Cr Cate Coorey, Byron Bay
Last week’s headline, ‘Greens claim hands tied over rural tourist cabin approval’ was misleading. Of the nine councillors, eight voted for Cr Lyon’s amendment, which tried to get a better outcome for the neighbouring residents. Only Cr Ndiaye (Greens) voted against. Two Labor, one National, two independents and three Greens voted to support the amendment because it sought to remedy a bad situation.
We knew we had little chance of winning if a refusal meant the developers would take us to court. We did refuse the development application (DA) the last time it came before us because we felt we could win. The proponent then reduced the size of the development substantially and addressed several of the key concerns.
We work with the tools we have but, sadly, councillors cannot vote everything undesirable away and we cannot vote against what something might turn into in the future, such as a wedding venue or noisy party house. It is a problem of the planning regulations we have, largely those imposed on us by the state government.
Most councillors are aware of the impacts that the burgeoning tourism industry in rural areas is creating and we are trying to contain them; you could have mentioned in the article that Cr Lyon has been driving to get better regulation around tourist cabins.
The Echo should never allow its critics any grist to their mill that it is a biased publication. Independent media has to hold itself to the highest standard of fairness and accuracy.