MP stoush over West Byron development

HEAVY TRAFFIC: More than 200 locals turned out to the recent Byron Deserves Better rally against the West Byron Developments.
HEAVY TRAFFIC: More than 200 locals turned out to the recent Byron Deserves Better rally against the West Byron Developments. Christian Morrow

AS TIME ticks away for public submissions to be made on the proposed developments at West Byron, National Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast, Ben Franklin has rejected claims by Ballina MP Tamara Smith that he has never raised concerns regarding the development with the state planning minister Anthony Roberts.

Mr Franklin pointed to Minister Robert's response to Ms Smith's questions in parliament over the development when he said "I have been advised by the Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast, Ben Franklin, that he has heard from many local who have also expressed many reservations."

"Ms Smith may have asked a question, but it's a shame she didn't listen to the answer before talking to the media", Mr Franklin said.

During Question time on Wednesday Ms Smith urged Mr Roberts to act on local concerns about the proposed developments.

"I was able to secure a commitment from the Planning Minister to monitor the developments but the message I got loud and clear is that we as a community need to make sure we express our concerns formally if we stand any chance of reining in this mega development," Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith had also accused the National-Liberal coalition in the Legislative Assembly of, "failing to act on a Greens motion against the West Byron mega development, with debate postponed to a later date."

She originally accused Mr Franklin of being amongst those who "voted down" the motion. Mr Franklin was quick to point out the mistake.

"This suggestion is untrue. I did not vote against the motion. The Government Whip objected to it being passed. The rules of the Legislative Council state that when any single member objects to a motion it stays on the notice paper to be debated at a later date. I look forward to contributing to that debate in the future," Mr Franklin said.

"I do however agree with her on one thing. It is critical that the community formally make a submission before 29 March to ensure that their views are known on the West Byron development. Submissions can be made to,' he said.

Topics:  anthony roberts ben franklin tamara smith west byron development

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