BELONGIL STEPS: Photo taken on June 5 of the steps at Belongil Beach.
BELONGIL STEPS: Photo taken on June 5 of the steps at Belongil Beach. Christian Morrow

Council meeting may be final word on coastal plan

BYRON based community groups are urging locals to attend Wednesday's mornings meeting of Byron Shire Council at the chambers in Mullumbimby to make their feelings known about the Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan Byron Bay Embayment.

Council is meeting to discuss and possibly amend the Plan. After being on public exhibition and attracting a 689 submissions, councillors will be voting on whether to submit the DCZMP, as amended, to the Minister for certification.

President of the Byron Residents Group Cate Coorey has raised concerns that many of the submissions are from people who do not live in the Shire

"Mayor Simon Richardson has already raised concerns about this," she said.

"We also know that Belongil landowners contacted people who patronise their holiday lets and told them to send in a submission.

"This is utterly unacceptable. We deserve to know where the submissions are coming from.

"Many of us wrote well-considered informed responses to the CZMP and we are concerned that (submissions from locals) are only being given the same weight as a one line email from someone who rented a beach house at Belongil once."

Deputy Mayor Councillor Paul Spooner was also concerned the plan centred around a 1.1km rock sea wall with walkway will inevitably make it necessary to construct a number of groynes and undertake small scale beach nourishment.

"If all three 3 stages (rock walls, groynes and beach nourishment) of the Adaptive Management option outlined in the WRL Coastal Hazard Management Study (page 98) have to be implemented due to the loss of the beach at Belongil, it will cost $36,115,520."

He is also concerned that this could impact the overall council budget

"Council would need to cut $10 million in existing programs and services over the next 10 years to pay for this CZMP," he said.


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