Council tells them, Move!
WHEN Pat and Arthur Kay bought their plot of land in the caravan park on the Simpson's Creek foreshore 23 years ago they were told they could live there till they died.
Now the couple, both in their 70s and both suffering from cancer face being forced to relocate their home, somewhere within the Terrace Reserve Holiday Park in Brunswick Heads.
It's a "very distressing" turn of events, Mrs Kay said, of the Byron Shire Council decision to remove their home from the creek's picturesque foreshore.
"Neither of us is in good health, so we don't need this at all."
They are among 22 people, mostly elderly, who will have to uproot themselves within three years, in order to create a 3m buffer zone along the shore.
Among them are Joan and Fred Petty, who have had their place for 29 years.
At 86, Mrs Petty says she wants to stay where she is - especially as she has the added burden of caring for Fred, 87, who is in the early stages of dementia.
"This has been going on for years and it's very unsettling. If we have to move it will be hugely disruptive."
Reg Richardson, elderly, disabled and not long a widower says he will simply dig his heels in.
"Every week it's a different story. Forget it, I'm not moving," he said.
Gordon Lee, 65, and his wife Sheryl, have been resident for 13 years, and say the group is both a little community in itself and part of the larger community.
They say the phrase in the council resolution "noting the community view" to create the buffer is rubbish.
"People from the south side of Brunswick Heads walk through here every day. Everyone we've spoken to is happy to have us stay."
And the residents haven't been consulted, said Geoff Suthon, their spokesman.
"Councillors - including the new lot - have walked through here twice and not spoken to a single resident."
One man who may be able to stay, but will lose his immediate neighbours, is 98-year-old Jack Passlow, another 23-year veteran.
"By relocating these 14 residences within the park, the number of caravan sites to rent to tourists will be reduced by a third. That is going to mean losses for local businesses from the drop in visitation and a huge drop in income for the park itself."
The Kays had a caravan on their site for five years before being told by the then head of Byron council, Joe Flynn, to live in it or lose it. They chose to buy and moved down from Lismore, the last step in a life-long association with Bruns.