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Byron Shire
August 14, 2022

West Byron off the hook…

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The issue of funding future upgrades of Ewingsdale Road was raised and discussed, at length, in the Land and Environment Court hearing but seems to have been conveniently passed over.

My detailed written submission and short presentation to the court pointed out the shortfall of millions of dollars in funding which will be needed in the short to medium term to upgrade Ewingsdale Road to four lanes.

Council has failed over time to mandate adequate and effective contribution amounts on the West Byron developers to help fund for future upgrades to Ewingsdale Road. These upgrades will be required over time to cope with the substantial increases in traffic expected. Ewingsdale Road is expected to be widened to four lanes for the full length into town to cope with the increased traffic impacts, including from these types of developments, yet the West Byron developers are only obligated to upgrade the existing roundabouts recently built by Council, or add a roundabout where not already provided. West Byron developer contributions do not include for necessary funding to assist with upgrading Ewingsdale Road beyond the developers’ front gates.

Basically, these developers have been let off the hook by Council’s lack of planning foresight.

These significant Ewingsdale Road upgrade costs into the future were unfortunately excluded from the calculations for Section 94 contribution amounts for West Byron. This significant failing by Council was openly discussed in the court hearing and is another reason the community should be peeved.

Whilst the developers get to bank record revenue and profits from the West Byron sales, it’s our rates and taxes alone which will fund the future upgrades necessary for Ewingsdale Road as a direct consequence of the West Byron development’s traffic impacts. Impacts that will only exacerbate the existing problems.

Yet another example of the previous Simon Richardson-lead Council not ensuring its ratepayers’ interests were protected, and yet another slap in the face for ratepayers.

Tony Stante, Coorabell


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