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Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

Upper Main Arm says: thanks, but no thanks to new bus shelter

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Aged between seven and 14, school students Jesse, Reuben, Jonathon, Freya, Scarlett, Olivia, Sienna, Sascha and Sabine won’t stand for a new bus shelter. Photo Tree Faerie.

A group of Upper Main Arm residents are hoping they have stopped a new building development in its tracks before it even got started.

Earlier this year a notice was posted on the Motts Road intersection bus stop, notifying locals that the community built construction was to be removed and replaced with another.

The Council notice was put on the bus shelter at the end of September. photo supplied.

The notice read, ‘This bus shelter has been assessed as being in poor to very poor condition and poses a
significant safety hazard to the community.

‘The shelter will be removed week of 1 to 5 October 2018.

‘A new shelter will be constructed as part of the public art bus shelter project.’

The locals say they are quite happy with the bus shelter they have. They disagree that it is in poor condition and they see no reason to build a new one, and several are questioning why Council can’t find better things to do with its money.

‘A public notice of this bus shelter project was in the Byron Shire News during the last week of August,’ says resident Melinda Saxe. ‘But none of us saw that!’

Ms Saxe says the first the community heard of it was the notice to demolish it which appeared during the last week of September, leaving community less than a week to react. ‘The bus stop is not actually a council structure,’ says Saxe.

‘It was built around 25 years ago by Motts Road locals – Brian Duffey, Jean-Louie and Colin Mott.’

Melinda Saxe says the community built structure has several uses – one is a book exchange. Photo Tree Faerie.

Saxe says that it was pointed out to Council that there was much public and community disapproval about the removal of the bus stop structure, as well as the fact that it is not Council property. ‘We told Council it belongs to the community,’ she said. ‘It might not even be a bus stop. It might be the Upper Main Arm Book Exchange Shelter.’

Saxe said that Council then returned and removed the sign.

‘We hope this is the end of it but we are not sure yet.

‘If any part of the structure is in need of repair or replacement, locals would again jump at the chance to sort this out.’

Ms Saxe says the proposed new shelter would have solar power and wi-fi also but pointed out that Upper Main Arm does not have public transport – only the school bus. ‘There is certainly no need for lighting in this structure and we definitely do not need mobile phone charging or wifi – we have no mobile reception or wifi signal in Upper Main Arm which is very much part of the charm of living all the way out here.’

‘The sentiment of the community is: Leave our locally made shelter alone and put Council money toward fixing our potholes and roads’.

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