Showing posts with label Byron Bay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Byron Bay. Show all posts

Friday, 14 February 2020

Byron Bay Surf Festival due to start today, Friday 14 February 2020 - three days of fun for all

"All of our events encompass who we are as a surfing community and BBSF is the perfect platform to get everyone together to show people what we're made of!! 
Click through here to find out more about what's happening and who's involved, you won't want to miss a thing!"

Friday, 3 January 2020

The NSW Northern Rivers region's anger at Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is not going away

Byron Bay Shire resident, singer-songwriter Tex Perkins, performed at Sydney's New Year's Eve open-air event bringing in 2020.

Millions of people across the country and around the world saw his performance during the ABC TV live broadcast.

Tex dedicated the song The Honeymoon is Over to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Immediately and very publicly flipping him the bird while roughly facing Kirribilli House where the prime minister and his selected guests had gathered to watch the fireworks.

News Corp's main online media site reported on 1 January 2020:

He was hammering home his disgust at the PM’s alleged lack of action on climate change and leadership as wildfires lash large parts of the country 

The jubilant crowd’s reaction would be painful enough, but Perkins’ aptly chosen song “The Honeymoon Is Over”, which he released as a member of the band The Cruel Sea, features on Mr Morrison’s Spotify playlist titled “How good is Oz Rock! (ScoMo’s Classics)”

IMAGE: The Daily Examiner, 1 January 2019

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

13th Byron Bay International Film Festival, Australia’s independent showcase, 18-27 October 2019

Echo NetDaily, 4 October 2019:

In two weeks time, the Northern Rivers’ biggest movie festival event 
will unfold in cinemas screening a massive 125 feature-length and 
short films.

The 13th Byron Bay International Film Festival Australia’s 
independent showcase for cutting-edge films, documentaries and 
VR experiences has announced its official programme selection 
for 2019 to screen across 10 days in a diverse set of venues in 
Byron Shire and the Tweed.
Highlights of the event include screenings of The Cave, dramatised 
account of the rescue of the team trapped underground in Thailand 
last year, a documentary following Freestyle Footballers from all 
corners of the world; Gloomy Eyes a VR film narrated by Collin 
Farrell; In My Blood It Runs, an up-close study of a gifted, 
questioning 10 year old Aboriginal boy, Dujuan Hoosan; A Son of 
Man – Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Language film, featuring the real life characters, unscripted and shot purely by drone in the 
Amazon jungle; Honeyland, the most awarded film in Sundance; 
Out Deh – The Youth of Jamaica portrays the daily struggles of 
three young Jamaicans searching for a way to create bright 
futures for themselves; Live Baby Live sees iconic band INXS’s 
legendary 1991 Wembley Stadium tour restored
The festival will feature 22 documentaries, 17 dramatic features, 
20 music videos, 78 shorts, 10 films by young Australian 
filmmakers and a mind-blowing range of over 15 Virtual Reality 
experiences were chosen from more than 1000 films submitted 
from all over the world.
The 13th Byron Bay Film Festival runs from October 18-27 at 
the Palace Cinema, the Byron Community Centre, Pighouse 
Flicks and venues in Brunswick Heads and Murwillumbah......
Palace Cinema 'phone number is (02) 6680 8555 for screening 
details/booking information.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Eight Byron Bay businesses closing shop for 20 September 2019 global climate strike

Echo NetDaily, 13 September 2019:

There are few better ways to prove you’re serious about taking action on climate change than putting your money where your mouth is.
And a handful of Byron business owners are doing just that, electing to forego their profits so their staff can take part in next Friday’s global climate strike.

