Cr Alan Hunter, Byron Shire Council
Council Staff recommend opposing the proposed changes in the Exempt
Development provisions to be considered in this week’s Council Ordinary
The State Government Department of Planning is asking us for comment on
their proposed change to permit some further activities on farms as
development exempt from the need of Council approval.
One such industry is agritourism, which could help to strengthen rural
communities as travel continues to increase across NSW.
We know tourism is a strong industry that Byron does well, and if our
hinterland can play a part in the industry, it is sure to provide a lot of other
opportunities for everyone that lives here.
However, it isn’t difficult to understand why anyone trying to build, rebuild or
develop a business anywhere in the shire could be reluctant to spend their
time and money doing so, as evidence in our own survey’s shows they have
faced very poor, over bureaucratic, expensive, time consuming and frustrating
local government processes.
I am sure the community would like to see the former glory and respect
the farming community once had through new tourism initiatives taking the focus
off the coastal strip.
Staff don’t want to change the way they do things, but I think some change is
inevitable and if we approach it in a way that methodically eliminates or
reduces the negatives and builds on the positives so we can all win from this
opportunity to reactivate the hinterland.