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Byron Shire
December 3, 2022

Byron deserves better – Byron Shire Mayor and Echo editor…

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The heading refers to the editor of our local paper, who once again attempts to discredit Council staff with his uninformed piece last week about Linnaeus.

To set the record straight and provide background, there was a court-imposed ‘private education’ zoning under the 1988 LEP that did not have a corresponding fit in the 2014 standard instrument. State Parliamentary Counsel made the recommendation to Byron Council that this be transferred to the ‘mixed-use’ zone it currently sits under, as there was no other label that could resolve the existing approval.

This was reported up to the 25 August 2016 Council meeting and approved by councillors unanimously, including Cr Dey, who was on Council that term, two terms ago. It was not foreseen by anyone at that time that the zoning would potentially allow other uses on the site, such as eco-tourism.

To try to blame staff for this is unfair and not based on fact but this is the lack of quality and integrity we’ve come to expect from Hans unfortunately.

When will Echo management make the long overdue call and place an advert for a new editor, one who can lift the standard of debate and community information so that we can all benefit? We deserve better.

Michael Lyon, Byron Shire Mayor

Byron Shire Echo – editor responds

In the Council agenda from April 16, 2020, Council planning staff admitted that a ‘fundamental error’ had occurred with the label zoning change and Schedule 1 changes to allow a community title (CT) on some of the last sensitive littoral rainforest remaining on the region’s coastline at Linnaeus Estate.

This change of zoning label resulted in a huge advantage for the developer, despite Brandon Saul, on behalf of the developers, telling The Echo in November 2020 that all 15 parties to the development agreed that mixed use zoning was not appropriate for the site.

Additionally, the public were also denied procedural fairness because there were no exhibition/submissions for the changes at the time.

It seems that everyone agrees the rezoning, recommended (but not required) by the DPI, was completely inappropriate for the site.

It’s only Cr Lyon who is calling for the editor to be sacked for reminding everyone of how this occurred.

Hans Lovejoy, Editor, Byron Shire Echo


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6 COMMENTS

  1. Michael Lyons….. its hard to believe that you are accusing someone else of lack of integrity and quality of communication when these are the exact actions you yourself engage in. To date you have failed the residents of Mullumbimby township , many who went under mud in the last flood, by supporting the pod development and consequent filling of this flood prone land. You have provided mis information, not advocated for the concerns of the neighbouring residents and pushed your own agenda despite overwhelming public concerns and anxiety about this rushed development. You have failed to action what you have promised and completely failed the residents of Mullumbimby. Unlike our surrounding councils that listened and actioned the concerns of their residents you have shut the door on community consultation, disregarded the very real concerns of the Mullumbimby residents and passed the buck on responsibility all because you see it as a stepping stone in your career . This has led to so much anxiety in the community and a distrust of the democratic ideals touted by Byron Shire Council. I don’t think you understand the damage you are doing and maybe its time to start being honest and transparent.

  2. Byron is LUCKY to have The Echo Jimie that is if you believe in independent journalism and Democracy. Then again these words will possibly fall on deaf ears if you indulge in Murdoch ‘news’ and other very thin sensational debates which abound in the ether!

    • It’s a Green’s publicity paper and their version of ‘Democracy’

      There is nothing ‘independant’ in predominately publishing one view .

      As you would know.

      I don’t buy or follow any Murdoch paper Thank you for the poor guess , though.

      Deaf ears or tunnel vision , which is worse ?

      None of your comments addressed the Article , not surprisingly !

    • Jo – I agree that independent journalism is a gift and a privelege, however the Echo has a long history of agenda driven journalism, political wedging and attacks and just straight out misinformation and inaccuracies. I used to love it, now it’s more like a green version of newscorp! While it may not be MSM it certainly uses MSM style tactics to misinform and divide and conquer. Why should you just assume that someone who is not an echo fan is a newscorp reader? As a reader I want good quality, independent and well researched journalism – the Echo has a patchy track record here and I know many folk who see it that way.

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