24.9 C
Byron Shire
March 22, 2023

Editorial: It’s a deflatable political wrecking ball challenge!

Latest News

We all live in a magic submarine…

Several commentators have remarked that, while the mainstream media is locked in furious agreement with the government over AUKUS and the trillion dollar submarines (a guess at the final price tag), social and independent media are telling quite a different tale.

Other News

Mediation fails over large Suffolk Park DA

The battle over a controversial mixed-used development proposed for the main street of Suffolk Park looks set to go to a full hearing in the Land and Environment Court with Byron Shire Council, after the court-ordered conciliation process failed.

Green support SSF and free parking at Tweed Valley Hospital

Protecting State Significant Farmland (SSF) and committing to free parking at the new Tweed Valley Hospital are issues Green...

Election 2023 – Clarence: George Keller 

George Keller is running for the seat of Clarence on behalf of the Sustainable Australia Party sees corruption and vested interests having more impact on MP's decisions than the genuine interests of the community.

Lismore incumbent – Janelle Saffin MP

With just a few days until we head to the polls, The Echo asked the candidates for the seat of Lismore one last bunch of questions.

Election 2023 – Tweed: Ronald McDonald

Ronald McDonald is running for the seat of Tweed on behalf of the Sustainable Australia Party – Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption. The key element to their campaign is to reduce immigration to Australia from 200,000 back to 70,000 per annum. 

Homeless koala house hunting in Manly

As the trees continue to fall at the hands of the NSW government's Forestry Corporation in Yarret State Forest Blinky the koala has had to abandon his home.

It was odd to listen to Council’s meeting audio last week (the chambers are still closed owing to flood damage).  

The mayor and his compliant and unquestioning councillors were desperate to limit debate on what flooding effects would occur from developing the Mullum rail corridor.

It was all because of one, lone pesky councillor who asked about it. 

‘Can we please vote on this?’ Cr Asren Pugh kept on asking throughout debate. Yes, there’s plenty you can do if you want to cut corners.

In all the years of Council reporting, this was still surprising given that this is a serious issue. 

Planning to develop on floodplains actually matters. Explaining how you will do it matters too.

Cr Cate Coorey should know that, having been very vocal with the charge against the West Byron suburb. Yet, she voted for this to proceed.

Council’s intentions

While Council’s intentions with affordable housing in a rail corridor are unclear, philanthropists Christopher and Linda Dean have been getting on with the job, trying what they can to deliver real affordable housing.

The Deans propose two detached dual occupancy dwellings with four expanded modules to house around 40 people on rural land, which is close to town and not flood-prone.

They also plan to keep the property, and not sell it, if approved. 

That in itself is a rare commitment and should be commended (and legally binding). 

A Rainforest 4 Foundation (R4F) nursery is planned to produce around 150,000 plants per annum, say the accompanying documents. 

The nursery has Council approval, and will provide 12 full-time positions. 

So far, Council officers have expressed three principal concerns about the proposal, according to architect David Brown. 

They are the ‘departure from the DCP provisions relating to expanded dwelling house modules and consistency with what is meant to be two dwelling houses (dual occupancy); the Dual Occupancy arrangement of a living/kitchen/laundry component with seven bedroom elements linked by a roofed walkway; and ‘the idea of seeking consent for a group home (Class 3 building) proposal’. 

Brown has responded to the concerns, citing court decisions that have favoured flexibility with planning decisions and definitions.

As for precedent, Brown believes that there are elements that could be minimum preconditions for future proposals: ‘A variety of accommodation options to attract a diversity of residents; long-term rents affordable to key worker households; on-site employment in a value adding rural activity; a reasonably level flood-free site; single ownership of the land and all buildings; and a maximum 2.5 kilometre level cycle distance from a town centre’.

Relying on philanthropists to provide actual affordable housing solutions is not ideal, but it’s the best we have. That is, unless an elected NSW government in March manages to do the hard work of reforming the planning system.

Hans Lovejoy, editor
News tips are welcome: [email protected]


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Just another attack from The Echo on Mayor Michael Lyon but not as personal as some.

    How unusual!

    The Editor has now tossed the rest of the compliant and unquestioning councillors ( except Cr Dey aka Cr No ) into the same attack. The more the merrier?

    If only Cr Dey had become the Mayor and The Echo was the entire Council, just imagine where Byron would be now!

    Living in a caves?

    The Editor obviously needs a holiday, a very long one.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Could Tweed Hospital see the first patient cannabis consumption room?

Marc Selan of the Legalise Cannabis Party is keen to keep the old Tweed Hospital open and says he would like to see the first patient cannabis consumption room at that site. 

Voting guide to preferencing in the NSW lower house

The NSW election, to be held on Saturday March 25, uses optional preferencing in both houses of parliament.

Homeless koala house hunting in Manly

As the trees continue to fall at the hands of the NSW government's Forestry Corporation in Yarret State Forest Blinky the koala has had to abandon his home.

Residents of Cabbage Tree Island want to go home

Anger and frustration at not being able to go home saw a group of residents reclaim their properties yesterday on Cabbage Tree Island.