Congratulations and condolences - what the heck?

By bobreid, 23 May, 2024
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On Tuesday I was in the checkout queue at Coles in Tea Gardens when a lady came up to me and offered me congratulations and condolences. I was a bit taken back by this and had no idea what she was talking about. Congratulations for what? Condolences for who - to my knowledge none of my family or friends had passed away recently - maybe she knows something that I don't.

She then told me her name and said she was at the LEP meeting on Saturday, and offered congratulations on the meeting saying it went well.

The condolences were because I'd put a lot of effort into getting compliance sorted out, and based on what the Council representatives said at the meeting, it was clear Council wasn't going to do anything and nothing was going to change.

These comments reflect what many members of our community have been saying and said again in the meeting on Saturday - we are sick of the illegal developments that are happening more and more frequently, with Council doing nothing to stop or remove them. If the Council doesn't start doing what we pay very high rates for, then the non-urban area will become a shanty town with clear felled blocks full of illegal developments and industrial fencing, with its environmental values, biodiversity and wildlife corridors destroyed.

This concern was reported in this week’s edition of the Myall Coast News of the Area which stated “Dozens of North Arm Cove (NAC) residents and ratepayers in the room echoed the same concerns about illegal land use and clearing in non-urban zones, and the apparent lack of enforcement by Council and/or State Government bodies, fearing a future of shanties and shacks for the Cove. Council representatives claimed that their enforcement resources are quite limited, which impacts on the ability to patrol and sort out potentially illegal dwellings in the area.”

Over the past couple of days I have been corresponding Paul De Szell, Councils Director of Liveable Communities, and David Battese, Councils Manager Environmental Health and Regulatory Services, about compliance issues, and next week I'll hopefully provide an update on this.

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