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Byron Shire
May 19, 2022

Mullum rail land gets nod for temp accom

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The land opposite Tony Carsburg Motors in Mullumbimby has had numerous suggestions for its use from green space and playgrounds to parking and housing. Photo Hans Lovejoy

Plans to turn NSW Rail owned land on Prince Street in Mullumbimby, opposite the former Carsburg garage,  into temporary accommodation, appear to moving forward, with Mayor, Michael Lyon, telling The Echo that the planning department approved Council’s request for a change of use last week.

Yet it appears Council are yet to present a plan to the government on how it would work, and there is no timeframe.

At last Thursday’s Council meeting, resident Michele Grant, representing the Brunswick Valley Community Care Council Inc, asked councillors if they had considered putting prefab homes on the site, and said, ‘We have not been included in any discussions. Why?’

Ms Grant The Echo  the Care Council, ‘was incorporated in the 1980s and helped get the Bruns Community Centre built during the ’90s, with the respite care and meals and wheels up and running’.

Ms Grant said that when she met Mayor Michael Lyon in February, he wouldn’t reveal what plans TransportNSW and/or Council had for the large parcel of rail land on Prince Street. Ms Grant added she is concerned there are no minutes available from any Council meetings with TransportNSW, and there have been no meetings with community reps to tell them what’s happening.

The Echo asked the mayor if this was correct.

He replied, ‘I told Michele that the area opposite Council’s car park had been flagged for extra parking for the town’.

‘I did not say anything regarding the Carsburg’s area, and there have been no formal meetings on the issue’.

‘I have personally lobbied the planning department and the premier for that land to be used for affordable housing in the long-term, but without any detail or reference to plans, other than saying that we understood that TAHE, the landowner, had plans for parts of that land to realise a return and we thought a better outcome was to develop the whole site for affordable housing’.

In regards to Ms Grant’s claims of secrecy around negotations, Cr Lyon said, ‘I am committed to transparency and have always strived to keep our community well-informed of any developments as they occur’.


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  1. I am wondering why Council wants to build houses above the car park next to the new Hoopers restaurant rather than above their own car park. Council car park is a much bigger space, and is less used for everyday parking. The new plan would lose quite a few of the already inadequate parking spaces in the commercial district – probably most of them i suspect, as where are the inhabitants of the 29 new apartments going to leave their cars during the day? Alternately, why not build the new apartments on the rail land on Prince Street?

  2. Ms Grant’s tenacity on this project is to be applauded by the entire of the Shire. She has been working on this idea for years….well before this flooding event. Sadly, no one would listen. Perhaps now, her voice can be heard. She is deserving of recognition by current Councillors for the timeless energy and effort she has invested in it!! She hasn’t worked on this for any political party leverage but rather worked from her ground truthed experience and understanding, particularly those over 55years women in the Shire (the face of poverty in Australia for decades) who are continuingly desperate for stable accommodation they can afford on a low income/pension.

  3. Prob not many of us remember that parcel of land back in the late 50’s/60’s. The circus parked there, and as 8-10yo’s we were in awe at the sight of the huge lions until one of them lifted his leg and urinated on my friend Barry Martin from Argyle st. it got him right on his yellow T and his half eaten granny smith. Martins later had that nice motorbike shop on the Ballina bypass, can’t miss it with all the greasy fish & chip hand prints on the glass. Good health & enjoy your day.


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