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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

A Main Arm Marseillaise

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Adrian Gattenhof, Mullumbimby

I am appalled by Council’s arrogant invasion of Main Arm. Do they not realise Council’s writ stops short of the vociferously defended Coopers Lane Line? So to help stiffen the sinews of the hill tribe sans-culottes, I offer a Main Arm Marseillaise. All together now, sing it loud and sing it proud!

‘We don’t want your regulations/ We don’t want your plan controls/

We don’t want your house inspections –/ Hey – Council – leave Main Arm alone! Hey – Council – leave Main Arm alone!’

Around 15 years ago Council extended the garbage collection service into the hinterland, including Main Arm. It meant residents there would have to pay the garbage rate, like the rest of us. There was an outcry. Dumping rubbish in town bins – or beside roads – was cheaper. Town bins overflowed with domestic rubbish. Some still dump in town.

Where someone lives in an unapproved house but has no other unapproved dwelling on their property, Council should be conciliatory. But the proliferation of unapproved second and third rental dwellings warrants vigorous compliance enforcement. The owners pay just one rural rate and dodge the shared responsibility to contribute to our overloaded infrastructure.

Council should at least find a way to set rates according to the number of dwellings. If Council always chickens out, freeloaders develop an understandable sense of entitlement. Any challenge is met with souffled outrage.

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  1. Adrian, so there’s no hint of converted garages / sleep-outs or caravans in town or the surrounding suburbs then? That’s a relief! Pesky affordable living quarters…
    If you had had to deal with council yourself over one of these letters you might be informed that council has no record of an approval for ANY dwelling at all on your property, well nothing digitalised and accessible at the stroke of a keyboard. They being (I quote) “under resourced” will only search historical rates notices, onsite septic system approvals and old deposited plan stashes etc if you pay a search fee.
    Indeed, one is asked to provide the approximate age of the said dwelling and forward any documentation you may have to support this. Perhaps you’d like to add a line or two in your Main Arm Marseillaise composition relating to the disappointment of residents (for now in Main Arm alone) about Byron Shire Council’s woeful performance.
    FYI anything pre Nov 1968 did not require a D.A, and as for some still dumping in town?! I think maybe you need to change your bong water…
    Sam O
    Upper Main Arm


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