20.1 C
Byron Shire
December 4, 2023

Editorial: Not confused enough

Latest News

Move Beyond Coal turning up heat on government

Move Beyond Coal says it will be staging protests at Labor MP offices around the country over the next week to 'turn up the heat' on the government to stop approving climate-wrecking coal and gas projects.

Other News

A racial slur or a just a tree name?

Changing the name of a local street because it is derived from a racist slur might seem a simple decision at first glance. 

Bruem’s balloon amendment burst as Ballina Council votes to protect wildlife

Ballina Shire’s balloon ban is to stay in place after a failed attempt by at least one conservative councillor to weaken rules aimed at protecting wildlife and reducing litter.

Team Cadwallader’s environmental war

At the November Ballina Council meeting, Cr Bruem (Team Cadwallader’s unofficial media advisor/spin doctor) continued his attack on the...

NSW Planning Panel unanimously rejects controversial development on Ballina floodplain

Yesterday the NSW Planning Panel unanimously rejected Gemlife’s proposal for a major 'seniors living' development on a flood prone site on Burns Point Ferry Road, West Ballina.

Truth-telling beyond the Voice referendum

In order to transcend the disappointment of the Voice referendum, many political and Aboriginal leaders are focusing on ‘truth-telling’.

Southern Blast in Byron

Surfrider Foundation Australia – the not-for-profit agency dedicated to the protection of Australia’s oceans – has launched a series of film events across Australia’s east coast to raise support for their campaign to Save The Southern Sea from fossil fuel exploration. Their 12th stop will be at Byron Community Theatre on 30 November.

The Local Strategic Planning Statement

Hans Lovejoy, editor

What do bureaucrats do if they want to simplify complex planning laws? Create another one!

In an effort to consolidate Council and state government policies and laws that constrain the never-ending appetite for building new stuff, a new ‘overarching’ document has been foisted upon all NSW Councils by the NSW Liberal-Nationals government. 

It’s called a Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS), and when adopted, will work alongside other such masterworks as the NSW Government’s North Coast Regional Plan and Council’s Community Strategic Plan (CSP), Local Environment Plans (LEP) and Development Control Plans (DCP).

While the Local Strategic Planning Statement has just wrapped up its public exhibition phase, it’s described as a ‘live’ document, meaning that it will be tinkered with and refined at the whim of councillors and planning staff. So there will be more opportunity to look closer at it in coming years.

Why does this matter? Because if you and your neighbours are faced with large inappropriate development, these are the documents to know, both in the pre-DA stage and in any Land & Environment Court case.

Along with this suite of growth management strategies (also called ‘instruments’) are ‘place based strategic plans’.

Council planning staff say within their LSPS materials that Place-based plans for Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Bangalow have been completed.

‘More recently in February 2020, our Business and Industrial Lands Strategy was completed. As other strategies and plans become finalised, such as the Byron Shire Residential Strategy, new priority actions will be included in the LSPS’.

Fun fact: A DCP has little to no weight with court rulings.

As the public discovered in last year’s Land & Environment decision (bit.ly/3fD7Uvb) that favoured a contentious tourist hotel at 4 Marvell Street, Byron Bay, place based strategic plans are not always regarded as the final word – it’s planning staff’s opinion and ‘flexibility’ that can also determine planning decisions.

While acknowledging the town’s masterplan, Commissioner Jenny Smithson also said that ‘cl 4.6 [Exceptions to development standards] exists in the LEP to allow flexibility to vary standards, subject to compliance with the requirements of that clause’.

She wrote, ‘It would have no work to do if the Council did not allow any variations on the basis of the potential adverse precedent of varying development standards, per se’.

Putting aside the attractive idea of Council planning staff having no work to do, the complex and chaotic world of planning appears to serve the few, not many.

But then, the few make money from the many by selling/renting them a place to live that hopefully isn’t a fire trap or structurally compromised.

So isn’t that a good thing?


The Local Strategic Planning Statement is available at www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/LSPS.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Banjo Patterson in his last two lines of Clancy of the Overflow wrote:
    “While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal —
    But I doubt he’d suit the office, Clancy, of `The Overflow’.”
    Banjo was describing the office, the bureau, and the writing desks of the bureaucrats.
    You can almost smell the stale air of the small office where bureaucrats are not born but they are brought up and bred among the files and filing draws and cabinets of papers and reports and dossiers and they inhale cigarette smoke between reading reports and more reports and then in writing they write reams of drafts of reports that will become a second draft and then a third draft and the finished product will never see the light of day. It will be file and marked “General Reports”. These gentleman are dressed in white shirt and old school tie and in a dark blue suit. The place is a conservative place with a photo of the Queen on the wall and on the desk for mailing is a letter beginning with four words “Dear Sir or Madam”
    Dear Sir or Madam, and then formal writing such as “I have been informed by my superior to communicate with you on this day about a certain report that is in your possession, namely the NSW State Delineation of Consternation Draft Report, Section 5 and that my superior would like to bring to your attention the paragraphs 2a and 3c on page 43.
    Is it any wonder then that to simplify planning laws, they create another one and make things even more complex.

  2. There’s a “never-ending appetite for building new stuff”because there’s a never-ending supply of more people. Period.

  3. Aged Aquarius just fell for another
    ‘hole in the flag’ my preposterous
    dumplings. Clancy agrees too.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Industrial relations reform bill passes parliament

New industrial relations laws have passed NSW parliament today, which the government says will create the structure needed to deliver meaningful improvements to wages and conditions for hundreds and thousands of workers in the state.

Fire ant update in the Tweed

There were information sessions this morning for local businesses and industry members impacted by the detection of Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) at South Murwillumbah, with the opportunity to find out more information about the strategy that the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) are using to contain and eradicate the fire ants.

$15 million to subsidise habitat destruction?

The recently-released NSW Forestry Corporation’s annual report, which shows that taxpayers will again be asked to spend $15 million to subsidise native forest logging, has today been labelled ‘a damning indictment on our state’.

Lismore Council unveils latest upcycled Christmas tree

Lismore City Council has unveiled its iconic sustainable city Christmas tree. This is the eighth year of Lismore’s upcycled Christmas tree being proudly displayed on the corner of Keen and Magellan streets, following a one-year hiatus after the 2022 flood disaster.