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Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

Tonight’s Tweed Council meeting: 4am gambling and who’s on what committee

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As the drama unfolded between police and protesters at the Wallum Development in Brunswick Heads yesterday, people were drawn to the site by the red alerts sent out by the Save Wallum organisers.

Tweed Shire Council will be gathering for the second meeting of the new council from 3pm this afternoon, a planning meeting followed by the Council meeting. 

Site of development application for 14 Fraser Drive, Tweed Heads South. Concerns over the late opening hours on the vulnerable local community have been raised.

4am pub

The development application (DA20/1033) for a Dry Dock Road Hotel ‘food and drink premises (pub) including associated bottle shop, drive-thru’ is back on the planning meeting agenda following a deferral at the November 2021. At that meeting councillors sought further information on the social impacts of the proposal and exploration of environmental improvements to the DA. 

The site for the pub has a number of ‘vulnerable groups’ living in an area raising councillor and staff concerns over the 4am operating hours and gambling facilities. 

The Council’s Community Services Unit (CSU) had raised the issue of the lack of an appropriate assessment of the socioeconomic impacts, particularly with caravan parks and a manufactured home estate nearby.

Responding to the request the applicant appeared to ignore the potential negative impacts of the gambling and late opening hours stating that ‘No social group will be dislocated or disadvantaged by this development’ and highlighting the increase in facilities ‘for social interaction’ and sponsorship of local sporting groups. 

Seeking to address the issue of late night gambling the applicant stated that ‘our application generally does not address matters relating to gaming machines on the basis that under Section 209 of the Gaming Machines Act 2001, Council cannot refuse or place conditions upon any development consent because of the presence of gaming machines’.

Concerns were raised over the impact of the carparks and heat island effects for the development application at 14 Fraser Drive, Tweed Heads South.

Midnight close 

Following the applicant’s response and the council’s CSU assessment, the staff recommendation has been to approve the DA with a revised closing time of midnight. However, it is understood that the applicant is not happy with this condition. 

Responding to councillor suggestions of permeable paving for the large parking area, and astroturf for some areas to improve permeability the applicant stated that they do not wish to amend the proposal on either count. 

Council committees 

The decision on which councillors will sit on which committees will be decided at the council meeting following the planning meeting. The council delegates’ decision was deferred at the last meeting as new councillors sought to finish their induction prior to choosing which council committees to nominate for. 

Councillors are nominated to a range of committees including traffic, wildlife habitat, halls, audit, equal access, waterways, and floodplain management to name a few.

You can virtually attend the Tweed Shire Council meeting here.

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  1. My inner libertarian says “if people want to gamble, it’s their choice”
    My inner right-winger says “gambling is degenerate and should be outlawed”
    My inner left-winger is stoned in the corner.

    This is an issue for me to mull over for a while.

  2. No mulling required Chris. People and their partners can lose their home. Is your inner left wing happy about this? An interim report found Australian Hotels Association branches and ClubsNSW (the biggest of the state associations) gave declared donations of $8.5 million in the past 15 years – much of that in the past five. They found donations of $90,000 from the pubs and clubs linked to federal Liberal MP Kevin Andrews and the Menzies 200 Club, which supported his re-election.

    Andrews, sitting in one of the safest Liberal seats, served as their gambling spokesman before the 2013 election.

    A spokesman said “Mr Andrews does not receive donations personally” and directed questions to the Liberal Party or the Menzies 200 Club.

    Donations of $80,000 were made out to Craig Laundy, a Liberal frontbencher and former publican representing Reid in western Sydney.

    Little wonder the Hotels Assoc give 95% of their political donations in NSW to the COAL-elation and Gambling Party.

    Others were made out to former deputy premier Andrew Stoner ($60,000), former premier Barry O’Farrell ($71,000) and his successor, Mike Baird ($45,000). Federal Labor MPs Anthony Albanese, Chris Bowen, Jason Clare and Joel Fitzgibbon were all linked to donations of more than $10,000.

    But where Labor is in power they split their donations.

    Jim Beatson, now a Qld resident but until last year lived in Byron Bay.


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