LETTER: Lobby council ahead of Bruns foreshore decision
I am urging local residents to lobby Byron Shire Councillors now to support Notice of Motion 9.3 at next Thursday's council meetingas this is critical to the preservation of foreshore park lands in Brunswick Heads and keeping them outside the operational boundaries of the caravan parks.
NSW crown Holiday Parks Trust (NSW CHPT) is leveraging their claims to Lot 7005 in Massy Greene, the grassed foreshore at Ferry and the whole of the WW1 Memorial Pine Park on the Terrace on 'continuous use rights' under s107 and 109 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Their case is tenuous at best.
Their evidence dismisses documented decades of opposition to their illegal encroachments onto these park lands. It also dismisses BSC's licenses given in good faith to allow the caravan parks to continue to operate whilst Plans of Management were prepared and continues to leverage its argument that it is planning its development within 'agreed boundaries'.
The legality of that position would not pass independent scrutiny. Photographic evidence used by NSW CHPT to justify their claims is poor and again would not pass independent scrutiny.
Perhaps readers would like to judge the credibility of NSWCPT's claim of 'continuous use rights' in the context of the southern section of the Terrace was the Brunswick Heads Flora and Fauna Reserve:
It was planted out as a WW1 Memorial commencing in 1918. Illegal caravan park encroachments were identified by BSC in 1988. BSC has endeavoured to address these primitive camping encroachments. In response BSC was dismissed in 2006 by Minister Tony Kelly and North Coast Accommodation Trust not only changed the use to short term sites but during the Clause 45 Sewage Moratorium installed a 'temporary' amenities block at the southern end for Xmas 2007, added to the sewerage load and extended the area of the operation of the caravan park. All of this was, and continues to date, in an area protected under the Threatened and Endangered Species Act and part is identified on BSC's map as SEPP 14. Now, the Trust is intending to develop the area for residential purposes and leveraging its arguments on highly surreptitious grounds under the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act s136 and the EP&A 'continuous use rights'.
A similar pattern of behaviour by NSWCHPT is being applied to the flood prone foreshore and road reserve at Ferry and part Lot 7005 in Massy Greene.
Parks do not fall as manna from heaven. They have to be fought for. If community members want these invaluable foreshore lands kept as open space for public recreation, then Councillors need to hear from you now in readiness for their decision on the Notice of Motion 9.3 next Thursday