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Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

Ryan’s win over North Lismore Plateau DA

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The Land and Environment Court has ruled that approval of the development application to create over 400 residential lots on the North Lismore Plateau, is invalid.

The DA for the project was lodged in 2017 and approved in 2018 by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

Bundjalung man Mickey Ryan served Lismore City Council with a summons over the contentious North Lismore Plateau development in January last year and commenced legal proceedings to invalidate the development consent.

Mr Ryan told Echonetdaily at the time that successive attempts by local Aboriginal people to establish the importance of the land to their culture have been rebuffed during the approvals process, adding that Council is ‘not listening’ to their views on the project.

‘There was no consultation whatsoever,’ he said. ‘They’ve never listened to any of the Elders here’.

Development Consent was invalidly made

Last Thursday the NSW Land and Environment Court judge, Justice Pain, handed down her judgement in the case of Ryan v Northern Regional Planning Panel, finding that the Development Consent 2017/270 granted on 17 October 2018 was ‘invalidly made, void and of no effect as the DA when lodged failed to comply with s 78A(8) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979’.

Ryan – we knocked ‘em for six

After the announcement, Mickey Ryan said that it felt like a David and Goliath Battle. ‘We knocked ‘em for six. It’s like a fairytale come true. We started crying with emotion and relief.’

Developer David Rothwell from the Winten Property Group has said this is not the end of the line for the DA and they were reviewing their options.

‘We will be looking at all our options,’ he said in a news report. ‘Our ecologist at the time and Council, decided between themselves that it wasn’t necessary. That’s still my advice today.’

It’s possible the developers will appeal the decision and the case will return to court within two weeks where the final orders will be made.

Mr Ryan has said that if there is a comeback from the developers he will be there to stop them.

‘It’s so important for the mountain to be protected and saved for our future generations. If we’ve got no future, we’ve got no past.

‘I don’t think the fight’s over. It’s just the start. I will stand and fight until I can’t fight no more.’

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  1. This incredible battle could not have been waged without the guidance of Al Oshlack who has run the Indigenous Justice Network for many years. Together with Mickey Ryan -a most incredible wise and wonderful Bundjalung Elder, they have fought a grass roots battle which should inspire us all. Community donated, supported and did what we all did in the good old days. We fought the good fight and won! Bless you both wonderful warriors.

  2. Fantastic. I hope it is a sign of things to come. Congratulations Mickey Ryan and the while mob. Well done.

  3. It’s hard to believe the arrogance of government bodies that they think they didn’t have to provide an Environmental Impact Statement. I presume that’s what was missing from the DA? Then the Planning mob still went ahead and OK’d the deal in spite of community objections. When will we stop taking and taking and start listening to the oldest living culture in the world. We are still bent on destruction of precious irreplaceable habitat just so we can put up some houses with views. Grrrrrrr…….

  4. My son was very angry that the “Sleeping Lizard” was being damaged and changed so dramatically and even he saw that this development should not be there, he is five. He first asked me to find out whether Uncle Gilbert needed help or not to stop it from happening. If a five year old can see this should not be happening and is a bad idea, with council clearly not, what the heck is this council doing?

  5. Awesome. Perfection. Thank you for your years of dedication and hard work. Wonderful example for our youth, the entire community and the planet.
    A rare example of our judicial system actually functional, for the greater whole and not just admunistrators for developers.

  6. Amazing !
    I didn’t even know that these ‘elders’ even owned this land, and of course the government can’t just run rough-shod over the titled owners of this land ,it’s not as if just you or I ,or any other member of the public objected to this development, although any member of the public has a right to object, it must be the owners of this land that have the final say !
    Cheers G”)


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