Matthew Lambourne, Mullumbimby
Council’s attack on Main Arm residents has all the hallmarks of ‘ethnic cleansing’; an attempt to drive out the poor people (‘hippies’) to make the area ‘safe and attractive’ to the new wave of millionaires.
The policy used (yet to be adopted by Council) sets out the ways to comply with Council requirements. Presumably the same standards that apply to new dwellings, but many of the ‘unauthorised dwellings’ in rural areas of the Shire were owner-built decades ago.
Many of the owners of these houses, where they have lived and raised families quite safely, are now pensioners in their 70s and 80s. They cannot afford to meet these Council requirements, even if their homes could be physically brought up to the standard that Council would like.
If Council wants to be taken seriously, they need to come up with a policy that deals with these issues, and addresses any real safety concerns in a way that is practical and affordable, and doesn’t include threats of demolition of people’s long-term homes.