Helena Norberg-Hodge and John Page, Byron Bay
Hands up everyone who wants another high-end tourist resort in Byron: a place for already pampered outsiders to be pampered still further, at the expense of local livelihoods and community – and on one of the most stunning and ecologically delicate pieces of land in the Shire… No takers?
Pity, because that’s what we are going to get if we allow a Development Application currently before Council for the Linnaeus Estate on Seven Mile Beach to be approved.
Whereas the appalling narcissism and crass consumerism of Byron Baes will (hopefully) be relatively short-lived, this new example of massively misplaced priorities will be here to stay: the damage will never be undone.
The DA contains two startling projections for the project once it is up and running: a full-time equivalent staff of 121.5 and a gross turnover of $18.5 million.
Don’t for a moment believe the developer’s fairytale that these figures represent long-term benefits for the existing population of the Shire.
There will be no trickle down of the riches to the people who actually need them most, and jobs within the tourist industry offer no security at all for the future. This is nothing more or less than shameless commercialism.
The distressing prospect of this pristine piece of land being turned over to yet more tourist development is compounded by the knowledge that a fully-funded alternative plan for the land is already in place: the creation of a cutting-edge Centre for Holistic Education modelled on the world-renowned Schumacher College in the UK. This Centre would explore the framing for genuinely sustainable development.
It would also provide community groups and Indigenous guardians free access to run activities that would directly benefit the lives of local people and the local economy. And this comes with a legally enforceable guarantee that the land could never be developed further.
This is a very rare opportunity, not only to say ‘No’ to business-as-usual, but to say ‘Yes’ to a vision that is life-enhancing, inclusive and inspirational.
Please take the time to help protect our shared future by making a submission opposing the proposed development.
You can make a submission at: [email protected] quoting the DA 10.2021.170.1. The deadline is 19 May.