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Byron Shire
April 12, 2021

Byron Council not green enough

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Matthew Lambourne, Mullumbimby

Mayor Simon Richardson’s defence of Council’s action on climate change last week doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

The 5MW solar farm at Myocum is a serious project, and deserves credit. But what about the solar carpark project in Station Street? Council plans to cover a quarter of the carpark with solar panels to generate a quarter of the administration building’s electricity consumption. With current interest rates and the claimed payback periods for solar, why not cover the whole carpark and generate all of Council’s consumption?

And will that project include enough battery storage to ensure Council’s phones and computers will keep working when the power goes off in the next big flood or cyclone? The proposal includes a few slow electric car-chargers – not much incentive for electric cars there, Simon. I’d call this one a bare pass.

When it comes to land-use planning, though, it is a clear fail. Affordable housing? Put them on an island in a swamp with no escape if a really big flood happens (Lot 22).

More housing in Mullumbimby? Put more fill on the floodplain and build houses that will flood in the future and also raise flood levels for other nearby properties.

More industrial land? That nice flat floodplain will be cheap and easy to build on. Doesn’t really matter if factories get flooded? Talk to the business owners at Billinudgel about that one.

Overall assessment – need to try harder, Simon.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Simon Richardson appears to be green in name only: He continually supports projects that are detrimental to the environment and goes against the majority wishes of the community. One example is the Butler street Bypass which has just been handed over to the controversial contractors Hazel Bros, in spite of great community opposition as it passes through sensitive wetlands that are home to various endangered species, as well as approving numerous other measures which cannot be justified on the basis of environmental integrity or community support. As such it is hard to believe he represents the policies we associate with the Greens party. By all right he should be kicked out of the Greens. It is misleading for him to run as a greens candidate. We expect better from a Greens mayor of our shire.

  2. Has this now been designated to Myocum, I think not.
    Local company Coolamon Energy submitted a development application to the council for the $6.5 million project last month, which proposes building the solar array on Grays Lane at Tyagarah, just south of the Tyagarah Airfield.
    I’m glad it’s not in my backyard.
    D Conomy

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