8.8 C
Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Byron rail group to fight against bypass

Latest News

Fast Buck$ ejected from Byron Council meeting

During this morning's Byron Shire Council meeting a dispute between the Mayor Simon Richardson and local activist and agitator Fast Buck$ over the pronunciation of Cr Sarah Ndiaye's name led to the meeting being suspended.

Other News

Government bullying and hidden agendas

Frank Ball, Tweed Heads The treatment of Christine Holgate while CEO of Australia Post is nothing short of scandalous. Not only...

Will the Shenhua Watermark coal mine be cancelled?

News is trickling through unofficial channels about the possibility of a Berejiklian government plan to buy out the remaining licence from the Shenhua Watermark coal mine project at Breeze in the state's west.

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon...

Common courtesy

Anonymous, Byron Bay First of all, thank you to those customers who did the right thing and wore their masks in...

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable...

MVP is its own award

It’s easy to get excited about Byron’s new MVP restaurant in Lawson St – it’s not only got standout dishes such as Blue Spirulina Linguine with blue swimmer crab and Yamba prawns, and Fettuccine al Ragù with Hayters Hill beef ragù sauce, feta and baby peas, but it’s also all sustainably sourced from local growers, available in takeaway (even delivered if you’re close to town) and more than half of the menu is plant-based.

BasilCameron
Cr Basil Cameron was applauded when he questioned spending money on the Butler Street bypass ‘when we are not going to address the traffic problems in the long term’.

Hans Lovejoy

Residents of Butler Street in Byron Bay are preparing to fight to save their street from becoming a bypass after a majority of Byron shire councillors voted against a proposal to use the rail corridor instead.

A motion at last Thursday’s Byron Shire Council meeting by Cr Duncan Dey requested written confirmation from the state government to ‘make land permanently available within the multi-modal rail corridor’.

But it gained only the support of the mayor and Cr Duncan Dey. Crs Sol Ibrahim, Chris Cubis, Di Woods, Basil Cameron, Rose Wanchap, Paul Spooner and Alan Hunter instead voted against.

And while pursuing the current course reflects advice from general manager Ken Gainger and staff, the Butler Street Community Network’s Paul Jones says that Council’s failure to ‘fully explore bypass route alternatives’ is a fundamental requirement of its application to state planning for the project approval.

‘We feel Council is its own worst enemy as they are so afraid of appearing to be indecisive and delaying the process that they vote to proceed into a legal and procedural quagmire,’ Mr Jones said.

‘As a result this will certainly have the effect of delaying the outcome and wasting precious financial resources’.

But the town’s chamber of commerce, Byron United, remains hopeful of a rail corridor outcome.

Vice president Adrian Nelson said in a newsletter to members that, ‘what was an encouraging outcome is that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) study for the bypass will need to consider possible alternate options’.

‘This may provide for the state owned and unused land adjacent to the rail line to be considered for multi-modal use,’ Mr Nelson said.

During Thursday’s debate, Cr Ibrahim turned directly to the Butler Street residents in the gallery and said ‘I’m sorry, but it’s too late.’

Council had already allocated and spent much of the $250,000 on exploring the current route,’ Cr Ibrahim said.

‘Will the current government say yes? Most likely they will, but we would go back to square one.

‘We don’t have the money for a new EIS. At the start of this council’s term, the bypass was on everyone’s lips. The previous council debated it for four years. All Butler Street residents have known for the last four years if not longer that this was likely,’ Cr Ibrahim said.

Cr Cameron received applause from the gallery when he said that ‘it doesn’t stack up to spend a lot more when we are not going to address the traffic problems in the long term.’

‘We are geographically constrained, so it doesn’t matter how many bypasses are built,’ Cr Cameron said.

Mr Jones says that he and fellow residents will now ‘object in every possible way to prevent approval of the project EIS submission as Council has left them “no alternative”.’

He says council also failed to acknowledge the work done by the Grab The Rail (GTR) proponents in clarifying so many misconceptions and in tabling an innovative proposal that addresses most if not all community, business and environmental concerns.

‘GTR has provided a superior bypass plan that avoids the Shirley Street roundabout bottleneck and enables extension through to Cemetery Road addressing the increasing traffic congestion approaching from the south of town and helping to retune Bangalow Road to a far better residential amenity,’ Mr Jones said.

‘Butler Street Community Network will continue its work to protect our town’s cultural and built heritage, we love this place in which we live in and we will strive to ensure a workable, inspiring bypass solution that will enhance and support our town’s unique people friendly character,’ he said.

After continued interjections from resident Fast Buck$ over whether a cost analysis of the proposal had been undertaken, the general manager said that the state government had asked Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) for one, but Council had yet to see it.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Pandemic plate lickers release lockdown dessert

The 2020 pandemic lockdown meant the entire entertainment industry was cancelled, but making music cannot be cancelled.

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Tony Barry, Ben Chifley and FD’s Four Freedoms

Local actor-vist, Tony Barry, has taken on a lot since he moved to the Northern Rivers, and though cancer took one of his legs, Tony still manages to put in the hard yards for social, environmental and human rights causes.