Residents fight to keep foreshore
DESPITE the rain, more than 200 concerned residents and holiday makers gathered in Brunswick Heads on Sunday to rally against the public foreshore possibly being developed.
The recently released State Government's Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA) proposed for the redevelopment of crown land and the foreshore areas of Brunswick Heads.
Of key concern to residents is the proposed intention by the LPMA to take over large sections of the public foreshore area and rezone it 'operational' so they can develop large upmarket private tourist resorts.
The local residents are horrified that if this happens they will lose most of their public foreshore parkland and access to their favorite riverside beaches. Families who live in the Terrace are also greatly alarmed at the impact of a proposed new, year round development that will bring hundreds of tourists into their residential street and only 15 metres from their front doors.
Many current holiday park users are also greatly concerned that these planned new upmarket resorts are going to make the great tradition of inexpensive camping holidays in Brunswick Heads a thing of the past. The new plans show a large increase in luxury cabin accommodation.
Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham and councillors Di Woods and Tom Tabart spoke at the rally and all expressed their concerns at the LPMAs plans for Brunswick Heads. Councillors Cameron and Richardson also attended the rally as did Greens MLC Ian Cohen.
Cr Barnham was particularly concerned at the many negative social, financial and environmental impacts such developments could have on a small village such as Brunswick.
Local resident of 80 years, D’Arcy O’Meara, spoke of his disbelief that public parkland could be taken from a community and turned into a tourist resort. He recalled how as a child, teachers used the Terrace Reserve as a nature walk pointing out the huge diversity of native plants and the importance of the sensitive mangrove areas.
Event organiser Sarah Buchanan felt the hastily organised rally was a great success with attendees 'champing at the bit' to air their concerns.
“We only had a few days to get the rally together but we had most of Byron Shire councillors there showing their support as well as a great cross section of the community with many taking the stage to express their disgust at these plans.”
Submissions to the LPMA detailing any residents concerns need to be sent to the LPMA (firstname.lastname@example.org) by September 24.