The eviction notice issued to the Byron Environment Centre (BEC) to remove the rotunda from Railway Park by December 13 will be debated at the upcoming council meeting this Thursday, November 2.
Mayor Simon Richardson is bringing an urgency notice of motion (NoM) to ‘to revoke the eviction’ he said in an email to BEC convenor John Lazarus on October 29.
Following the Council’s eviction notice to the BEC work began on Railway Park’s ‘beatification’ process with no notification to either the BEC, which was excluded from its premises as a result, and with no knowledge of wither the Byron masterplan team or councillors.
According to the Mayor it was ‘only for some works, especially along the garden beds on Jonson Street, not for any substantial works in the park’. However, it quickly became apparent that there were far more significant works in progress than the Mayor was aware of with the removal of three large trees before a stop work order was put in place.
‘All the trees along the parks edge with Jonson Street have been temporarily saved, including the 2 Bottle brush trees,’ said John Lazarus in an email to the Byron Shire General Manager, Ken Gainger on October 29.
‘The Council works were coordinated with BEC members present from 6am on Friday, with turf laid between saved trees, especially for access to the Park for the Saturday Market. The status of the vegetation and turf is “Temporary”, so Councillors, as well as yourselves, please facilitate the community and the Masterplan Committee involvement on eventual landscaping.’
One of the trees is said to have had been infected with wood-boring insects which could lead to limbs falling.
Apologies have been tendered by both Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson and General Manager, Ken Gainger.
‘In removing these trees without adequate consultation or communication we have underestimated the level of community concern at such action and for this I sincerely apologise,’ said Gainger.
‘I also apologise to our Councillors for any embarrassment that the tree removal may have caused.’
The BEC will be holding a ‘Rotunda Eviction Update’ on December 13 and more information can be found on their Facebook page.