Residents fuming as council sells off Roundhouse site
MANY Ocean Shores residents are still fuming over their "betrayal" by Byron Shire Council after it voted to sell off the Roundhouse site last Thursday, with Cr Diane Woods a particular target of anger.
The deputy mayor was part of a 8-1 vote (Cr Chris Cubis opposed) to subdivide the prominent site into 11 residential blocks and sell them off, a decision which she said made her feel sick.
Cr Woods, who lives at Brunswick Heads, has been a vocal campaigner for facilities for the shire's north.
"It was terrible. I felt ill and I know that I was probably going to cop a fair bit of flack for it," Cr Woods said.
It has been a more than 20-year dream held by the community for the land to stay in community hands and a "self sustaining cultural facility" be built.
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Cr Woods said her decision had been greatly influenced by the lack of a developer behind the community's proposal and council's poor financial position which was even worse than she had previously believed going into the last election.
She said bread and butter issues like road maintenance had to take precedence.
Prominent resident Tina Petroff defended Cr Woods saying she had worked tirelessly for the area and achieved great results in many areas.
But Ms Petroff said given council's poor track record, she doesn't believe they could be trusted to spend the funds raised from the Roundhouse in the north of the shire, despite council resolving to do just that.
But Cr Woods said: "Over my dead body will it go anywhere else. I'll fight to the death cause we need so much here."
Jan Mangleson from the Ocean Shores Community Association said the Roundhouse site's sale was just one in a long line of betrayals by successive councils.