Outgoing Byron Shire Council general manager Ken Gainger has told The Echo that a number of claims made by resident Paul Jones regarding plans for Butler Street Reserve were ‘grossly inaccurate.
Gainger said, ‘Mr Jones claims that the Butler Street Reserve will be developed as a “high-rise transport infrastructure”. The bus interchange is a single-level structure as clearly depicted in the concept plan pictured with the article.’
‘He also claims that the council has for many years undertaken “lucrative leasing of the Reserve for the Byron market and other activities”. In fact the council leases the Reserve to the Byron Community Association (monthly Sunday markets) and the Byron Farmers’ Market for a fee of $6,846 pa and $9,516 pa respectively, hardly lucrative.
‘Mr Jones also says that “The proposed bus terminal, carpark and CBD development are totally inconsistent with the Plan of Management in place and prepared for the Reserve in 2002”.
‘The proposed bus interchange is not a council project; it is a state government project and the Butler Street Reserve is state owned (Crown) land. The state is not governed by a PoM for the site.
‘The carpark was established by the council with the specific approval of the Department of Lands.
‘The reference to CBD development makes no sense – the PoM only relates to the Butler Street Reserve, not the Byron CBD.
‘Mr Jones ends his hyperbole by saying, “despite all this council as development proponent sees fit to establish a bus terminal directly adjacent to a medium-density residential area” – Council is not the development proponent, the state government is.
‘Council did not apply for the bus interchange funding; the first it knew of the proposal was the media announcement made by the NSW deputy premier leading up to the last state government election.
‘Please, Mr Jones, don’t treat Echo readers with such disrespect – perhaps a little research would be useful before you put pen to paper in your seemingly endless campaign to resist change.’