‘Misled' over LEP
ANGRY Ballina ratepayers are calling for the shire's proposed Local Environment Plan to be recalled.
Owner of the South Ballina Beach Village, Rikki Grinberg, led a protest at the Ballina Shire Council chambers during question time at the council meeting yesterday afternoon.
She said the group would also take a deputation to the NSW Premier next month.
"I feel confident that it (the proposed LEP) will be thrown out on a State level," Ms Grinberg said.
"We have been misled.
"The council has changed the goalposts on us, and most of us did not even know that it was happening."
Members of the group, known as the Ballina Ratepayers' Association, filled the council chambers holding signs and placards, before seizing the opportunity to ask questions about issues such as rezonings and consultation processes.
Ms Grinberg asked Mayor Phillip Silver if the council would recall the LEP document, which was approved by the council in December and has now been sent to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.
In reply, council general manager Paul Hickey said it would have to be a decision of the council.
Outside the council chambers, Ms Grinberg said the council had "not done their due diligence" in informing residents how the new zones would affect their properties.
When asked why the group had not expressed their concerns before now, she said the reason was "incredulity".
"We have put in submissions, but it didn't make any difference, so now we are taking this further," she said.
The council recently issued a written statement about the LEP process, expressing concern about "inaccurate and misleading information" which "appears to be being distributed" and causing "unnecessary distress". It also said it had been working on the LEP for the past five years, and that this included numerous opportunities for ratepayers to make submissions.