Locals to protest over Belongil rock wall
ANGRY Byron Shire residents will converge on Belongil Beach this Sunday to protest against the council's plans to put a rock wall on the beach.
They will also discuss the beginning of a campaign to withhold rates payments.
"A lot of people are angry about the out of control decisions being made by (Byron Shire Council) that don't reflect ratepayers' wishes," said ratepayer Ruth Winton-Brown.
She said organisers were hoping up to 1,000 people would attend the event, at The Wreck, Main Beach, which will include music and speeches from Greens MP for Ballina Tamara Smith and Byron Shire councillor Duncan Day.
Afterwards rally attendees will be invited to attend an event organised by Positive Change for Marine Life, Save Byron's Beaches, at 3pm at the Byron Community Centre to protest against development near the beach.
Debate about the rock wall, in Manfred Street, continues to intensify, with some councillors saying the current sandbag system is too costly to maintain and Belongil resident Laurie Lynch, who sat on council committees between 2002 and 2008, telling the Northern Star that "half of the people (who are objecting to the rock wall) don't know what they are talking about".
"I say to those residents, we didn't hear the same outcry about council spending money when Wilsonc Creek Road or Lighthouse Road fell away," he said.
The Byron Residents' Group has said that the temporary rockwall, that will cost at least $1.2 million, is just the beginning. Next comes groynes and sand nourishment that invovled dredging and pumping sand, it says.
"Why sacrifice all Byron's surf breaks for a small part of Belongil Beach?" it asks.
For more go to www.facebook.com/ByronResidentsGroup