Miranda Devine details the shocking tyranny of local governments, conducted under an environmental facade.
Councils are crushing small business:
Just across the Richmond River from Ballina’s Big Prawn, Bernard and Rikki Grinberg run a caravan park on eight pretty hectares behind South Ballina beach.
[…]Now, every time they want to change anything, whether it is to use crockery at their kiosk, hire a singer to play in their piano bar, renovate the interior of an old shed to turn it into a yoga studio, even trim a branch off a termite-infested tree that might fall on a tent, they have to submit a development application and prove to Ballina Shire Council they are not “intensifying” the use of their land.
The effect is that their thriving business is becoming unviable.
A nearby farmer, who asks not to be named, has valuations which show the E2 dezoning has halved the value of his land.
On January 5, 2006, his farm was worth $5.6 million. On February 1, this year, it was worth just $2.6 million.
In Yarra Ranges council, where a sole Greens councillor damaged the local timber industry last year by whipping up a boycott of locally made Reflex paper, the latest farce is a ban on shark fin soup.
Who could forget Liam Sheahan, from Reedy Creek, who was prosecuted and fined $50,000 by Mitchell Shire Council for cutting down trees to build a firebreak around his hilltop house. But five years later, when the inferno tore though in February 2009, his house was the only one in a two-kilometre area which survived.
After those Black Saturday fires, survivor Warwick Spooner, who lost his mother and brother in the Strathewen fire, stood up at a public meeting in Arthurs Creek, and blasted the Nillumbik council.
“We’ve lost two people in my family because you d-ckheads won’t cut trees down.”