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Byron Shire
October 24, 2021

Did not vote for this

Latest News

COVID update: two new cases in Lismore and fragments in Byron’s STP

The Northern NSW Local Health District, Lynne Weir, today say that two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported for the District to 8pm, 23 October.

Other News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 19 October, 2021

Check out what's on at the cinema this week in Ballina and Byron

Egotistic rabble

Strident anti-vaxxers claim that COVID-19 vaccination violates their individual sovereignty and freedom. However, there’s not a beep from them...

A prisoner of hope – healing possible as Country returned

In a recent conversation, with a dear friend, Gumilaroi educator Professor Bob Morgan, my spirit was lifted when he told me that after 50+ years of struggling for justice and equity for First Nations’ people in Australia and overseas that he remains ‘a prisoner of hope’ despite the glacial speed of progress and change.

Bring your people together!

It’s time to bring people together! Wherever you might like to party, Event Byron Bay has you covered. From...

Biz smashed by new COVID-19 regime

It was proudly trumpeted as ‘Freedom Day’ by the State Government. But for much of the local business community in the Northern Rivers region, October 11 was anything but.

So long Greens

So, where to now for Greens voters disillusioned with local MP Tamara Smith advocating the big pharmaceutical program? One would...

Hans Lovejoy, editor

What awaits the unsuspecting public this Thursday at Council’s December 12 meeting?

There’s 2,690 pages of agenda to digest – really.

And there appears an urgency about it, which was similar to when the last Council majority faced their election in 2016.

It’s unclear why councillors elected largely on a platform of Green or left values are now pursuing a Nationals Party agenda of development at all costs. It’s been happening for a while.

What we learned this week is that NSW councils are largely free to develop whatever they like, and ignore growth targets (see page 4). Wahoo! That seems to suit this council.

It also suits wealthy developers of course, and impacts on those who value residential amenity and the (diminishing) high value biodiversity of this area.

Over-development is problematic for this region given the limits of the Shire’s four sewage treatment plants. They are a key to how much development can occur. Longtime readers would be aware of a sewerage moratorium that lasted nine years, until 2006. Such considerations appear missing from much of what is being thrown at the public at present. Instead we are presented with big, bold visions of economic growth underpinned with glossy pictures.

If approved this Thursday, Council’s Business and Industrial Lands Strategy (BILS) would rezone vast tracks of rural land to commercial use. This means speculating developers could submit large major ‘significant’ projects that then get considered under the dubious unelected Northern Planning Panel.

It’s worth pointing out the NSW government are wanting to fast track as much development as possible too.

Enabling documents like these make it hard for future Councils to defend such unwanted DAs in court. 

The Business and Industrial Lands Strategy is a mess in terms of process and alignment with other plans.

The Echo understands a Local Growth Management Plan is being requested by the state government, and that it should precede other plans and strategies like this.

It’s actually all an embarrassment. Will all this land become residential too, like it has in the Arts & Industry Estate?

These ‘plans’ all cost rate payers money. Poor planning documents may suit bureaucrats, as revisions give them endless activity. Poor planning documents suit nobody else.

This plan is similar to the rural strategy submitted in the dying days of the 2012-2016 Council majority. That Council tried to foist massive inappropriate planning documents for approval onto the state government. Thankfully that rural strategy was rejected, along with other inadequate plans, such as the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP).

Does rezoning huge swathes of the Shire reflect the wishes of the community? And will councillors continue to defend planning staff over these types of plans? We’ll see on Thursday.

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Christian fundamentals

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COVID-19 update: 5 new cases in the NNSWLHD

Northern NSW Local Health District, Acting Chief Executive, Lynne Weir, says there were five new cases of COVID-19 reported for the District to 8pm last night, 21 October.