Thinking of a submission on the rezoning of the airport Enterprise Park? Forget Xmas then

This Thursday 10 December’s last council meeting for 2020 quite possibly sets a record for the most pages on a Council agenda at Xmas time.

By the Editor

All 2017 pages of them. Yes, you read that right.

An Overview of Community Engagement Methods
How Council’s Enterprise park community consultation will look from 11 December. Nah, just kidding!

And if you were the suspicious type you might even be inclined to think this is a classic example of rushing through things before Council goes into a recess until 11 February next.

You might even be inclined to think it is a classic example of Council’s Executives applying the old ‘mushroom growing’ technique to Councillors.

One item in particular, brought to CCO‘s attention is BS20/73 Proponent Led Planning Proposal – Request to Amend Local Environmental Plan 2013 – Coffs Harbour Airport Enterprise Park.

This is where council is asking to be able to rezone it’s own land at the airport from an aviation specific zoning to one that can be used for industrial and business use instead.

Now, for whatever reason, you might want to, ‘have your say about this’. And fair enough, that is your right after all.

So what time and time period do you think would be reasonable for this exhibition and consultation?

Well Geoff Smythe and Associates, the town planning consultants hired by Council, has given us an answer. Fourteen (14) days is plenty. And it probably is.

And the time for community feedback is December 2020.

This in turn makes up part of the recommendation Councillors will be asked to vote on this Thursday.

So the ideal time for community exhibition and consultation is presumably from 11 December until 25 December. Also known as Xmas. See Part 5, Page 15 of their report at the above link.

Then a report will be given to Council by the consultants in January 2021. Which we here at CCO are willing to bet will have little in it about feedback from the community.

Funny that.

Cartoon Christmas Tree clipart - Christmas, Food, transparent clip art
Maybe Santa and Rudolph could postpone Xmas for a few days to help out Council? Nah, just kidding!

Many citizens and ratepayers have questioned just how ‘fair dinkum’ Council is about ‘consultation’, especially in regards to the CCS and the airport.

One suspects the above answers that question.

And apparently what we have just outlined happens Xmas/New Year after Xmas/New Year. Without fail

Want to make a submission on the airport Enterprise park re-zoning? Forget about your ham and turkey for a while then.

9 thoughts on “Thinking of a submission on the rezoning of the airport Enterprise Park? Forget Xmas then

  1. I think that the minimum public exhibition and submissions acceptance periods are set down somewhere as to suit different types of matters.

    This anomoly of the report that goes from a consultant to CHCC being labelled as “final”, etc, but then put out for community comment, feedback, “engagement”, etc has arisen before.

    Surely the one that gets out out on public exhibition bisvtge penultimate draft?

    Otherwise it signals, as is often widely thought and expressed, that there’s no intention of paying heed to community input and doing a revised draft incorporating that. ……..

  2. In light of this article, think back to community consultation for the CCS project. All of it predominantly undertaken prior to the Council meeting on 14 June 2018 at which time, the cost had more than doubled from any prior estimate and included the sale of council assets. This information was revealed to the public in a 500 page report which community had a mere five working days to consider before Council voted. It was released prior to a long weekend I think?

  3. Governments’ at all levels in Australia use the “just before the commencement of a holiday period” to give limited exposure to constituents for “consultation”when an unpopular/divisive decision is favored by a government- in this particular instance Coffs Harbour City Council. To approve industrial development within the current boundaries of Coffs Harbour aerodrome , or any development for that matter not aviation related, raises the level of public risk, fires resulting from accidents when stricken aircraft takeoff, land or attempt to return to the aerodrome because of a failure.
    In addition the Coffs aerodrome aviation fire services do not operate 24/7 nor do they have the latest fire prevention suppressants. The whole concept of having a large uncluttered area on the aerodrome is to ensure if an aircraft declares an emergency/runs off the runways there is a good chance aircrew , passengers & the public at large will not suffer harm. The lessons are already evident in The United States where numerous fires & fatalities have occurred when a stricken aircraft collide with development on land within aerodrome confines.
    This proposal by thd Coffs Harbour City Council is just another way of raising revenue to the detriment of nearby residents, airport employees, commercial & general aviation through exposure to increased risk & industrial noise. It will be all to late if Coffs Harbour aerodrome land is zoned industrial & an aviation accident occurs involving a commercial aircraft with many passengers on board. There have already been aviation accidents that have occurred at Coffs Harbour aerodrome involving aircraft of NSW Air Ambulance & general aviation aircraft – the aircraft concerned coming to rest within the confines of aerodrome land & not necessarily on runway sealed surfaces. In addition there already are a number of pilot training organizations on the aerodrome- both commercial, helicopter & AeroClub involving experienced pilots & students. This rezoning proposal is blatantly driven by pure financial gain at jeopardy to public safety in my opinion.

  4. Food Security .. Councils answer..
    Rezone good farmland and import food.
    Internal transport security … Councils answer … Reduce secure fast air transport by turning airports into Industrial Estates.
    Encourage productivity … Councils answer …Increase regulations and buy Chinese goods.

