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.
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.’