Fight not over yet for Belongil rock wall
OPPONENTS to the controversial Belongil rock wall are hopeful they can still stop the project despite losing a legal bid for an immediate injunction.
Environmental group Positive Change for Marine Life took Byron Shire Council to court over claims of poor community consultation and a lacklustre environmental impact study.
Hopes the Land and Environment Court would immediately stop the wall's construction were dashed - but the group's CEO Karl Goodsell said the fight was far from over.
"The injunction was to determine whether the court saw it as urgent enough to stop the work straight away," he said.
"This just means we have to hold off for a hearing of the environmental impact statement which is likely to go ahead in October.
"I assume it was because council has already done a lot of work hiring contractors, buying materials and are ready to start work.
"The judge said, 'If rock walls can be built, they can be dismantled'.
"That leads us to believe there is a chance if we win the hearing for the EIS, they would be order to remove whatever was already built."
The Byron beach rock wall has been allocated $1.2 million by council as an interim measure until a final structure is built.
Mr Goodsell argued the spend was excessive for a council already struggling with funding.
"Council doesn't have much money anyway. Our roads are a mess and our infrastructure is a mess," he said.
"This is only meant to benefit a few people.
"The other big thing is the long-term consequences.
"This Thursday at the council meeting, a resort at North Belongil is applying to build a rock wall outside the resort's boundaries.
"It's a nesting area for endangered species of birds.
"If this project is allowed to go ahead, it sets a precedent for everyone to develop the coast any way they like."