The March School strike for climate change Byron. Photo Aslan Shand.
Bella Rosa, Endless Summer, Baskin Robbins, Tasa Jara, Retrospect Gallery, Etnix, Beyond Oil electric transport, and Sustainable Futures Australia will all shut up shop between 10am and midday on September 20 for the global day of action.
One of the local organisers of the strike, Emma Briggs, said volunteers would be speaking to other local businesses in the coming days to encourage them to get on board.
‘I understand this is a significant sacrifice for business owners in a busy period, but the sacrifices we’ll all have to make if we fail to turn around the climate crisis will be far greater,’ Ms Briggs said.
‘It is the young people who will have the most to lose if we continue with business as usual.’
‘We would like to thank all our supporters very much, and hope that consumers will consider patronising the participating businesses who have shown they care about more than just short-term profit.’
Following the success of previous school climate strikes in Byron Bay, students are organising buses to bring in hundreds of strikers from around the shire to rally at the Rec Grounds at 10am and march to Main Beach.
There will also be a screening of the film Inferno at the Beach Hotel at 8.30am, with the march to kick off at 10am.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

When local people power has a win

The rejection of a $25 million development at Byron Bay’s Ewingsdale Rd for a 282-lot subdivision was met with thunderous applause.
Villa World’s plan for a controversial development was unanimously rejected by members of the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel at a meeting on Monday.
It was the second DA for the West Byron site to be refused by the panel, as a $40 million development put forward by West Byron Landowners Group was rejected earlier this year.
Numerous speakers pleaded with the NRPP on many grounds, including that they “did not want a Gold Coast” in Byron Bay.
The proposal was refused on 10 grounds including: adverse impacts to surrounding properties; a significant visual impact and undesirable impact on the street scape inconsistent with the northern entrance to Byron Bay; the development was likely to have had adverse impacts on threatened species and ecosystems; no adequate discharge of storm water and was not considered in the public’s interest.
Echo NetDaily, 9 April 2019:

No social or environmental license

Newly reelected MP Tamara Smith said this another great win for our community and people power. ‘The thousands of community submissions and actions highlighting the fundamental flaws in developing this land have successfully culminated in the NRPP rejecting both subdivision plans – against the odds,’ she said.

‘With the rejection of both the West Byron subdivision applications by the NRPP the developers should immediately approach the State government and request that they buy the land and restore it to the Cumbebin Swamp Reserve.

Ms Smith said there is no social or environmental license for a subdivision of the swamp land known as West Byron. ‘So why waste more money on legal battles when the community is utterly opposed.

‘Restitution is on offer for the landowners and they should jump at the chance to be made whole and walk away. They need only look to Condon Hill at Lennox to see decades of iconic land ownership that has never passed muster to see development on it. Get out now is my advice.

‘I strongly advise Byron Shire Council to shelve any idea of a reduced sub-division and instead respectfully ask them to help me actually deliver what the community wants – No West Byron Mega-development.”

Justifiable opposition

Former Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham also spoke to the panel. She said she wanted to acknowledge the amazing efforts of the community in their justifiable opposition to the inappropriate proposals for the West Byron lands.

‘This development fails on every point,’ she said. ‘From the destruction of biodiversity and the threat to the local koala population and wallum froglet, the filling of a flood prone area, likely negative impact on the Belongil Creek and the Cape Byron Marine Park and further traffic chaos on Ewingsdale Road, that will not be alleviated by the bypass.

‘I’m confident these points have been raised in sufficient detail in the submissions to inform a refusal.’

Ms Barham summed up the general feeling on the day. ‘The refusal of Villa World by the Planning Panel alongside the previous West Byron refusal, justifies years of commitment by our community to protect and preserve our special place, with evidence, passion and genuine concern for the future,’ she said after the decision was announced.

‘It makes me feel so proud to be a member of an activist community who knows the value of standing up for what we believe in and thankfully, this time, the independence of the process delivered the right outcome.

‘Well done to everyone who took the time to be involved, no doubt there will be more challenges to come but the refusals vindicates us and our role as protectors.’

Sunday, 18 November 2018

GJD Developments' Byron DA rejected by NSW Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel as “disrespecting the process”

A four-storey mixed use development covering three building lots totally 2,834m2  approx. 1km from Main Beach, comprising commercial premises, café, child care centre, 24 shop top residential units, 26 serviced apartments and underground parking for 120 cars, has failed to gain consent.

Echo NetDaily, 14 November 2018:

A contentious application to build a four-storey residential/commercial development at the southern end of Jonson Street has been refused by the Joint Regional Planning Panel, with one panelist branding it ‘disrespectful’.

