PROUD MEMBERS: Aunty Robine Kay, Bundjalung Elders Council chair and North Lismore Plateau Protection Association Mickey Ryan, Lewis Walker and Robert Corowa protest the North Lismore Plateau development. Photo: Marc Stapelberg
PROUD MEMBERS: Aunty Robine Kay, Bundjalung Elders Council chair and North Lismore Plateau Protection Association Mickey Ryan, Lewis Walker and Robert Corowa protest the North Lismore Plateau development. Photo: Marc Stapelberg

Concert to protect the plateau

IT HAS been a long, drawn out legal battle between a community group and developers of a controversial housing development, and a fundraiser has been organised to help pay costs.

In order to defend the alleged sacred Aboriginal site at the North Lismore Plateau against development, the chairman of the Bundjalung Elders Council and the North Lismore Plateau Protection Association, Mickey Ryan, announced the group will take the case to the NSW Land and Environment Court in February.

He said despite continued objections made by the association to Lismore City Council, work had already started on stage one with vegetation being cleared along Dunoon Road.

"Funds are needed for the legal battle ahead to protect sacred places on the North Lismore Plateau from further development," Mr Ryan said.

He said the group have organised a Songs for the Sleeping Lizard variety concert to help raise funds for legal costs, featuring performances Blakboi, Isabella A Cappella and Nimbin Poetry Cup finalist Anna Avocado.

Mr Ryan said the concert had originally been planned for December, but following the bush fire crisis, was postponed until Saturday, February 1.

Songs for the Sleeping Lizard will be held at the Lismore City Bowlo from 7pm, with a sausage sizzle from 6pm.

Tickets are $10, with funds going towards legal costs involved with the court case to halt development of the site.

In October 2018 the Joint Regional Planning Panel conditionally approved Winten Property Group's proposal for the new estate off Sexton Rd, North Lismore.

In January last year Mr Ryan commenced legal proceedings to invalidate the development consent for the first stage of the 433-lot project.

He said North Lismore Plateau was "such a significant part of our Aboriginal history".

"If they take away our history then we have no future," Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the Sleeping Lizard or goanna was an iconic symbol, well known to the "Northies" Aboriginal community.

"Goanna Banyam Baigham is a part of a dreamtime story, telling of the battle between the Goanna and Snake Nguhynba," he said.

"After his battle, the goanna was healed by herbs on the hill at North Lismore Plateau, and decided to stay."



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