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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Editorial: Ready for the upright position…

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… There wasn’t space in other parts of the paper to cover all the important planning decisions that were made last Thursday by our glorious and courageous councillors.

And if that wasn’t enough to satisfy, there’s an upcoming Council meeting this Thursday!

Contained within that meeting agenda is a new policy suggestion for staff to manage unreasonable customer conduct. Looks like Fast Buck$ has finally had a policy created for him.

Rare and precious coastal rainforest

Okay, onto last Thursday’s online planning meeting.

A rare, large parcel of precious coastal rainforest just south of Broken Head is moving towards a community title (CT), after councillors voted to proceed with the Linnaeus Estate proposal.

This matters of course, because there is diminishing high biodiversity everywhere. It’s all precious, folks.

And this is an area where its inhabitants have traditionally placed a high value on keeping it that way.

Neighbour Simeon Michaels is keeping a keen eye on the plans, which appear to now be straying a long way from its original intent (and DA) as an educational facility, limited to 72 people. He told councillors, in public access, that since 1998 the landowners have submitted over ten applications, which included ‘increasing occupation to 112 people, tripling their sewage capacity, and replacing primitive campsites with luxury beach houses, and attempting to get out of paying s94E contributions’.

He added Council has been taken to court four times, with Council winning the majority of cases. It now could become a tourism facility, he says. Despite the applicant denying that it would, he points to ‘page 28, line 10, of the staff report which shows the two are connected’.

Councillors later resolved to ask the proponent to provide a current coastal hazard study ‘that informs the amended planning proposal to Council’s satisfaction’. A community meeting or workshop, facilitated by Council, is also stipulated. 

Rural events off for State govt approval

Moving on – Taryn McGregor from the Byron Events Industry Association told her members that Council’s draft LEP amendment, to allow Rural Event Sites in RU2 zones as an approved use with consent, was passed by councillors.

She said, ‘It’s a huge success story for the Byron Shire and admittedly will not suit everyone, but we see this as the first way forward, allowing properties to achieve what they had not been able to before – get approval specifically for commercial events and weddings. There are requirements for approval, namely traffic and noise reports’.

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