There was a burst of applause from the public gallery as the panel unanimously rejected the $21.1m development at a meeting in Mullumbimby on Wednesday afternoon.

In doing so the panel went against a recommendation from Byron Council staff that the development be approved.

Instead, the panel accepted one of the main objections from locals, namely, that the proposed development was to be two-and-a-half metres above the current 9-metre height limit for that part of Byron.

This would have allowed the developer to squeeze a fourth storey into the building, going against resident’s long-held desire to maintain a three-storey CBD height limit.

In arguing that its proposal should be approved, the developer relied heavily on the fact that Byron Council has proposed to increase building height limits in this part of town to 11.5m.

But the panel found that until the proposed increase had gone through the appropriate community consultation processes and become law, the development could not be approved.

‘I’m concerned that we’re being asked to vary a height limit based on a proposal that hasn’t been subject to community consultation,’ panel member Pamela Westing said.
‘I find it disrespectful quite frankly, not to go through that process before making the application.’

Panel Chair Garry West agreed.

‘Who’s to say that, after the community consultation process, it [the new height limit] won’t come back to 10.5 metres or 10 meters?’ Mr West asked.

‘If we were to approve that at the moment we would be disrespecting the process.’
Earlier, the meeting heard from around a dozen residents and resident group representatives, all of whom objected to the proposal development.

Friday, 12 October 2018

The past two months have not been great for NSW Police public relations

The Daily Examiner, 8 October 2018, p.3:

Two police officers have been served with future court attendance notices for alleged offences related to the use and access of a NSW Police Force computer system.

Police said the 43-year-old male senior constable and the 40-year-old female leading senior constable, both attached to Northern Region, are alleged to have modified data in October, last year.

The woman has been charged with unauthorised access of restricted data and the man has been charged with unauthorised modification of restricted data.

They are both due to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court on Tuesday, November 23.

The West Australian, 6 October 2018:

A Sydney police officer has been stood down after allegedly making sickening threats towards a Greens Senator’s young daughter.

Sarah Hanson-Young was targeted by what she calls vile, cowardly and intolerable threats at the height of her public stoush with Senator David Lleyonhjelm.

But Ms Hanson-Young says the threats went further, targeting her 11-year-old daughter in a call made five days after her joust with Mr Lleyonhjelm.

“I have spoken to her about it,” she said.

“Of course it’s a difficult thing to explain.

“I was very shocked to know that it was a police officer.

“It's disgusting and no child deserves this, no young woman deserves this and to do it is not just cowardly, it's vile.”....

Federal police charged the 56-year-old cop with using a carriage service to menace, harass, offend after raiding his south-western Sydney home.

The senior constable has since been stood down and his employment is under review….

The officer will face court next month and faces up to seven years’ in prison if convicted.

NSW Law Enforcement Conduct CommissionMedia Release20 September 2018:


The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission has found that a Leading Senior Constable engaged in serious misconduct after he punched an intoxicated woman (Ms Z) in police custody on 15 September 2017.*

The Commission’s Operation Baltra held private hearings to determine whether the officer involved (Officer A): 
1. Used excessive force when he punched Ms Z to the head with a closed fist whilst her hands were handcuffed behind her back.
2. [blank]
3. Breached NSWPF policies and guidelines when he recorded the CCTV footage of the incident on his mobile phone and subsequently shared that footage with a Snapchat group, which comprised other police officers from Police Station X.

The Commission has found that the punch with a closed fist by Officer A to the side of Ms Z’s head was an unreasonable use of force and that Officer A engaged in serious  misconduct as defined in section 10 of the LECC Act. 

The Commission is satisfied that Officer A was in breach of the NSWPF policies and guidelines with respect to his filming of the CCTV footage and that the dissemination of it to other police officers via Snapchat was unauthorised.  Notwithstanding this finding, the Commission is satisfied that Officer A genuinely believed that he was not breaching any policies or guidelines by sharing the information with other police officers in his team. 

The Commission’s recommendation, outlined in its Operation Baltra report presented to Parliament today, is that consideration should be given to the taking of action against Officer A with a view to dismissing the officer pursuant to section 181D of the Police Act 1990. 

