Luxury resort responds to ‘unfortunate’ stop work order
Owners of a Byron Bay resort have responded to news of a stop work order being issued, halting sandbagging works on the shore at Belongil.
DPI Fisheries issued a stop work order for the work which was being undertaken at Elements of Byron Resort.
Byron Shire Council has said it is working with Fisheries to investigate the sandbagging and excavation.
Elements said in a statement they did not believe the work required a special permit.
According to the resort, the 1.5m high sandbag wall was built in 2015 in accordance of the Coastal Protection Act code of practice.
“The works sit wholly within the Elements of Byron property,” resort owners said.
“In 2017 we applied to the Department (Coastal Panel) for a permanent approval, which we were informed was not required due to the works being on private land.
“As landowners and under this regime we are required to maintain the structure for safety and integrity in perpetuity.
“This is the first time since 2016 that we have needed to carry out any maintenance works. These works are limited to a small section of the overall structure.”
According to Elements, the contractor, Harding’s, had conferred with the council’s works department about the work and beach access.
“All work health and safety plans and protocols were drawn up, which included having two full time spotters on the beach for public safety,” it said.
The resort said Harding’s began work last Thursday, February 4 and stopped work the following day “under direction from the Fisheries Department”.
Fisheries officially issued the stop work order on Monday, February 8.
“We … submitted an application to DPI (which we were not aware was required),” the resort said.
“A Marine Parks permit is not required unless we need to work on the Crown land.
“We anticipate two to three days to complete the works and tidy the site.
“It is unfortunate that we had to stop and leave it the way it is.”
They said the sandbags “may be buried again for many years” because of the “dynamic nature” of the coastal system at Belongil.
“We had no intention to leave the site unsafe or untidy,” they said.
“We are hoping to receive the DPI permits soon so we can get in and complete the works and restore the area.”