David Morris, Byron Bay
In the 1930s the English poet John Betjeman, grieved by the kind of urban development he witnessed being wrought in his county Slough wrote: ‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough, it isn’t fit for humans now…’
I confess the poem’s opening lines often come to mind when I look at Byron Bay now.
I’ve never liked the term ‘NIMBY’. It’s used by people whose own backyards will not be affected. (The proponents of the Butler Street bypass and the bus station tend not to reside there.)
The residents have an eloquent, informed spokesperson in Paul Jones but his rational arguments, time and money, like those of others, seem to have counted for little with Byron Bay’s commercial agenda in action again.
This whole project will destroy the quality of life for many in the proximity of Butler Street.
We have been treated like the ‘peasants’ during the the 19th century English Enclosures, despite the usual lip-service to supposed open and democratic procedures.
Now The National Party representatives are claiming they’re securing the extra millions (millions!) towards completion of the bypass as an achievement that should count in their runup to the next election.
I hoped that the recent cyclone Oma might properly flood the swamp areas involved; no such luck! But there is still time for more flooding rain. As my parody of Betjeman’s far more eloquent poem has it: Come cyclones now and blast the Bay/ and purge the place and make them pay/ for what’s been done.