11 issues going before Byron council
THERE is plenty on the agenda for Byron Shire Council's ordinary meeting this Thursday.
From a vision to tackle terrible traffic woes to a proposal for a central council-owned block, here's a run down of the issues you might not want to miss:
1. TRAFFIC FLOW
Councillor Alan Hunter will put forward a notice of motion seeking to improve traffic flow within the shire.
Cr Hunter's motion involves a target of one minute per kilometre.
That's a rate of movement much faster than many motorists have been achieving around Byron Bay this week.
Cr Hunter wants to see this target incorporated in the council's committees including the Byron Bay Town Master Plan and he wants to open the idea up for submissions from the public and council committees.
2. BUDGET DEFICIT
The council will be facing a $296,100 deficit after a budget review that will go before the meeting.
This would be a financial position that's improved by $60,700 on previous figures.
A report that will go before the council seeks authorisation of a number of budget variations as part of the budget review.
When the staff report was written in October, the council had "incurred additional expenditure that brings the total legal expenditure for 2020/21 to $212,100".
This is above the current budget but can be funded from the legal services reserve, staff said in the report.
"Council must remember it has a short term financial goal of maintaining $1 million in unrestricted cash and if it is of the view to recover this position by 30 June 2021, the budget position must continue to improve by $571,800 to a surplus position of $275,700," staff said.
3. MAIN BEACH SWIMMING AREA TO GO MOBILE
BYRON Bay Surf Life Saving Club has asked for the flagged swimming area at Main Beach to be moved to the wreck, when surf conditions mean the usual area in front of the surf club is unsuitable for patrol access, set up and safe swimming.
The council's staff have recommended an alternative flagged patrol area be approved, while ensuring beach access is maintained to allow access for the public and rescue equipment.
4. ROAD CLOSURE FOR FILMING
ANOTHER proposed road closure for filming of Nicole Kidman's Nine Perfect Strangers miniseries will be considered.
This application is for filming and the associated temporary closure of part of Coopers Shoot Road, subject to a number of conditions.
Coopers Shoot Rd has this week been used as a diversion while Bangalow Rd is closed for filming of the same production.
5. LOT 12 PLANS
Councillors are expected to discuss, in confidential business, expressions of interest received for the development of a council-owned block of land on Bayshore Drive in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate.
The council sought developers and partners who could achieve the vision for the site, known as Lot 12.
Two submissions were received, from Citta Property Group and The Creative Capital Company.
Citta's portfolio includes social and affordable housing projects the Commonwealth Games village and Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.
The Creative Capital Company is registered to an address in Winmalee, northwest of Sydney, and is associated with Habitat director Brandon Saul.
In the report that will go before the meeting, the council's place liaison officer Andrew FitzGibbon said both submissions "met the baseline compliance assessment requirements".
He said the Citta Property Group proposal "s brief and does not provide a clear design approach for the project" while the proposal from The Creative Capital Company "is detailed and provides a high level of consideration in response to the EOI".
It has been recommended the council proceed with the latter proposal.
6. NATURAL BURIAL GROUND
A motion, brought to the council by deputy mayor Michael Lyon and Cr Jeanette Martin, will seek the council's designation of a site at Vallances Rd, Mullumbimby, for a natural burial ground.
They are seeking the establishment of a steering committee to oversee the process and to consider the site's layout, future governance, funding and infrastructure needs and other details.
In comments attached to the notice of motion, the councillors said the council had already acknowledged "the environmental benefits of natural burial" a year ago.
"Key to the success of the burial ground will be the funding to set up the essential infrastructure such as a building to hold ceremonies and the establishment of walking paths," they said in the motion.
"A community-based steering group has already formed under the auspice of MullumSEED and their newly formed Facebook page has 200 followers.
"The group have researched the fast-growing natural burial movement both nationally and internationally, noting best practice outcomes.
"They are confident in delivering a showcase model of a natural burial ground to the Byron Shire."
The council adopted the Vallances Road Plan of Management, which relates to the site in question and does not currently permit a natural burial cemetery, in October, 2017.
7. 5G PETITION
A PETITION bearing 721 signatures, objecting to Telstra's proposed 5G upgrade in Byron Bay, will go before the council.
A total of 22 points outlining the group's opposition to the mobile technology are included with the petition.
The council voted in October to provide Telstra with feedback on its plans to upgrade an existing tower at 8 Acacia St Byron Bay and to seek further information from authorities.
8. APPEAL FOR KIDS' SWINGS
A total of 707 people have signed a petition calling for the installation of new swings in an Ocean Shores park.
In the petition, members of the community said they had been fundraising to replace swings removed by the council in 2017.
In a report attached to the petition, the council's director of infrastructure service, Phil Holloway, said swings have been procured for instalment in Waterlily Park.
"Installation was scheduled in August 2020 however was placed on hold due to staff unable to reach agreement to the position of the swings with the Waterlily Playscape Committee," Mr Holloway said.
The council voted in August to receive a Crime Prevention through Environmental Design report, but the Queensland border closures and availability of an appropriate crime prevention officer from the local police meant this couldn't be completed until November 12.
9. NEW YEAR'S EVE MARKET
The council's staff have recommended councillors approve a request from the Byron Bay Community Association, seeking approval for a community market to be held in Dening Park on New Year's Eve.
The group is seeking approval for the market to be held within 8am and 4pm, with between 250 and 260 stalls.
It would need to be run in accordance with the group's existing COVID-19 safety plan.
The group has also requested separate approval for carparking at the Sandhills Estate.
10. ZERO EMISSION ACTION PLAN
The council will consider adopting the Net Zero Emissions Action Plan for Council Operations 2025.
Four public submissions were received when the draft plan was placed on public exhibition.
The council resolved, in March 2017, to set the targets of achieving 100 per cent net zero emissions by 2025 in collaboration with Zero Emissions Byron and committing itself to source 100 per cent of its energy through renewable energy within 10 years.
The action plan was a follow-up to those decisions.
11. STREET COULD BE RENAMED
NSW Ambulance has written to the council, asking it to reconsider its decision not to rename Granuaille Crescent on the southern side of Hinterland Way in Bangalow.
The council's staff have now recommended renaming the street to 'Satinash Crescent', because of safety concerns.
The concerns were raised about confusion between Granuaille Crescent and