18.2 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

Byron Council-led land trust idea reemerges 

Latest News

Mullumbimby railway station burns down

At around midnight last night, a fire started which engulfed the old Mullumbimby railway station. It's been twenty years since the last train came through, but the building has been an important community hub, providing office space for a number of organisations, including COREM, Mullum Music Festival and Social Futures.

Other News

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Shopping Centres Scare Me

I feel trapped. There isn’t a single time I attend where I don’t check my proximity to the exits, or imagine what I’d do if there was a fire, or worse, a shooter. The sense of being enclosed is unnatural, I can’t tell what time of day it is, I lose my sense of direction. It’s designed to be disorienting. It feels otherworldly. And never in a good way. They are designed to make you stay longer. They are by design, disorienting.

Keeping watch on Tyalgum Road

Residents keen to stay up to date on the status of the temporary track at Tyalgum Road – particularly during significant rain events – are urged to sign up to a new SMS alert system launched by Tweed Shire Council.

Mullumbimby railway station burns down

At around midnight last night, a fire started which engulfed the old Mullumbimby railway station. It's been twenty years since the last train came through, but the building has been an important community hub, providing office space for a number of organisations, including COREM, Mullum Music Festival and Social Futures.

Tweed Council wants your ideas on future sports facilities

Tweed Council is looking for feedback from residents about future plans for sport and recreation in the area.

Labor leading

A very proactive Minns Labor government will celebrate one year in government with a massive investment of $1.8 billion...

Not enough letters like this about Gaza in The Echo?

The Echo’s studied indifference to the plight of the Palestinians and its reluctance to publish letters on the subject...

Nearly three years after seeking to establish a Byron Shire Council-led land trust, staff have reported in the agenda for last week’s council meeting that after their application was rejected in August 2021, they recommend re-applying to the state government.

The idea had dropped off Council’s agenda over the past three years following advice from the state government that such trusts were tightly restricted under law and required careful and detailed planning.

Road to housing trust

Council’s plan to create a Council-led land trust was then adopted at last Thursday’s meeting. 

The trust would involve Council running a land-owning, not-for-profit entity that creates low-cost housing for the community

Housing trusts provide pathways to create homes for those who cannot afford to enter the property market. 

Around 16 years ago, in 2008, then-councillor Paul Spooner led Byron Community Land Limited.

In September 2023, Byron Shire Community Land Trust, headed by wealthy philanthropists including Brandon Saul, submitted their first Development Application (DA) to Council for a housing project. 

It is described as an Australian first, which is a ‘group home for single mothers, their kids, and older women’, and if approved, would be built on the former Eco Village site at 66 The Saddle Road, Brunswick Heads. 

According to Council’s website, the Group Home and Ancillary Building application (DA 10.2023.266.1) is ‘in progress’.

Sustainable Environment and Economy director, Shannon Burt, wrote in her report to the council meeting in the February 8 agenda that Council could re-apply now for a land trust, given Council’s ‘better position to respond to the 2022 guidelines’.

Obstacles 

The obstacles over the past three years, says Burt, were that a ‘significant amount of work was needed’ to progress with the application, so a decision was made by staff to focus on ‘other competing housing initiatives’. 

They included, ‘Affordable Housing Contributions Scheme, Residential Strategy, Mullumbimby Hospital redevelopment, 57 Station Street, and other housing planning proposals’.

Ms Burt recommends the preferred model is a ‘company limited by guarantee and licensed with Council being the majority shareholder’. 

Form an entity 

One way to proceed could be for Council to ‘form an entity under Section 358 of the Local Government Act 1993, as per the 2022 guidelines for ‘Formation of Corporations and Entities’. 

Councillors confirmed their commitment to the plan at last Thursdays council meeting and requested that staff prepare a new application to the state government.


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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Flood insurance inquiry’s North Coast hearings 

A public hearing into insurers’ responses to the 2022 flood was held in Lismore last Thursday, with one local insurance brokerage business owner describing the compact that exists between insurers and society as ‘broken’. 

Getting ready for the 24/25 bush fire season

With this year’s official NSW Bush Fire Danger Period closing on March 21, our thoughts are now turned toward to 2024-25 season and Essential Energy has begun surveying its powerlines in and around the North Coast region.

Keeping watch on Tyalgum Road

Residents keen to stay up to date on the status of the temporary track at Tyalgum Road – particularly during significant rain events – are urged to sign up to a new SMS alert system launched by Tweed Shire Council.

Blaming Queensland again

I was astounded to read Mandy Nolan’s article ‘Why The Nude Beach Is A Wicked Problem’, in which she implied that it may largely...