Attending the Byron United forum re Byron’s future was fascinating. We learned that West Byron housing estate must be approved to fund the bypass. Also that we must have a bypass to be able to do West Byron.
And that all the capacity of the bypass will be absorbed, mostly by the thousands of new residents in West Byron. But we have to allow it, because hey, we can’t even fix the new roundabout that needs fixing, apparently. In other words, ‘Shut up and get West Byroned.’
Voices from the floor asked if we, the public, could have a direct democratic say in local government. The mayor deflected this, promising a webcast of what happens now; in other words, ‘No.’
Tom Mooney reminded the mayor that the people don’t want urban sprawl; they have always wanted a shire of villages instead. The mayor said, oh, those too. In other words, ‘Who cares what the people want?’
The mayor spoke about ‘our town where we love to live’. He lives in Federal.
A woman showed me a clipping from last summer, when residents’ two big concerns were illegal holiday lets and the booze tourists. We recalled the mayor made up slogans, deflected people into little groups, and did…? Nothing.
In other words, Byron Shire, you’ve been conned. By a kiddies’ pantomime player. I wonder how long until Hans Lovejoy works that out.
Matt Hartley, Byron Bay