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April 22, 2024

Sleeping Lizard – North Lismore Plateau in developer’s sights regardless of DA refusals

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Lismore resident Dot Muller, former Lismore Mayor Ros Irwin, Lismore resident Julie Allen and Aunty Marie Delbridge. Photo Daisy Nutty

The 742-residential-lot subdivision on Sleeping Lizard – Banyam Biagham (the North Lismore Plateau) was again discussed yesterday (13 February) at a Land and Environment Court (L&EC) conciliation meeting despite the fact it has been rejected by both Lismore City Council and the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) as ‘not in the public interest’. 

The development application (DA) would see a staged development for 742 residential lots, two business lots, a future residential lot, 45 new roads, bulk earthworks and significant infrastructure taking place at the site. It will become one of the biggest developments in the region should it receive approval from the L&EC.

The NRPP rejected the DA, from Mackycorp, for the northern section of the North Lismore Plateau (Allura Parklands), on 22 December 2022 on 17 grounds. These included the DA’s potential impact on the drinking water catchment, impacts of Aboriginal heritage, bushfire risk, failure to supply information on risks of drainage, soil stability, and adverse impact on waterways including the Wilsons River. Issues around management and disposal of sewage and vehicle impacts were also listed as inadequately addressed. 

Former Lismore Mayor Ros Irwin, Lismore resident Julie Allen and Aunty Marie Delbridge. Photo Daisy Nutty

In a written submission, Uncle Mickey Ryan stated that: ‘Us Elders are very concerned about the cumulative impact of this development alongside other and future developments in and around Lismore where large swathes of vegetation and cultural heritage have been demolished.’

Uncle Mickey also stated that there had been no genuine consultation with representative Aboriginal parties. He stated that the developer had sidelined the Land Council and that it ‘is quite clear that in the last ten years not one Aboriginal organisation or individual has gone on the record to support any development on the plateau’. 

Uncle Mickey pointed out the consultant’s comments that ‘The North Lismore Plateau is one of those places (special places associated with Aboriginal people and connection to Country). Its significant to the Bundjalung is as special to them as Uluru is to the Aboriginal people of Central Australia’.

‘Can you imagine the whole of Australia, white and black, condoning the destruction of two-thirds of Uluru for housing or mining?’ asked Uncle Mickey.

Aunty Marie Delbridge and Lismore resident Julie Allen at the conciliation meeting. Photo Daisy Nutty

Community not welcome for full conciliation 

Two former LCC mayors attended with former mayor Ros Irwin presenting to the conciliation meeting. 

‘The hearing was held at the end of a private driveway with most participants standing on the road adjacent. Mackycorp employees, a couple of lawyers and several Council Staff were also present,’ said Lismore resident Dot Moller.

‘The Commissioner said she couldn’t hear the first speaker. There was no microphone provided. No seating, no protection on a hot morning. After Aunty Marie’s Acknowledgement of Country where she spoke of the significance of the Banyam Biagham to First Nations people there were three speakers [including  Aunty Marie Delbridge, Uncle Mickey Ryan’s sister]. When they had finished, the Commissioner asked the speakers to leave so she could consult with the other parties – Mackycorp, lawyers and Council staff.’

Neighbour not informed

According to the speakers who were present at the conciliation meeting the owner of the driveway where the conciliation meeting was taking place, and direct neighbour of the DA site had not been been consulted in relation to the DA. 

‘The neighbour said they had been trying to contact Lismore Council for some time regarding the Mackycorp development proposal,’ explained the speakers following the meeting. 

‘They said they hadn’t been asked to speak even though their five acres were about to be impacted by a proposed Colourbond fence shielding their property from the Waste Water works needed for the massive development above their property. To gather information they had to stand close by, listening to the proceedings.’

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  1. Same old system and story, the people who only care about making money or staying in power always win and the people who care about the environment or heritage and similar values, are rarely protected in law or by a system which always has a way of ensuring the developers get their way sooner or later

    • Yet you guys support developers that use bulldozers to flatten areas for windmills and solar panels. The big developers actually do both, and many other exciting things you both support or oppose. It’s not the tradies that decide what houses get built where, and why. Developers have very limited options as to what is profitable and where it can be put. They are just hyper-tradies. They are at the whims of forces far beyond them.

  2. Christian Steinberg. I have not come across in any article about your written accusation
    “.. you guys support developers that use bulldozers to flatten areas for windmills and solar panels.”
    Please kindly direct me to any statement claiming this. If you are unable to find such wording, kindly follow up with a correction statement. Thankyou, and I wish you a pleasant day.


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