismore show ground.

‘Over the last eight years Aboriginal traditional owners and elders have unstintingly opposed the development since rezoning was first proposed in 2011. The Plateau is one of the most significant Aboriginal sites on the North Coast representing the Echidna and the Goanna the sacred totems of the Bundjalung people,’ said spokesperson Alan Oshlack. 

According to elder Mickey Ryan a number of registered and unregistered sites are located on the plateau including burials, scarred trees, womens water holes, artefacts and mysterious stone walls. Bundjalung traditional owners claim they have been ignored and discriminated against by the Lismore City Council in relation to their concerns about development on the Plateau.

Lismore plateau area zoned for a new housing development. Source Lismore City Council

Land and Environment Court date to be set

In October 2018 the Northern Regional Planning Panel approved the construction of the first stage of  340 of ultimately 2000 lots.

In January 2019, the Chair of the Bundjalung Elders Council, Mickey Ryan, commenced proceedings in the Land and Environment Court, the matter is to be listed for a trial date on Friday morning.

On May 13 Justice Paine in the Land and Environment Court ordered the developers to allow fauna/flora experts and a forensic archaeologist to access the site to prepare reports for the Court.

The Court challenge claims that the development application is invalid as it was lodged with the Lismore Council without a Species Impact Statement in addition to the cultural heritage concerns

The NLP contains habitats of a number of endangered flora/fauna including thorny pea and hairy joint grass and that the rare micro bats and koalas twill be significantly impacted by the development footprint.

‘The development is controversial as the Lismore City Council already has a 6 million dollar black hole and have borrowed a further 32 million dollars for infrastructure upgrades sewerage, water supply  roads and flood works to prop up the development,’ said Mr Oshlack.

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  1. Lismore Council is so wrong to pursue this devlopment in the face of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage value and is surely in breach of process, by not including a Species Impact Statement.

    The Land and Environment Court determination will be keenly watched for an indication of any progess whatsoever in practical terms of justice to First Australian concerns

  2. We’ve taken far too much off these people already. They should have much, much more.
    This is THEIR land.
    High court needs to deal with this like in Brunswick Heads!

  3. While we so often now pay lipservice to our presence on aboriginal land and respect to elders etc etc it all still means nothing when the invader’s advantage or dollars are challenged


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