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Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

Drivers delayed as council trims disco dong

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Locals faced delays of over an hour driving into Byron Bay this morning after Byron Council decided to cut down vines that had been creeping up the infamous disco dong sculpture in the middle of the morning peak.

Traffic was reportedly banked back to Tyagarah on the southern trip into town due to the weeding work, which required the lane immediately adjacent to the Bayshore Drive roundabout to be closed for safety reasons.

This, combined with the heavy morning peak and wet weather caused major delays for drivers.

In a statement released this afternoon Byron Council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, Phil Holloway apologised for the inconvenience caused to motorists.

‘We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this morning,’ Mr Holloway said.

‘It’s very frustrating to be caught in traffic when you are trying to get to work or get the kids to school on time.’

‘This work should not have been done at peak hour and future work like this will be scheduled at a time of day that is generally quieter.’ Mr Holloway said.

Local resident Roma Boulton said she experienced a significant delay on Hinterland Way.

‘I was driving back from Lismore and coming up to the speed camera next to the St Helena tunnel at about 9.15 the traffic went from 60 [km/h] to 40 to 30 and I thought “wow, people are being really careful with the speed camera today,” then it just completely stopped,’ Mr Boulton said.

‘I just sat there for about half an hour wondering what was going on.’

‘When I eventually got down to the roundabout [at the start of Ewingsdale Road] it was chaos – banked back in all directions. It was all a bit scary actually.’

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  1. Allowing vines to grow is the best possible way to make that thing look OK. Nature was trying to help. As usual, we ignored her.

  2. Why do it in the daytime?? Another thoughtless act (like the unfilled potholes that damage my car in the dark when I can’t see them).

  3. Another good reason to get rid of the whole monstrosity. If that’s going to be a regular job, trimming the vines causing a bank-up all the way back to Tyagarah, then who needs it?

  4. I drove round the Dong on Tuesday morning, and thought how sensible of Council’s Works Department to let the greenery climb up and soften the structure. Unfortunately ‘sensible’ and ‘Council’ are not words that commonly go together.

  5. Council really have lost the plot. Been watching those vines advancing in a good way and Council fucks it up. Whats more, it was absolutely no more than a 3 minute job to trim those vines!

  6. First of all, when we spotted the vines growing upwards on the sculpture, we thought yes! that’s the way! Let greenery soften & camouflage the thing!
    Secondly, who’s the idiot in council who ordered the work to be done – at all! – and especially at that time of day, to inconvenience so many! How thoughtless!

  7. I had just considered taking a photo of the climbing vines to mention this was the best thing that could happen to the erection – please council, let the vines grow!

  8. those were 2 very small vines ….you had to block lanes of traffic to cut them, council !!?? seriously ?? l agree with previous comment , let the vines cover the god -awful thing.

  9. How much of this traffic chaos can we expect when the artist comes back to add more birds? One of Council’s more surprising decision.

  10. Please let the vines grow ! Whenever there is work planned for the roundabout it would be most helpful to publish it so drivers can plan for timing.

  11. Just saw the vines and loved them. It would have looked great climbing right to the top. Bad decision council. I even thought it would be good to grow some ayahuasca vines over it to give it a Byron flavour.

  12. One of the silver birds zooming endlessly around the site, informed me of a $20,000.00 dollars cost to get the sculpture down, against the investment that Council would have to make to “finishing” off the sculpture. (?!)
    Dear PAP members… No more “compromise” could possibly fix this.
    Accept your mistakes, grow up, and take it elswere. After all, you paid for it already and will have to take care of it for forever.
    Unless of course you can put it to auction.
    It doesn’t look as if the constant “Coolaboration to the peace” is going to stop.
    If the Byron Bay Shire Community didn’t accept the sculpture where it is, maybe Council just need to move it or sell it.

  13. Those vine would have been some variety of yam. Whether native or exotic I’m not sure, but they didn’t get there on their own. Such a shame to hear they’re gone! They were the best thing that ever happened to that fantastical phallus.

    Council should contract someone to plant more vines on their not-so-fabulous phallus! Such a perfect trellis. Bring back the vines!

  14. Drove past the “sculpture “ on Tuesday and noticed the lovely large green vines growing….. I thought it was the best idea yet, was it nature or did someone plant them?
    Anyway I was really impressed and thought it would be the best solution to the glaring problem. Now I hear they have been cut down. Does this council get nothing right!
    Shame on you…. let nature solve the problem, which you can’t!

  15. Just get rid of the whole thing, it is a nightmare!
    Whatever it costs to move it is money well spent.
    To never have to look at it again and, in time, forget it ever happened. Then plant a fig.

  16. The green where begining to cover this awful stuff
    When will the council will take this horrible things out!
    And if they want to spend more money on it could we see the drawing before???? or they gone decide again in for us?


  18. It’s been utter incompetence from the start re this piece of public art and it’s not over yet…. obviously. Any mention of the thing on social media receives an instant barrage of complaints. Does our council have no common sense? Silly question. Getting rid of a few vines at peak hour is just one case in point. The thing is doomed! The public will have a chance for a final say I am told by the mayor once these 800 extra seagulls are approved. At that stage the go ahead will be dependant on a DA (if I am correct?) and at that point we’ll have an opportunity to voice our feelings through a submission.

    Bureauracracy grinds on.

  19. I felt sorry for the people who crashed their cars as a result of this traffic snarl. I heard a smash behind me and then saw three cars have to pull off the road at the zip sign just before the hospital….and I heard from others that it got worse after that…


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