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Byron Shire
October 20, 2021

Byron’s railway park stage one upgrade complete

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An image from the Byron Bay master plan, which shows a possible redevelopment of Railway Park. (supplied)

Stage one of Byron Bay’s Railway Square parks upgrade has been completed and has seen the north-eastern corner of the park converted into a ‘plaza’ area, designed as the first step in recapturing the park’s role as the community meeting and gathering space.

‘This entry to the park off Jonson Street was run down and unsuitable for groups of people to gather,’ Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said.

‘The turf had turned to dust through over-use and barriers blocked the park from the street, creating an unwelcoming atmosphere for locals and visitors,’ he said.

The upgraded entryway includes new plantings, custom seating elements, bike racks and paths that will connect to future park features. New lighting will also be installed in the coming months.

In October 2017 the council removed two large gums and a palm, without warning, saying that it was under the auspices of the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan Leadership Group. Both the Mayor and council then general manager, Ken Gainger issued an apology over the incident when it became clear they had not sought support for the removal of the trees from the Byron masterplan team.

However, Donald Maughan co-chair Byron Bay town centre masterplan team has said that, ‘The masterplan team is back on track. Our last meeting was the best one we have had yet.’

‘Byron Shire Council Claire McGarry is the council liaison officer working with the team and we are getting detailed reports of the blocks and hurdles.

‘The team now has a much better understanding of what’s going on and there is a lot more trust between the management team and council also has to learn to trust us too.’

Open to community input

The masterplan team wants to highlight that it is open to community input into the development of the masterplan and that both community groups and individuals who would like to present to the group or talk to a particular agenda item can arrange to attend the meetings.

Meetings take place approximately every five weeks,’ said Mr Maughan.

The next meeting is an operation meeting with four new members being inducted, election of executives and a review of their code of conduct.

If you are interested in presenting to the group or discussing a particular agenda item send a joint email to co-chairs Chris Hanley: [email protected] and Donald Maughan: [email protected]

The Railway Park concept plans can be viewed on Council’s website.

For further information contact Council’s Place Manager – Byron Bay, Claire McGarry on 6626 7296.

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  1. I think that even blind Freddy could see that the removal of the trees and the so called up grading of The Peoples Park was done to benefit the business interests……………….. Lets get real about this. To spend thousands and thousands of dollars of council money to upgrade a park which didnt need upgrading while in the back blocks people risk their lives and the safety of their vehicles on roads with potholes “to break an axle for ” . makes no sense except when viewed in the light of greed and corruption and then it makes perfect sense. Lets start calling a spade a spade . And never let it happen again. Thanks to the watchdogs in the community who work tirelessly against this greed and corruption . May the Force be with you .

  2. I would just love to see the traffic island outside Woolies given some attention. Full of weeds and unkempt it is an eyesore in Byron’s main thoroughfare. Surely some of the parking revenue could go to basic maintenance like this?

  3. So why isn’t the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan Leadership Group.(incl the Mayor and the ex GM) being prosecuted for the removal of the trees?

    “The masterplan team wants to highlight that it is open to community input into the development of the ,masterplan ” ……….how hypocritical.

  4. Ah and now the destruction of railway park in Byron councils bid to ensure Byron Bay becomes the same standard, homogenized, prefab, govt approved, recreational zone as everywhere else in the world…. This should be almost the final nail in the coffin of what was once a beautiful and vibrant town, high on the list of travel destinations, that has now been reduced to a prefab, stucco, and slapped together eysore. The councils mission of bringing crime and violence to the area and driving out the locals and all but the most drunken and reveling tourists, seems to be working very well

  5. People are flocking to Byron in droves for what it is.
    Sure a few things like improvement and more toilet facilities at the park especially as it’s next to the bus station need attention but there is an old saying that goes something like
    ‘ if it isn’t broken don’t try to fix it ‘
    The punters can go up the coast if there into concrete glitz.
    I agree with the 1st comment by MatiJO where he says the park upgrade is being done for business interests.

  6. After living in Byron Bay for more than 50 years I have seen what was a lovely park back in the 60s,70s and early 80s turn into an uninviting no go zone (except when night markets are on ). Very rarely would I go into the park in the last 30 years because it appeared unloved and dangerous. From its days of being a ‘mossie filled swamp ‘ in the 1920s it was filled with sand from the main beach dunes making it a useable space . I for one and very happy seeing it get a facelift but I am not sure what will happen with the Chook Shed (the eyesore in the middle of the park). Looking forward to an inviting place for everyone .


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