Byron Shire Council will today consider a staff recommendation to convert one of its failing black-top rural roads to gravel because staff say there are no funds to fix it.
The proposal comes just 24 hours after councillors voted for a second time to spend in excess of $1 million on building a rock wall at Belongil at an extraordinary general meeting yesterday.
The meeting was called after the minority Greens and independent councillors brought on a rescission motion to have the previous vote to build the wall, just months ahead of an overdue Coastal Zone Management Plan, overturned.
The contract now stands and it is up to staff to instruct contractors to build the wall at Manfred St, probably during August when coastal storms are traditionally at a low ebb.
One of the movers of yesterday’s rescission motion, Greens Cr Duncan Dey, told Echonetdaily that despite the wall being confirmed, the meeting was ‘a huge success’.
‘The object of the exercise was to get the councillors supporting the rock wall to at least explain themselves to the public.’
‘The Nats tried to gag debate but to his credit Cr Ibrahim voted with the minority councillors and Cr Wanchap to allow it to proceed.
‘At least we have heard their justifications.’
‘The area that the wall will protect sits over what should be a beach and most of the buildings nearby should have been removed,’ he said.
‘Ripping up’ Booyong Road
Cr Dey told Echonetdaily last night that today’s meeting would provide an interesting contrast.
‘Tomorrow we have a staff recommendation to rip up a section of rural road because we can’t afford to maintain it, so turning it from bitumen back into gravel.
‘It’s a 1.4km length of Booyong Road and the residents are really pissed off.
‘We’ve got a million dollars to throw onto an “interim” rock wall but we don’t have the money to maintain a sealed road so we’ll rip up the bitumen and return it to gravel.’