Byron CZMP: “I’m Not Dead Yet”

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`belongil low tide june 29-2016

Belongil at low tide on June 29, the day of the Council meeting. Photo: Stephen Booth

BYRON SHIRE’s Coastal Management Plan (CZMP) has still not been finalised. At the Byron Shire Council meeting of June 29, the motion to adopt the CZMP was passed 5-4.

But in an extraordinary turn of events late in the meeting, the motion was recommitted for further debate.

Councillors Cubis and Ibrahim left the still open meeting early, before it had closed.

Then Greens Councillor Duncan Dey moved to re-commit the CZMP motion – effectively putting it back on the table for further debate at the next Council meeting on 14 July.

The vote was tied 3-3 (Dey, Richardson, Cameron for and Wanchap, Woods and Hunter against).

Greens Mayor Simon Richardson used his casting vote as Mayor to push the vote through.

The Mayor said Cr Cubis had previously been warned that votes could be recommitted if any Councillor left a meeting before its close.

“Once Sol and Chris left, Duncan moved to recommit. The resulting vote was 3-3 and I used my casting vote to recommit the CZMP vote” he said.

Then three Councillors left the chamber to make sure there was no quorum. I then closed the meeting with the CZMP still to be voted upon. So it cannot be sent to the Minister until after the July 14 meeting.

Cr Richardson said the CZMP now can not be sent to the Minister until after the July 14 meeting.

The CZMP will instead be re-debated on 14 July in front of what will no doubt be an even more packed and vocal public gallery.

Local media analyst Lucy Ashley sees this as an opportunity to possibly overturn the CZMP.

“I’m hoping that sanity will prevail at the next Council meeting,” she said.

“If you’ve ever thought you should attend a council meeting and have your say on something important, this is the one. Great news for our community – and for our beautiful Belongil Beach.”

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4 comments on “Byron CZMP: “I’m Not Dead Yet”

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Patricia Warren on June 30, 2016 2:57 am

My understanding is that the Office of Environment and Heritage advised Council that it could not commit to $5m towards the CZMP because this was a Treasury matter. If the State does not provide the nominated share of funding then Council ratepayers will be up for approx. $10m PLUS ongoing annual maintenance costs PLUS exposure to whatever costs are incurred that arise from compensatory claims arising from damage downwards of the rock walls.
Subject to correction, I do not believe any source for and sand nourishment of the beach is part of the CZMP? However, in public access on 29.6.16, Donald Maughan estimated that the volume of sand required would represent a truck every 10 minutes from Tallow Beach (probable source of sand) through Byron Bay to Belongil 360+ days per year. Cost unknown.

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Chris Cubis on June 30, 2016 11:06 am

Donald is exceptional with his words, but a poor expert.
Council voted against sand transfer Patricia and yet you continually refer to it. Even green councillors voted to support the majority of coastal works, just not at Belongil which defies logic. As planned retreat is clearly not affordable at a price tag of $50 million or more, just for Belongil? If it could ever be enacted! Which it cannot!

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Patricia Warren on June 30, 2016 8:20 pm

Chris, I have just learned that the CZMP has been sent to State. If this is correct, and I would appreciate your confirmation and explanation as to how this happened. If correct then it will not be coming to the July Council meeting. My understanding is that if it has gone to State then the Minister will decide on its certification.

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Chris Cubis on June 30, 2016 2:49 am

Three councilors had to leave the chambers for personal reasons including Paul Spooner. This is not unusual for a meeting that went for 4 hours over the scheduled time. Some of us have jobs, families , and work commitments as well as councilling. I had to leave my 10-year-old daughter waiting at a bus stop to return and deal with these people. The Mayor and his cohorts probably breached a multiple of rules to try this stunt, most likely he will be sanctioned for his stupidity in how he chairs the meeting. The ethics of these radical councilors is appalling. Previously they have tried to do the same if one of the ladies went to the lavatory during the council session. Democracy is not the winner under this political stupidity.

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