22.6 C
Byron Shire
February 2, 2023

Developer pleads for fee reduction in Byron Shire

Latest News

Food prices are up, and so is…

I was shocked to see the cost of local bread I buy in Mullumbimby had risen 40 per cent. That particular loaf is becoming a luxury item.

Other News

Coastal dystopia

Proto-existentialist philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote ‘Money is human happiness in the abstract, and so the man who is no...

Local MP mute over PM diary secrecy

Local federal Labor MP, Justine Elliot, has declined to comment on why her government are refusing to provide the diary of Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, as a public document. 

Who’s extinct now?

The Nationals MP for Clarence, Mr Gulaptis, is soon to retire and I can hear the koalas clapping. As...

Byron Bay SLSC takes fourth place at NSW country championships

South coast club Warillanhas overturned five years of Cudgen Headland dominace to win this year’s NSW Country Surf Lifesaving...

Letters – 1 February 2023

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Indigenous cricketers go head-to-head

Regional teams came together at Ballina’s Fripp Oval for an Indigenous cricket challenge carnival on January 26, last week. The...

An estimated 976 vehicle movements per day would use the narrow Ruskin Lane under a large Byron CBD DA. Image from DA 10.2019.616.1.

Locals could be forgiven for scoffing at the idea of a cashed-up property developer asking for fee relief from Byron Council to help boost his profit margin.

But it appears that when Byron developer, Jason Dunn, came before Council last week complaining about fees for using Council land during construction, he may have had a point.

Mr Dunn has approval to build a three-storey mixed-used development with a rooftop pool and two underground parking areas on the corner of Jonson and Browning Streets, Byron Bay.

This controversial approval includes paying to use a Council road reserve next to the development for loading and unloading vehicles during construction.

Mr Dunn has already paid $193,050 for this privilege, and says that at the current rate he could end up forking out more than $500,000.

He came before Council last week asking for some of his money to be refunded on the grounds that the fees were ‘massively disproportionate’ when compared to other local councils.

‘I assure you that it gives me no pleasure to be pleading for a reduction in Council fees and charges,’ Mr Dunn said.

‘The amount of the charge is meant to be set by reference to other fees and charges set by similar councils and competitors.

‘But calculations show that when compared to the Ballina, Tweed, and Lismore councils, on average, the fees being charged by Byron Council are 574 per cent higher.

‘And they’re 240 per cent more expensive than the most expensive nearby council, being Tweed Shire.

‘I’m seeking a reduction to a level that is still in excess of the other nearby Local Government Areas.’ 

But Council staff disagreed, recommending that the fees not be reduced or refunded.

They said the development was using a large proportion of the frontage to Jonson and Browning Street for private purposes, which resulted in considerable disruption and inconvenience to the public.

They also warned that any reduction could set a precedent ‘for other developers to seek a refund or reduction in their fees and charges’.

When the matter was discussed at the Council meeting, it was confirmed that the fees in Byron were significantly higher than for neighbouring council areas.

However, the meeting also heard that there had been no objections from developers or community members when the fees schedule had been publicly exhibited alongside the Shire’s many other fees and charges.

Councillors were divided, engaging in a debate of more than 90 minutes on the issue.

This included two motions to defer the matter, pending investigations into Council’s fee structure by staff or the Local Government Ombudsman.

But both of these motions were defeated, as was a motion to refuse Mr Dunn’s application for a reduction.

The inability of councillors to reach a consensus position effectively meant that the status quo remained in place.

Mr Dunn will not receive any refund on his fees, and the current fee structure will remain in place unless, or until, a motion is passed to review it.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Spare me the developer’s tears! At last our council has found the cojones to say No to a cry-poor developer. Bravo!

  2. I’d prefer the fees to be $100 million.

    We don’t need more development, we need to crash prices here. But that isn’t going to happen is it? Byron is Gold Coast 2.0 and there’s going to be a skyscraper soon.

    It’s inevitable.

  3. If it’s cheaper in other shires how about you go build it there. That development is going to be a nightmare for traffic jams in the peak holiday periods. Selfish prick

  4. If Mr Dunn wants to use other councils (Tweed, Ballina) fees as a comparison then you only have to look at what the medium house price is in Byron compared to what the medium house price is in Ballina for example ($2mil deference). He should be able to claw back some of his fees through his sales in Byron…

  5. What would you expect from a council that can’t afford to fix or recognize it’s own mistakes keep voting in clowns and you will end up with a big top

  6. ‘I assure you that it gives me no pleasure to be pleading for a reduction in Council fees and charges,’ Mr Dunn said.
    A prime real estate location and still they whinge….over what?..$200k in councils fees when he has “prospective” $ millions in future income from selling his development.
    This bloke has no shame..
    Stuff it…
    Double the rent fees.. give him something to whinge about!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Abouchar honoured with Order of Australia

The new head of the Byron Community College (BCC), Chantal Abouchar, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her contributions to business and the media.

Appeal for flag stolen from Bruns

The two Aboriginal flags that fly high over the Brunswick River Bridge on Invasion Day have become a potent symbol of survival and solidarity for many in the Shire. 

TELSTRA – The end of the line?

I live in a valley that was ravaged by flood last year. Telegraph poles were swept out of the ground by landslides and many...

Dear Byron Shire Council

Why, oh why, did you not add a traffic calming device when you recently sealed Clay Rd, Mullumbimby? This was a beautiful, quiet lane, that...