If the recent legal fireworks at Byron Bay haven’t crossed your radar yet, here’s the report from the ABC.
The Australian newspaper also covered the story (thanks to David Hall for alerting us).
Highlights from the Supreme Court’s ruling on two long running cases were not only the awarding of several million dollars to Belongil property owners for damage caused by walls erected at Main Beach by Byron Council but also an order stopping Council proceeding with plans to remove walls protecting Belongil.
Does this mean CCPA should also be taking its case to court for better protection of Wooli beach? The broad conclusions the CCPA steering committee reached after expert advice are:
- The court decisions are fairly specific to Byron as they appear to be heavily dependent on the actions that Council took at their Johnson Street site
- It’s therefore unlikely to negate Planned Retreat policies at other councils
- It’s also unlikely to make construction of rock walls any easier as the ruling says only that existing walls will be retained. Any proposed new walls would need to go through the Development Application process with council
- Our expert advice about the implications for Wooli’s breakwaters were that “they were constructed by Public Works, (with) no input from Council”. So any legal case proposing our breakwaters were complicit in Wooli’s erosion (like the Johnson St walls were at Belongil) would have to target the State Government not Council.