Occupy movement in Brunswick Heads

BRUNSWICK Heads residents will hold an Occupy Our Park rally this Sunday to protest a planned expansion of three of the town's caravan parks.

Opponents fear the plan will block access to the Brunswick River and lock them out from riverside walkways, swimming holes and boating and fishing spots.

The issue has come to a head following the Crown Lands Department's indication last month that it intended to compulsorily acquire five parcels of council-owned land adjacent to the Terrace Reserve, Massey Greene and Ferry Reserve caravan parks.

The State Government says the land has been informally used by the parks for years and the deal would formalise the use.

In return for the land, the Crown would transfer ownership of the land that contains the Byron Bay Swimming Pool complex near Main Beach to council.

Council is yet to agree to the land swap but must signal its intention by the end of November.

Resident Sean O'Meara said residents could be blocked from accessing up to 2km of foreshore and that The Terrace Reserve Holiday Park, which had been used as a walkway by residents for decades, would be fenced off.

There is also concern about the impact the expansion will have on the amenity and privacy of residents who live near The Terrace Reserve Park.

Member for Ballina Don Page has moved to reassure residents, saying there would be no restrictions on access and in many cases access would be improved into the future.

But Mr O'Meara remains unconvinced and said if the proposal were to go ahead it could have implications across the North Coast, including at Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head, Clarks Beach at Byron Bay and Shaws Bay, Ballina.

The Occupy Our Park Protest will begin at 10am in the Terrace Reserve between Nana and Tweed Sts at Brunswick Heads.

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