The Greens have called on the NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust to cancel their plans to commercialise the foreshore reserves around Brunswick Heads and affirmed their commitment to returning management of the Crown Reserves back to Byron Shire Council.
Speaking at Banner Park in Brunswick Heads, Tamara Smith, Greens candidate for Ballina joined Byron Shire Mayor and Greens Upper House MLC, Jan Barham for the announcement.
“The Greens are committed to returning planning powers back to local communities. The plans by NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust to commercialsie the foreshore reserves at Brunswick Heads not only threaten the family-friendly character that the town is renowned for, but they are grossly un-democratic and have shut out the local community from meaningful consultation.”
“The idea that the beautiful grassy picnic area behind Torakina Beach would be replaced by a car park and kiosk, and that an over-size deck would almost engulf Banner Park is unacceptable to locals who treasure Brunswick Heads for being a relaxed and low-key place to enjoy. It’s time the State Government stopped trying to make money out of public assets and returned the management of all Crown Reserves back to Council. The Caravan Park's huge profits should be put into infrastructure that the community actually wants.
“I’m calling on the National Party candidate for Ballina to show his hand on this issue and let the community know if he supports these inappropriate development plans to proceed in Brunswick Heads” said Tamara Smith, Greens candidate for Ballina.
“Across NSW, more and more decision-making is being removed from local communities and handed over to bureaucrats or developers with a profit motive for public lands. The State Government needs to stop hiding behind their commercial arm, the NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust and give the local community the power to determine the future of Brunswick Heads.
“The proposed works at around the Brunswick Heads foreshore will fundamentally alter the character of the town and destroy the much loved atmosphere and environment of this small coastal community. The Greens stand beside the community in calling for the North Coast Holiday Parks Trust to cancel their plans and hand all management responsibility back to Byron Shire Council, after being wrongly stripped away by the previous Labor Government in 2006” said Jan Barham, Greens MLC.
“Brunswick Heads is a special place where families come to swim, picnic and relax. Tourism is a vital part of the Brunswick Heads economy, but the needs of tourism need to be balanced with the desires of local people who live here.
“I’ve been approached by many locals who are concerned about the State Government’s perceived ‘take-over’ of Brunswick Heads, and who would simply appreciate some basic amenity upgrades, not the massive works currently proposed.
“The Government went to the last election saying that they would return planning powers to local communities. Well now is their chance. Council would happily resume management responsibility for the Brunswick Heads foreshore reserves and ensure the community was at the heart of any decisions made” said Simon Richardson, Byron Shire Mayor.