The Operation Baltra report and associated footage can be found on the Commission website. 


The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission is an independent statutory body. The principal functions of the Commission are to detect, investigate and expose serious misconduct and serious maladministration within the NSW Police Force and the NSW Crime Commission. 

The Commission is separate from and completely independent of the NSW Police Force and NSW Crime Commission. The Commission will treat all information confidentially and has powers to protect persons who provide information to it. 

* Codenames have been used in the report to protect the identities of the involved persons. 

The Northern Star, 21 September 2018, p.1:

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission has found a police officer who inflicted multiple baton strikes on a naked 16-year-old boy in Byron Bay used excessive force and should be considered for prosecution.

The commission’s Operation Tambora arose out of events involving the arrest of the teenager by four police officers in Lateen Lane on January 11 this year.

On February 6, Channel 9’s A Current Affair aired mobile phone footage showing police apprehending the boy in the early hours of the morning. The footage showed at least one officer using a baton repeatedly to subdue him.

The teenager, referred to as “AO” in the commission’s report, had been holidaying with his family in Byron Bay at the time of the incident.

The investigation was primarily concerned with the conduct of the police officers when attempting to take AO into custody. This involved consideration of whether the decisions by the police officers to use OC spray and a taser were justified in the circumstances. There was also a significant issue as to the need for the use of a baton on AO and, in particular, the number and force of baton strikes that were administered to AO, particularly those administered by “Officer E” at a time when AO appeared to be restrained.....

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Monday, 24 April 2017

NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts pressuring Byron Shire Council on behalf of millionaire developer

The Northern Star, 20 April 2017:

BYRON Shire Councillor Cate Coorey has reacted angrily to a letter received by council from NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts, pushing council to make a Draft Control Plan for the West Byron site that she and a number of other councillors see as flawed.

At a meeting on November 17 last year, council resolved "that subject to peer reviews of frog, koala, traffic, and water and flood management reports, council (should) approve the Byron Shire Development Control Plan 2014".

Instead, the Planning Minister is pushing council to make the DCP without the reports…..                                                                                                                                                                      
"The minister that approved this rezoning never came to Byron and does not understand the site.

"Now this new Planning Minister is doing the same. The State Government ignores what the people of Byron want."

"The previous council did nothing with this DCP - they were happy to accept the one put forward by the developers, which took no account of the major issues with the site - koalas, endangered frog habitat, acid sulfate soils, flooding and traffic.

"This council is trying to address these serious issues and we are being bullied by the minister, who is threatening to make the DCP himself if we don't submit the inadequate one that we were trying to amend.

"Minister's letter to us says - the proposed amendments, if pursued, would likely result in significant land-forming works and clearing to enable drainage, and a loss of dwelling yield across the site.

"Drainage on West Byron is fundamental to the site……

According to a 20 April 2017 newsletter from the Saddle Ridge Community Action Group

Today was a terrific day at the Byron Shire Council meeting.

Four substantial motions that went against staff recommendations.

1.  A motion to return public lands in Brunswick Heads to the community from North Coast Holiday Parks and a restriction limiting them from expanding into the Cypress Pine WW1 memorial grove.  We now have to wait if North Coast Holiday parks will challenge this legally.

2. A motion blocking any attempt to allow heliport operations at Tyagarah airfield and a further motion raising a number of significant issues that need to be addressed before any further expansion and intensification of the airfield goes ahead.

3.  A final attempt by council to write to the Minister seeking peer review of certain elements of the West Byron DCP before it is signed off by the Minister.

4.  The re-exhibition of the Byron Rural Land Use Strategy for a further 28 days with a report to be brought to council before it is again sent back to the Minister.

[my yellow highlighting]


The Northern Star, 5 June 2014:

A QUEENSLAND property developer is understood to have bought a major share of the controversial West Byron development.
The Byron Residents' Group, which opposes the development, described the new landowner, property developer Terry Agnew, as "a big player in the Sydney CBD property market" who is about to start building a major resort development on Great Keppel Island.
"We have always been concerned that the West Byron landowners were simply trying to get the development approved before selling out to a developer who could afford to undertake a project of this size," Cate Coorey of Byron Residents' Group said.
"For a long time we have been told that it is local people involved in this development and they have the community's best interests at heart. Now that a major developer has bought this parcel, it changes the landscape quite a bit."

