Dozens gather as Narrabri Council decision to oust campers may not hold

Published: January 28, 2014

Narrabri residents addressed Council today in response to the second extraordinary meeting of Narrabri Council called by Mayor Conrad Bolton.  

Dozens of local Narrabri residents filled the chambers today, voicing their objections to Narrabri Council rushing ahead with a motion to force campers of public lands in the shire.

Local Narrabri Shire residents put forward strong cases in the extraordinary meeting, calling for the Council to get further legal advice before attempting to oust campers from public lands in the Shire.

Maules Creek farmer Andrew Laird outlined points on the Leard Forest camp. “The Local Environment Plan zoning of the Leard Forest area as RU3 Forestry means that camping is permitted without Council consent.  

“It is neither up to Narrabri Council or the Forestry Corporation to regulate camping activities over the area of the current Leard Forest camp.

Narrabri resident and farmer Stuart Murray spoke in relation to the Pilliga Protectors Camp set up on the Newell Highway.

Mr Murray noted, “The Newell Highway is owned by Roads and Maritime Services. Any management arrangements that Narrabri council has made with Roads and Maritime Services needs to take the form of a written Legal Instrument of Agreement.

“For Council to push ahead on management decision without a clear legal agreement with the Roads and Maritime Services could mean they leave themselves open to the repercussions of “legal error”.

“Council O’Regan’s rescission motion should be carried. Narrbari Council is taking a political stand and council should get back to its core business - running the shire.

Legal advice is now being sought by Narrabri Shire residents as to whether the decision by Narrabri Council is actually legally binding, as they may not actually have the power to make the call.


The vote to retain the rescission motion was lost 6 – 2.

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