Liz Levy, Suffolk Park
It was heartening to observe the overwhelming vote of Byron Shire Councillors to abort the tender contract for the redevelopment of the wetlands site at the old sewerage treatment plant on Tallows Creek (South Byron Sewage Treatment Plant). It was a redevelopment plan that went straight to a call for expressions of interest, with only potential developers left to shape the project.
Councillors finally struck a blow for better process, with the failure of the venture, as no tenders met the requirements. This is a salient reminder of the dangers of shortcuts, particularly those that bypass communication and public engagement. A site of this ecological importance particularly deserves much better.
Labor councillor, Paul Spooner made the telling point that decontamination was Council’s responsibility, not something to be foisted on some other project.
The site was used by Council for sewerage treatment from night cart days to its decommissioning in 2005. Council has long known that it would need remediation and, as the party responsible for the contamination, should have long been planning for the costs involved.
Thanks to those councillors, and the staff evaluation panel, who were prepared to impose rigorous standards!