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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Butler Street bypass works approved

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Councillors voted last Thursday to commence work on the controversial Butler Street bypass in Byron Bay. 

Resisted by Butler Street residents, plans for a bypass will widen the road and run through wetlands and connect with the southern end of Jonson Street at Mitre 10.

Mayor Simon Richardson’s motion was supported by Crs Martin, Lyon, Ndiaye, Hunter and Spooner. Crs Coorey, Cameron and Hackett voted against.

A cheaper option will be pursued, while ‘opportunities for the funding gap to complete the full scope of the project work continue to be progressed.’

A motion by Cr Cate Coorey was unsupported, which asked to not proceed with the works and instead ask staff that ‘full assessment of the nature and costings of work be assessed by a quantity surveyor.’

Earlier in public access, longtime activist John Anderson told the gallery that questions he had asked questions about the bypass, but was not replied to publicly in the agenda and instead a private letter was sent to him. ‘The letter failed to answer my questions as to what the cost of these requirements are.’

He told councillors, ‘You have been given nil info on the wetlands, or associated costs and what’s required… you have become part of the problem.’

But later in the day councillors were assured by staff that that the project was only going to cost Council around $2.5m, with the rest being funded from the government.

Director of infrastructure Phil Holloway said that they were ‘ready to go’ with the project, and explained to councillors that all assessments and requirements have been met except two: an OEH approval and and outstanding bio banking payment. 

RMS replies

Echonetdaily asked Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) whether a quantity surveyor’s report, an expected timeline and a cost breakdown were available.

An RMS spokesperson replied, ‘RMS is supporting Byron Shire Council to plan for a bypass of Butler Street at Byron Bay.’

The NSW government has committed $10.5 million towards the total cost of the project, which is currently in the design and development stage.’

‘Roads and Maritime will continue to work closely with the council to provide advice on the best design. When complete, the bypass will be under the care and control of the council. The community will be kept informed as the proposal progresses.’

Butler Street resident Paul Jones said, ‘The chosen bypass is not about reducing traffic in town, the agenda is and always has been for the expansion of commercial development in Byron Bay, which will require more cars, not less. Glen Villa Caravan park is the next big box development site, Butler Street is to be commercialised and major three storey expansion of the CBD. The bypass facilitates the opening up of West Byron and all of this. And the Greens are used for target practice.’

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  1. Shame it won’t do anything, or help anyone. The tourists want to go into town. They will continue to come in via Shirley Street as they have done for over 20 years. The bypass solves nothing…

  2. The NSW government commits $10.5 million to a project that is a second crossing in Byron Bay CBD of their own NSW State government railway line from Casino to Murwillumbah.
    How can they do that legally without making a decision about the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line? To make a second crossing is a legal thing. It becomes law against any train track or rail trail. What is the NSW government’s decision on the railway line if they are putting money into another project that will thwart that railway line for being used as a railway or a rail trail?

  3. Still complete evasion of the issue of costs. Councillors have again been hoodwinked into believing they have a “bargain” bypass as spruiked by the Mayor and with a “don’t you worry about it” from Council staff saying the RMS has it all under control. The history and process of the Butler Street bypass continues as one of false pretences and deception. The Butler Street bypass is a program of commercial expansion of Byron Bay CBD, it is not a bypass, it is a program to increase traffic by driving commercial development. The residential amenity, the heritage neighbourhood, the state significant wetlands and the Byron Markets will be its victims.


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