The Northern Star, 5 May 2015:

IT WAS claimed that the West Byron development would alleviate housing distress and make housing more affordable.

But the Byron Residents' Group says recent media reports show this claim to be bogus.

Spokesperson Cate Coorey says the truth about the planned development, a 108 hectare housing/commercial estate opposite the industrial estate on Ewingsdale Road, has started to emerge with reports saying the major landowners are "planning to develop about 500 houses on 600sqm lots to be priced from $850,000 on a 70ha site."

"I doubt many people who are looking to buy "affordable" homes would be considering $850,000 plus price tags," she said.

The reference to the price of the planned homes was in a report in the Weekend Australian.

Echo NetDaily, 21 September 2015:

A major player in the controversial West Byron development appears to be pulling the plug on his holding just days before the council’s Development Control Plan (DCP) for the subdivision is due to go on exhibition.
Prominent Sydney CBD property developer Terry Agnew bought a sizeable portion of the project early last year from failed local property company Crighton.

He now looks set to make millions of dollars in profit just for sitting on the land for a matter of months.

Mr Agnew’s company Tower Holdings has refused to comment on the issue but a sizeable advertisement appeared in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald, with a bird’s-eye view of the land for sale, which appears to be his holding.

In May this year Mr Agnew was spruiking the high prices of Byron land and this is echoed in the ad, which reads ‘Byron Bay median house price is now $966,000.’

The ad says the parcel potentially contains allotments for ‘300-450 dwellings’

The Australian, 10 September 2016:
Property developer and Great Keppel Island owner Terry Agnew’s mansion Rona, fronting Fairfax Road, Bellevue Hill, will soon hit the market through Laing & Simmons agent Bart Doff, as revealed in The Australian earlier this week. Doff says the property is a “beautifully renovated six-bedroom mansion with Opera House and Harbour Bridge views as well as uninterrupted views north to Manly”. Agnew is decamping further north to his Wategos Beach mansion in scenic Byron Bay. His daughter, a champion rower, is moving to the US to study while Agnew’s son is weeks away from completing his senior schooling — hence the desire to downsize.

The Australian,  7 September 2016:

 Rona, one of the ­nation’s grandest estates, will hit the market officially with hopes of $65 million.
Rona’s vendor, property developer Terry Agnew, paid $20.5m for the 45-room estate at 49-51 Fairfax Road, Bellevue Hill, in January 2005.

Echo NetDaily, 12 April 2017:

A planning ‘instrument’ that gives the community and councillors a say on one of the largest Byron Bay suburbs in a generation has been circumvented by Gold Coast developer Villa World Ltd.

Instead, a 290-lot development application (DA) was lodged for around a third of West Byron land last week.

Villa World say they are in a joint venture partnership with Sydney-based developer Terry Agnew, who purchased approximately a third of the 108 hectare lot around two years ago.

The land is located opposite the arts and industry estate on Ewingsdale Road.

Councillors and staff had been working through a revised development control plan (DCP); however, Villa World development manager Peter Johnson told The Echo that owing to a change in NSW premier and planning minister, the company were unsure of a determination timeline and have instead circumvented the DCP.

A DCP is a specific planning ‘instrument’ for the site, and aims to address specifics such as traffic and the endangered koala and frog habitats.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Why is the NSW Baird Government removing surgical facilities from the new $80 million Byron Central Hospital?

In September 2014 it was reported that the early works contract for the new $80 million Byron Central Hospital had been awarded and, that main works construction on the greenfields site was to begin in 2015.

