Time to say NO to rocks on Belongil

WE HAVE AN EXTENSION! – the Office for Environment and Heritage (OEH) has said they will accept late submissions about the proposed rock walls until next week.
Several Belongil beachfront landowners have again applied to the NSW Coastal Panel to ‘repair’ the rock works in front of their properties. The repairs look more like rebuilding.The applications can be seen on the Coastal Panel website.

So … we still need you to make an URGENT submission to the Coastal Panel of the OEH in the next few days.
In no way should approval be given for these rock works or future rock works. The beaches of Byron belong to the community. It is known that rock walls accelerate coastal erosion.
The Coastal Panel needs to hear from the community!
See below for more information …BRG is here to help!

We have drafted a submission pro forma that you can DOWNLOAD and use to write your own objection to our beaches being taken for private purposes by people who knowingly purchased in a significant erosion zone.

2001 erosion

Submissions should include:

  • your name and address
  • the name of the application and the application number
  • a statement on whether you support or object to the project
  • declare if you have made any political donations over $1000 (or not) in the past two years

As well as the using the info supplied below, we suggest you make additional personal comments and state your own feelings about the coastline and its importance to your residential /business experience.

Submissions should be: emailed to: coastal.panel@environment.nsw.gov.au
or faxed  to 02 9995 5939, orposted to
Chair, NSW Coastal Panel, c/- Office of Environment and Heritage, PO Box A290, Sydney South NSW 1232.

HERE IS A SUGGESTED SUBMISSION. PLEASE USE SOME OR ALL OF IT BUT TRY AND PERSONALISE IT UP FRONT SO THAT THEY DON’T TREAT IT AS A PRO FORMA.

SUBMISSION

OBJECTION to the following Development Applications:

  • CP 17 006 (Byron Shire Council)
  • CP 17 007 (Byron Shire Council)
  • CP 17 008 (Byron Shire Council)
  • CP 17 009 (Byron Shire Council)
  • CP 17 010 (Byron Shire Council)

Grounds for objection:

  1. These proposals for the building of rock walls are strongly opposed as they are against a 30 year policy of Planned Retreat that has been consistently supported by the community through numerous consultations. It is deeply concerning that the granting of any work to build new walls or ‘repair’ existing works may provide approval of the existing works and deny any future option to further implement planned retreat and require the removal of the current ‘interim’ and ‘emergency’ works.
  2. It is a fact known to the community that the current landowners purchased their properties with full disclosure of the planned retreat policy and that they have continuously sought to propose works that protect their property. It is widely known in the community some of the landowners have spent years challenging the council and community on the policy of planned retreat at great cost to council and the community.
  3. It is disturbing that the applications misrepresent legal judgements regarding approval of existing works and their right to undertake further works. The applications continue to state the cause of the erosion of their properties is the state government approved Jonson Street protection works, despite this being studied and found to be untrue, when in fact the unapproved works undertaken by landowners have continued to have effect on other landowners and public lands.
  4. The current proposals are therefore strongly opposed on many grounds including that they:
  • are against 30 years of Byron Shire support for coastal management under the 1988 Planned Retreat policy, that recognises the impact of coastal erosion and supports the retention of a natural beach but allows the limited occupation of the ‘at risk’ coastline until such time as it is unsafe. The risk then triggers a lapsing of any approval of structures and requires removal of structures.
  • will significantly degrade the natural character, scenic value, biological diversity and ecosystem integrity and resilience of Belongil Beach, Belongil Creek estuary, Belongil Shorebird Area, and Endangered Ecological Communities
  • will cause erosion of Belongil Beach and therefore adversely affect public access, amenity, use and safety
  • represent the worst of ad-hoc and incremental planning, in direct contravention of integrated and co-ordinated coastal planning
  • are contrary to the aim to encourage and promote plans and strategies to improve the resilience of coastal assets
  • do nothing to support public participation in coastal management, as they are contrary to expressed public desires and preferences, while this ad-hoc approach limits public engagement.
  • fail to recognise that the section of Belongil Beach affected is a vital economic zone that generates over $20 million per annum to the Byron Bay economy and is therefore a major support of sustainable coastal economies
  • are the antithesis of Ecologically Sustainable Development
  • fail to acknowledge the past effects of climate change (rising sea-levels) on the beach
  • totally ignore the future impacts that climate change will have on both the beach and their works
  • fail to recognise that the local and regional scale effects of coastal processes, and the inherently ambulatory and dynamic nature of the shoreline — attempting to blame the erosion on the Jonson St works — and to take this into account in their proposals
  • are mostly on public land yet do nothing to ensure co-ordination of the policies and activities of government and public authorities relating to the coastal zone or to facilitate the proper integration of their management activities, nor can they in the absence of a strategic approach
  • do not clearly identify where works may be located on council and Crown land and if consent has been provided by those bodies for the works to proceed

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