Suffolk Park public land saved
North Coast Nationals MLC Ben Franklin today announced that an agreement had been reached between the state government and Byron Shire Council regarding the Department of Education land at Suffolk Park.
Council has agreed to purchase the land, to be retained for public use, for $900,000 – significantly less than the many millions of dollars that had been initially speculated.
“This is a wonderful outcome for the community. They have argued passionately that this land must remain open space and the government has listened,” Mr Franklin said.
"This land is used by a substantial cross section of the community - from the Suffolk Park Football Club, to community gardeners, cricket groups and a broad range of local residents.
"It is the only public space in Suffolk Park and I have always strongly believed it must remain available for our community.
Two weeks ago Mr Franklin convinced Education Minister Adrian Piccoli to withdraw the land from public sale and to negotiate instead with Council.
“Once it was withdrawn from public sale, the issue was achieving a price which was acceptable to both the Council and the Government. Today we have achieved that,” Mr Franklin said.
“And best of all, the $900,000 paid for the land will be reinvested in infrastructure for schools in the local area – another great outcome for the community,” he said.
“This is a terrific win for our local area. I thank Byron Council, Mayor Simon Richardson and all members of the community who wrote letters, made phone calls and signed the petition. This critical piece of public land will now remain in public hands forever more,” Mr Franklin said.