21.5 C
Byron Shire
June 2, 2023

A bonanza for developers and land bankers?

Latest News

Backlash Stan Grant

Extraordinary negative and callous statements regarding Stan Grant in the recent edition’s Backlash section. Grant was a terrible host?...

Other News

Schoolboy’s moral courage

I would like to give a big shout out to the Bangalow Public School boy who showed courage and...

Vale George Davidson OAM former Tweed Shire Councillor

A funeral will be held today for George Davidson OAM who was once a Tweed Shire Councillor and a passionate advocate for the Tweed.

Greens for survival

At the recent Nimbin Town Hall where Sue Higginson, among others, was active in an affirmative action workshop where...

Bangers on the Green

Bangers on the Green promises to be an absolute treat for the local music community. Bringing together a day of awesome live...

Francisco’s table

A thick hunk of toasted sourdough, a joyous tumble of braised tomatoey capsicum and onion and beans, a perfect fried egg to crest it all – and there it is on the counter waiting for whoever ordered it and I’m so tempted to claim it!

Let’s explore Byron Council’s secret meetings!

Has Byron Shire Council improved with its transparency with regards to confidential motions?

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.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Fun community connection for Japanese community 

The local Japanese community came together in early May at the Cavanbah center to celebrate Japanese Children’s Day. 

Tragic death of two men in Yamba

NSW Police have today spoken to the media after the body of a man and a teenage boy were located inside a home at Yamba yesterday.

Expect saltwater on Ballina roads during king tides

Ballina Shire Council is encouraging motorists to drive safely over the coming days with king tides leading to minor flooding of some local roads. 

Warming winter for Tweed Shire’s homeless

It's no secret that the Far North Coast has some of the highest homelessness figures in the country and Dharma Care is determined to reduce those figures as the days get colder.