On 16 October 2014 the Echo Netdaily reported on the possible privatisation of surgical services within this hospital:

The NSW Parliament is today set to debate controversial government plans to privatise the proposed Byron Central Hospital after a move by the Labor opposition yesterday to force the coalition to release all documents related to the development.
It comes as a residents group revealed the Ewingsdale landowner of the surrounding land where plans are being pushed through for almost 200 dwellings, a nursing home and shopping centre is the daughter of one of Australia’s richest beef barons who has been buying up prime farmland nearby.
Byron Shire Council last week narrowly approved pushing the so-called ‘seniors’ development through to its development application (DA) stage, outraging local resident groups who say it should have been deferred for more time to consider the contentious plan which contravened the shire’s new Local Environment Plan (LEP).
But comments by Ballina MP Don Page, following the council decision, that he wanted the private sector to provide surgical services at the hospital has sparked the move in parliament to try and throw light on the hospital plans and the push for privately-run services.
Labor’s shadow health minister Walt Secord says his call for papers, known as a Standing Order 52, in the NSW Legislative Council yesterday will be debated this week.
‘It’s an extraordinary step, but this is about finding out the National Party plans for Byron Central Hospital’, Mr Secord told Echonetdaily.
He said Mr Page’s comments to the ABC in favour of a privately-run service followed an announcement by state health minister Jillian Skinner last month that the central hospital’s project team was ‘undertaking a market sounding process to determine whether there is interest from private providers to deliver surgical services at the facility’.

Read the rest of the article here.

The aforementioned debate did take place and Greens MLC Jan Barham from the Northern Rivers spoke up for the people of Byron Bay Shire and revealed what government members were obfuscating that day -  that surgical facilities had been entirely removed from the architectural plans for this hospital.

NSW Legislative Council Hansard [Proof Copy] 16 October 2014:

Ms JAN BARHAM [10.55 a.m.]: I support the motion moved by the Hon. Walt Secord. I urge members to have a history lesson on this matter because both sides have misrepresented the situation. As to Byron Central Hospital, I spent 10 years attending meetings and dealing with the processes conducted under the former Government for its delivery, only to be thwarted time and time again. For example, a Central Coast hospital was proposed and it was suggested that Byron would lose its two hospitals and get one large hospital in Ballina. I apologise to the Minister for Ageing, who outlined the Government's position, but he is incorrect. The previous process was always followed carefully and stringently, with wide consultation on delivery of the supply plan for the new Byron Central Hospital.

Until February 2014, architectural plans that were shown to community members—who had served for more than 20 years on committees discussing the delivery of a new hospital—included surgery services. The services plan that was completed in 2002 and put out for public consultation included surgery.
The idea of removing surgery services from the hospital, as proposed in the current planning process, is abhorrent to the local community. People feel that promises have been broken and they deserve answers. Members may note that I have put questions on the Notice Paper about these issues. I recently attended a forum at which design plans for the hospital were released, and committee members were shocked to see that the previous architectural plans had been changed to remove surgery services. It was the first they had heard of it. There has been a lack of consultation and notification about this process. People who have the community's interests at heart and who have voluntarily given so much time and energy to local health issues and to this project, were shocked. That night they expressed their displeasure about what was occurring. [my red bolding]

The Government is unwilling to tell the community why surgery services have been dropped or what process is being undertaken to ensure that Byron shire retains those important services. A new proposal should be developed and presented in a manner that conforms with normal processes so the public can access it conveniently. The process must be transparent. There has been misinformation but the important issues are service delivery and good public health services—about which I have put a question on notice. Tourism is also an important consideration. Unfortunately, visitors who engage in dangerous and adventurous activities often use local health services and facilities. I welcome this important motion but I caution members to recognise, observe and acknowledge the history of this matter. The Byron shire community have put in a lot of effort to ensure they get a hospital that meets their needs. I look forward to these issues being considered and resolved.

On a vote in the Lower House the motion passed and the Baird Government is now obliged to supply to Parliament all documents, including but not limited to ministerial briefing notes, email correspondence, financial documents, memos, file notes, meeting papers and meeting minutes relating to the new Byron Central Hospital and Maitland Hospital.

