WEREN?T CONSULTED: Concerned Brunswick Heads residents
WEREN?T CONSULTED: Concerned Brunswick Heads residents

Brunswick furyover ?robbery

By STEPHANIE FORESTER

BRUNSWICK Heads residents up in arms about the 'robbery' of their foreshore are the victims of poor process, Byron Shire councillor Tom Tabart said yesterday.

Councillors will vote today on whether or not to accept the latest plan of management for Ferry Reserve Caravan Park, which proposes fixing in place the caravan park's encroachment onto the riverbank.

"The whole process has been bloody hopeless," said Cr Tabart, who led the rescission motion that overturned the council's approval of the plan in November.

"The council has spent squillions on consultants' reports to produce plans of management for caravan parks and we haven't been able to approve one.

"It's very embarrassing."

Brunswick Heads community spokeswoman Michele Grant is furious that council is poised to approve the plan, which she said would sequester 2000 square metres of foreshore for the caravan park.

She rejected claims by council's director of Corporate and Community Services, Elisabeth Brown, that no community submissions of objection had been received.

"We've been arguing about this for seven years ? I can't believe they've decided to put this forward again without consulting us," she said.

"We had no idea the plan of management was on exhibition."

Ms Brown said the plan of management had been prepared 18 months ago and had twice been exhibited by the Department of Lands.

"If people miss the consultation process, it doesn't mean it was not in place," she said.

She said council could not be responsible for contacting individuals.

"It's a hard one, but we can't contact one group and not others (as it's not possible for us to know about everyone who has an interest)," she said.

"I'm surprised no-one from the community or the progress association spotted the gazettal."

Ms Brown said she had 'tried to ensure good public access to the foreshore' in the plan.

"I believe the plan achieves that," she said.

Ms Grant also criticised the quality of the map included in council's plan of management, saying it was 'unclear, not labelled, not surveyed and included no measurements'.

Cr Tabart agreed.

"I feel it's been deliberately left vague," he said.

"Even though I'm told concerns about the plan of management are largely about appearances, and won't change the usage, the community has been ignored for many years on this issue and I feel these changes have been snuck in against their wishes."

Cr Tabart will vote against the plan of management.

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