  5. That Council has already commenced extensive works prior to re-zoning is surely illegal?
    Mere mortals get prosecuted for doing such things.

  6. What this government is missing is the essential value of “community”. It just doesn’t get it.

    I have no doubt this Council’s intention is to serve the community. Yet it is characterised by a view that “community” is almost in opposition to it — that “community” is some sort of mass of too-much ignorance about what is best for it. That Council governance is better achieved by limiting community involvement and just getting on with it.

    I don’t know that it’s arrogance, or incompetence, or any of those things. It’s not badly intentioned. Somehow, though, a culture has grown within this particular council that fails to grasp how valuable a community is, how much it can contribute, the expertise and knowledge, the richness of its resource.

    Even at the most disengaged, a community member provides the power of sentiment: he or she has a gut feeling about current matters that strips away all of the other elements involved, providing a raw valuable indicator.

    It’s a classic distinction in governing. Some acknowledge and embrace the value of community, some don’t and carry on regardless. Most fall in between. Ours is at an extreme end of that spectrum.

    Some change through that spectrum as they move through their term(s). The end result, always, is towards the non-embracing end. At a federal level, the Hawke/Keating government as a whole entity was grass-roots bold and embracing, then retreated into insularity. The Howard government did the same. When they lose touch, when they forget the value of community, they get it wrong and are finished.

    I get the sense that this Council executive sees itself more as a business than a government. It’s almost as though its attitude or approach is: “We run the business, the product gets delivered.”

    When a government loses the value of community, and in total or in part retreats into that insularity, it takes on a kind of victim mentality: ‘we are busting our guts here and not appreciated’. It’s not too far of a step then to say: ‘the hell with them.’ Power has a way of providing a substitute or surrogate support to that state of mind or culture, when, at the other end of the spectrum, the community provides that support and sense of worth for it.

    When I look at this council as a government, and using the building itself as analogous of the entity of its governing, there are rods or avenues that connect only to certain sectors, indeed, persons. This is where it engages with ‘the public’ and regards that ‘public’ as worthy of input back into it. I don’t see a fulsome, wholesome engagement.

    If that is how it is, then it is difficult to change as it requires a change of attitude or perhaps personality and certainly style, within its executive and head. The only positive that I can provide here to alter a hallmark, or characteristic, or style, of a government is that people have to speak up. Such a style of governing has to be continually met with voices from the community. I doubt it will change its style or character, but not doing so, remaining silent, is the worse thing we can do.

    I applaud the comments here, and thank you to CCO, wholeheartedly.

    1. So, what your response is saying is….despite being our elected representatives, council should stop what they’re doing, and listen to the ‘gut feelings’ of any citizen, no matter how “disengaged” from the facts? Someone without full knowledge of the entire proposal (& let’s face it, that’s most of us right?) should halt our council from doing their job?
      Again, regardless of which side of the fence we’re on, there is far too much dissemination of rumour and innuendo on most topics locally.
      If you’re so concerned about council decisions and policy, get in there and have a go. Social media is not government, not editors comments or opinions.

      1. An interesting theory not backed up by fact unfortunately Craig.

        Let’s consider some facts;

        There have been endless 4-4 votes in the CHCC on contentious issues from the CCS through to the airport and with more than a few in between. That means, of course, there is a dead even split.

        Convention in the Westminster system of governments such as Australia and recognised and followed by such authorities as the Speaker of the House of Commons in the UK, only 18 months ago, and recently also by the President of Australian Senate, holds that when a vote is tied the presiding authority maintains the status quo.

        Yet, our Mayor, a peon by comparison to these authorities, no doubt goaded on by her all commanding GM in my opinion, does not believe such long standing constitutional norms bind her.

        She is loftily ‘above them’.

        Even the Minister of Local Government, a former Mayor herself, told Ray Hadley she would not have done what Mayor Knight has. Let that sink in Craig.

        Don’t take my word for it though. Google; “Speaker Denison’s rule.” You might find it illuminating.

        But the piece de’ resistance in regards to your rather illogical comment is that a motion was put early in 2019 to fund a survey on community attitudes on the CCS so Councillors could get an empirical feel for community opinion.

        The result of that motion? Yep 4-4 again. The Mayor then used her casting vote, yet again, to defeat it!

        Now I suspect even you might have to ask yourself at this point why would she do so? I mean if you were confident the public was on your side wouldn’t you welcome such an opportunity with open arms?

        But, no.

        Maybe Mayor Knight and Cr’s Dunning and Kruger, block voting as always, were simply too scared the truth might have been a result not to their liking?

  7. Points taken, Craig. Thank you. I can’t unfortunately strip this comment of all of its “inuendo” but I did manage to get rid of the “o”.

    However, I am more concerned about American politics, thus have taken your advice and am pleased to announce I shall be running for President of the United States. If that doesn’t go well, I will indeed have a go at getting elected into Council’s executive. Your first point has me, however, truly stumped.

    Which allows me the occasion to refer a reader to the article above, and the comments below, wherein one may find an absolute gem.

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