Cate Coorey, Byron Bay
In September 2014, Byron Residents’ Group drafted an open letter in this paper to the landowners of West Byron, signed and paid for by many local people. Here is a portion of it:
‘We have asked you for meetings and for genuine community consultation but you have declined. You can do something about this terrible plan. You can stop it. For your property you can submit a more reasonable proposal to Council that avoids the most sensitive areas, enables an amount of development that will not overwhelm Byron’s ability to cope with it, and still makes you sizeable profits. Please consider the wellbeing of Byron Bay residents, the tourism industry, local koalas and the Belongil estuary and don’t attempt to sacrifice them for your profit. We will not accept this development.’
The ‘local’ landowners didn’t listen then, and now still continue to show contempt for our community, and nature, by pursuing their oversized development. They happily ran to the state government to override Council and community to get their site rezoned, but then ignored the state government’s planning panel when it gave twenty reasons for refusing their plans for a massive suburb.
Now they are using the courts to try to get their way to approve a ‘new’ DA for their site. This DA makes no concessions to community concerns but rather tries to finesse a sow’s ear into a silk purse by making a few minor amendments and adding some extra paperwork.
Maybe they think we will get exhausted by this process and succumb to submission fatigue? But Byron’s community will stay the course, make their submissions, and let the Land and Environment Court know that we will not allow a handful of people to do an irreversible harm to our town. We didn’t march in the streets three times for nothing, did we?
Go to byronresidentsgroup.org/home for suggestions on how to make your submission.
Submissions close 7 May. Send to: [email protected]gov.au.