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Byron Shire
February 9, 2023

Inappropriate developments

Latest News

Iron Gates development in Evans Head land owners go into administration – again

The Iron Gates development, that is on flood- and fire-prone land near Evans Head, has been fought by the community for over 30 years. The current company that owns the site, Goldcoral Pty Ltd whose director is Graeme Ingles, has now been placed into administration.

Other News

A smorgasbord of flicks

This year’s smorgasbord of over 40 incredible short films are handpicked from a record 3,200 entries received for Flickerfest’s Academy® and BAFTA Qualifying short-film festival screened recently in Bondi, and Northern Rivers audiences are the first in Australia to experience the best of Flickerfest on tour. Highlights enjoying their Northern Rivers premiere include recent Academy® nominees and much-loved festival award winners alongside exciting, fresh, local talent.

A tribute for Richard Moloney

Byron Shire has lost another of its colourful characters, the irrepressible Richard Moloney, who died suddenly but peacefully in his home at the end of January.

Natural history

While I have not the informed authority to confirm John Bradley’s musings on the birds that seem to be...

Forget red meat, red seaweed might be the vital food needed on our plates

Seaweed farming might hold the key to massive improvements in carbon sequestration, biodiversity loss and food security say Queensland researchers.

Land values rise

Your cover story on 25 January claims that land valuation rises could herald increases in Council rates. This is...

Teenage boys extorted over sexually explicit images

In the lead-up to tomorrow's Safer Internet Day the Kids Helpline is highlighting the concerning trend of overseas criminal syndicates preying on Australian children, particularly teenage boys, by extorting money from them after deceiving them to send sexually explicit images over instant messaging platforms.

The Suffolk Park community are to be congratulated for making a stand for their community’s democratic rights and vision. They are correct in challenging the emergence of authoritarian NSW state structures that dictate only the rights of the developers and dismiss public rights. They are correct in appealing to members of the current Byron Council to maintain democratic representation and scrutiny on local developments that bend, dismiss, and impose inappropriate developments on their community. Such as that being asserted by Sydney-based developer Denwol in Suffolk Park.

However, a dark system is revealing itself and it pains me to write thus. It has been known for some time that the Land and Environment Court (L&EC) always favours capital over the environmental imperatives when it comes to decisions on developments. But are they given truthful information? A community knows when it has been denied an imperative right!

There exists in democratic societies an understanding, a democratic principle that respects and upholds ‘the will of the people’. From the ‘will of the people’ exceptional information can be gathered and acted upon. The Suffolk Park community have witnessed the manner in which public rights were dismissed in the granting of approval of the West Byron development, how Byron Council employed lawyers that went to the L&EC dismissing the protocols governing public rights.

The L&EC approved development on West Byron floodplain. The NSW premier has boldly announced, ‘There will be no developments on floodplains’, yet we witness currently the importation of tonnages of fill to enable this development. This fill will enhance further intense flooding to all surrounding communities in the future, a fact articulated by hydrologist Duncan Dey. Was there such a report offered to the L&EC? Does anyone really care?

Greater legal questions now confront all communities. There is no legality addressing risk and liability against future flood perils that will befall communities, yet no doubt such developments will occur in the future. Profit is blind.

Is the current authoritarian pro-development modus operandi of the NSW state government really worth the ongoing persecution of democratic communities who will continue fighting for the principles upholding the ‘will of the people and planet’? Collective empathy?

Jo Faith, Newtown

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Far North Coast branch of NSW Farmers launches

The new NSW Farmers Far North Coast Branch, that will be representing farmers from the Tweed and Byron Shires, launched yesterday.

New Lismore refugee support group starting up

A local group from the Lismore area, the Lismore Region Refugee Settlement (LRRS), have come together to support refugees settling in the area. 

A tribute for Richard Moloney

Byron Shire has lost another of its colourful characters, the irrepressible Richard Moloney, who died suddenly but peacefully in his home at the end of January.

Flood rebuilds hampered by ‘like-for-like’ insurance clause

Attempts by flood-affected homeowners to retrofit their homes with flood-resilient materials are being cruelled by insurance companies and builders, a local resident says.