Welcome back Council for 2014
When you put a sign up that says ‘Wet paint – don’t touch’, what happens?
Or better still, what happens when you put a sign up that says ‘Please refrain from making any insult, allegation or personal reflection against any person during the course of your address to Council’?
After suffering through Suffolk Park resident Peter Wegner’s waffling thanks to councillors and staff for the hard work they do, long-term Council agitator Fast Buck$ bellows from the back of the room, ‘You’re a boring and tedious old git – stop sucking up to them!’
And so welcome, public, councillors and staff, to the first of the 2014 meetings, held last Thursday.
It was long as usual – something that Cr Basil Cameron reminded us of at around 4.30pm when there was no one left in the room except councillors, staff and myself.
SGB NYE fall out
In morning public access, South Golden Beach resident Ginger told councillors that infrastructure and the beach in her area were damaged under the stress of visitors during the new year period, which also included the nearby Falls Festival. ‘A tree was cut down for firewood and there were fires all over the beach throughout the period,’ she said. She also said she took upon herself to monitor the beach and advise visitors who may inadvertently be damaging the area.
‘We were inundated by people who took to the dunes,’ she said. ‘People have no idea how sensitive the beach and dunes are – there are birds living in the dunes.’
She said she wants to start a program to alert the public to this. Ginger can be contacted on 0402 693 820 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debate over how to approach the West Byron Project development concluded with agreement to make a submission to the Department of Planning to establish its authority over the urban release area’s draft Development Control Plan (DCP).
Council also asks that ‘a sufficient proportion’ of the Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) funds be forwarded to Council, so a ‘timely construction of the bypass’ can be made ahead of subdivision. Council will also seek the remaining amount from the state government, and noted that it has $2.5m in Section 94 funds available.
Crs Ibrahim, Cubis, Woods and Cameron voted against the motion.
In other – and by no means only – resolutions, Tallowood Ridge Estate got the nod to start stage three of its Mullumbimby development. Thirty-one residential allotments will be released next, with a total of around 250 planned. Mayor Simon Richardson pushed for a meeting with the developers over the sports fields component, and suggested that they may become recreational fields instead.
Byron NYE, park and ride
The great Byron NYE park -and-ride experiment was also thrashed out, with Cr Di Woods claiming, ‘It wasn’t a success in any way, shape or form,’ and was concerned about costs, which she estimated at around $200,000.
Cr Chris Cubis also added some criticism. ‘I don’t recall the community asking for a park and ride. I remember the illegal camping and trashing the town.’ But the mayor hit back, claiming his pet project wouldn’t stack up economically the first time. ‘It’s worrying to hear the distrust with the figures. It’s quite offensive.’
‘We learned a lot, and this has always been in a strategic plan.’ Council agreed to stage a three-year trial and develop an operational plan and budget, which may include sponsorship to help offset expenditure.
n To view the entire minutes, visit www.byron.nsw.gov.au.
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