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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

Mullums flood secrets

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Sonia Laverty, Convener, MRA

We have a right to know. It is well known that the committee for the North Byron Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan (FRMS&P) has been hard at work for several months. The final report will be tabled at Council’s meeting on Thursday, 24 September. The Plan, and related reports, are available on Council’s website.

It is less well known, however, that a second report has also been carried out concerned with potential development sites in Mullumbimby, including Lot 22. While the remainder of the areas included in this study are privately owned, Lot 22 is Council owned and thus community owned. The work of this private/Council consortium has never been advertised. Its report, [ITAL]The Mullumbimby Land Release Assessment (MLRA) has not been made available for public viewing or comment. Nor have Council’s cost sharing arrangements with the private consortium been made public.

The apparent secrecy which surrounds this report is of concern and very different to the ‘openness’ of the structure of the committee for the FRMS&P, which includes three resident representatives from the north of the Shire.

Instead no opportunity has been provided, by Council, for public viewing of the MLRA report. This is despite the fact that MRA requested that this report be made available to the public – as far back as last June 2020 – with assurances given by the then Acting General Manager that the MLRA report would be released publicly.

MRA also understands that the MLRA report has never been presented to the FRMS&P committee for endorsement of any kind; yet a number of references are included in the final report of the FRMS&P on the agenda for adoption (of the MLRA) at the next Council meeting.

We have a right to know what is in the Mullumbimby Land Release Assessment (MLRA). As a first step, the adoption of the North Byron Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan should be deferred until the Mullumbimby Land Release Assessment has been released publicly.

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