These documents should be interesting to say the least, as one local resident in a submission to the NSW Minister for Planning & Environment in September 2014 outlined how planned surgical services were whittled away before being removed from the building design:

As a member of Byron Bay Hospital Aux, I have been interested in the planning process for the new Byron Shire Central Hospital since the first consultants were engaged by the Dept to consult with the local community, so probably for over 20 years. Along every step of this process I have attended numerous public meetings as well as meetings of the planning committee and was always assured that there would be no downgrading of the services available at the Byron Bay or Mullumbimby Hospitals until the new Hospital was built and we would keep all the current services available at both Hospitals and indeed add to these services, when the new hospital was built. I was astounded to see that the plans currently on exhibition make no mention of operating theatres or day surgery. The initial proposal incorporated two "state of the art" operating theatres. This later became theatres for day surgery procedures and now we have non{e} at all!. As Byron Bay Hospital has facilities for day surgery and has had some form of theatre since it's inception, I find it totally unacceptable that the new Central Hospital has none at all and I say this whilst being well aware that the Area Health Board is looking for expressions of interest for a private provider to build operating theatres on the site, for them to buy back services from. I wish to strongly object to the fact that there is not allowance for operating theatres in these plans. These plans must include provision for at least day surgery in the event that no private provider is found, otherwise the people of the Byron Shire have been duped by the Health Department. This Hospital underwent a very lengthy and painful community consultation, there was much ill feeling in both communities over the loss of both hospitals. The community only agreed to the one Central Hospital provided there was no loss of services. They would not agree to what is now proposed in these plans. 

Once again the North Coast Nationals appear to have blindly endorsed a flawed health services plan for the Northern Rivers region.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

NSW North Coast development referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption

A tale the NSW North Coast has heard many times before – a metropolitan-based developer is allegedly using a handful of local investors to hopefully cloak his proposed over-development with a modicum of legitimacy.

West Byron at North Coast Nature


Dear Warren Simmons, Peter Croke, Gary Macdonald, Alan Heathcote, Tony Smith, Terry Agnew, Timothy Stringer, Ronald Geeves, David O’Connor, Kevin Rodgers and Richard Sykes,
We, the people of Byron Bay,  want to let you know that we believe you would be doing an irreversible harm to our town if your proposed rezoning and subsequent development of the West Byron wetlands goes through.
If this land is rezoned for intensive residential and industrial development, our lovely low-key, laid-back town would become a congested mess and look like so many other ruined coastal towns. The natural environment that brings people here must be protected; we will not accept more appalling traffic queues into town and an overcrowded parking nightmare.
We have asked, via your representative Stuart Murray, for meetings and for genuine community consultation but you have declined. You can do something about this terrible plan. You can stop it. For your property you can submit a more reasonable proposal to Council that avoids the most sensitive areas, enables an amount of development that will not overwhelm Byron’s ability to cope with it and still makes you sizeable profits.
Please consider the wellbeing of Byron Bay residents, the tourism industry, local koalas and the Belongil estuary and don’t attempt to sacrifice them for your profit. We will not accept this development.
See full list of signatures here.

Echo NetDaily 1 October 2014:

The West Byron development proposal is to be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) today (Tuesday) by NSW Greens MLC and former Byron mayor Jan Barham.
Ms Barham told The Echo that the site ‘may have been wrongly defined’ and is worthy of investigation. ‘The community deserves to be assured that a project of this scale has not been brought forward for state approval wrongly.’
‘I believe that it is important that this matter is clarified before any assessment of the proposal by the government,’ she said.
The 108-hectare land is currently under planning minister Pru Goward’s determination for large-scale housing/industrial development, and sits just 2.5 kilometres west of the CBD on Ewingsdale Road.The Echo understands that Sydney-based developer Terry Agnew is by far the largest shareholder at around 80 per cent, along with other local investors.
Ms Barham says there appears to be ‘irregularities’ from when the site was defined in 2009 as West Byron Bay Urban Release Area for inclusion in the Major Development SEPP.
It comes after a meeting was held between Ms Barham, local state MP Don Page (Nationals) and members from the Byron Residents Group last week……

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Underwater with the fish at Julian Rocks

Posted in appreciation of Kieren Curry and friends who made this video at Julian Rocks NSW on January 4, 2013.