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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Who is responsible for community consultation?

Latest News

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Paul Jones, Butler Street C’ty Network

Serious questions of authority and due process in relation to the Byron Bay Bus Interchange and the bypass on Butler Street remain unanswered by Byron Shire Council. Council was engaged directly by residents on the Bus Interchange by the community directly adjacent to this large high-impact development but residents were actively ignored.

Council’s standard excuse as per our former GM Ken Gainger (Letter February 6) is the lame assertion that they are not responsible – it’s state government land and their project.

Byron Shire Council is the local authority, the elected mayor and councillors have the power on matters of local services and development. The state is obliged to consult with the local authority on matters in their jurisdiction.

We insist on a pedestrian zebra crossing from Burns Street across the very busy Butler Street bypass route. We took it upon ourselves to have professionals count pedestrians and cyclists moving through the area and found they can average over 180 per hour.

When confronted with this data Council again claims they have no power to install zebra crossings as it is a state RMS directive. This turns out to again be untrue.

Council is planning to rip through protected coastal wetlands for the bypass.They claim the design is final including a licence to dredge and fill the wetlands with over 30,000 cubic metres of rock creating a huge embankment that will trap, channel and accelerate flood waters into the wetlands. They have not undertaken detailed flood studies and design to zero impacts on flood and ground water movement.

No excuses here – just seemingly ignoring state government conditions of consent when it suits them.

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