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Byron Shire
June 23, 2024

A bonanza for developers and land bankers?

Latest News

Cars and other items stolen from Brunswick Heads

Local police are warning residents in the Byron Shire to be diligent in maintaining their home security after personal items and vehicles were stolen from Brunswick Heads yesterday.

Other News

Wiggle it for the solstice

A full moon ‘Winter Wiggle’ is on Saturday as the solstice tribe connect. They will be rocking Durrumbul Hall from 6pm till midnight with local legendary DJs: Pob, Halo, Ria Listic and 4 Eyes; plus special guests Daddy Issues  – making a road trip from the Central Coast; and Avaxa – will be slipping in a wiggle in her world festival schedule, flying up from Melbourne.

Murwillumbah Hospital celebrates 120 years

A community campaign for a hospital in Murwillumbah led, in 1899, to two committees and a Board of Trustees being formed, and the selection of a 15-acre site. The hospital itself opened in May 1904.

Whian Whian public school kids are all in D-tension

The Whian Whian Public School whole school band, D-Tension, are preparing for their first gig of 2024 and it’s going to go off with a bang – or at least a flash of lantern light on Saturday in Lismore.

Have your say on Byron Bay’s foreshore 

Byron Council staff have proposed options and a ten-year vision for the much-used space, including the removal, or partial removal, of the carpark overlooking Main Beach. 

Spanish Film Festival

It’s fiesta time as the 2024 HSBC Spanish Film Festival, presented by Palace Cinemas, prepares to set screens alight with a superb selection of the finest new films from Spain and Latin America. The festival’s largest lineup to date opens nationally in June at Palace Cinemas.

Sunshine brings football back to the Northern Rivers

After weeks of relentless rain washing out every game, the sunny days of June have allowed local football to...

The NSW Planning Rezoning Pathways Program was released the day before caretaker period started for the NSW government on 3 March.

This will service the agendas of developers and land bankers which is very much alive in the Tweed Shire, particularly the Cudgen Plateau, State Significant Farmlands (SSF). Under the guise of the need for housing (which we all agree is needed) there continues to be a failure to acknowledge the herd of elephants in the room – that any new house can be built and purchased for Short Term Holiday Letting (STHL) under the Governments changes to the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment (EP&A) Act.

Does not increase housing supply

This means that there is no guaranteed actual quantitative increase in the housing supply. While the government’s focus has been driving population growth it has seriously failed in its upkeep of social and affordable housing. In fact they have been selling off such sites.

The questions that the NSW government fails to address are:

What quantity of social housing is to be part of the Program?

What is affordable housing, and where are the plans and mechanisms to provide them? How they will be protected as affordable housing into perpetuity, rather than reentering the private market after ten years?

Undermining local councils

The Planning Rezoning Pathways Program enables the overriding of much statutory investment and work that has been undertaken by local councils and communities. Many local councils and community groups have spent significant time and energy developing locally appropriate planning tools and long-term strategic planning utilising local knowledge which is key to the sustainability and liveability of their communities.

The NSW coaalition government swept into power 2011 on the back of the then-controversial Part 3A assessment system, promising to give planning powers back to local communities. What we have instead been dealt with is the repeated undermining of the NSW EP&A Act and the NSW state taking over so much more of local communities planning controls.

No public consultation

Further, under the former Premier and former Deputy Premier of NSW development of Regional Economic Development Strategies was undertaken with zero public consultation, nor any transparency. These documents only recently came to light in the public arena.

Just two days before the caretaker period the NSW Government then released its program to rezone our Crown lands for development with zero public consultation, nor any process to turn over our Crown land to development.

The mismanagement of our Crown land is well documented with the damming evidence to the Crown lands inquiry and the damming findings of the Auditor-General Report into the Sale and Lease of Crown Lands. One of the subject Leases was the secret deal to grant the 84yr Lease (i.e. privatised) to the airport over the Crown Reserve dedicated for public recreation and conservation at Tweed Heads West for airport development, including runway extension. This was non-compliant with policies in place and contrary to ICAC guidelines, and the NSW government seriously failed its duty of care to consider the flood impacts to existing Tweed Heads West residents by filling the last remaining flood in this residential area for airport development and that runway extension puts existing residents with a public safety exclusion zone.

Communities across NSW desperately need accountability, proper governance and transparency restored – not never-ending erosions.

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