Today Byron Shire Council plan to relocate the Railway Park rotunda which houses the Byron Environment Centre (BEC) to its new location within the park – approximately 24 metres north of its current position.
A group called The Cranky Women Activists held a silent vigil along the Railway Park safety fence line yesterday day from 11am until high noon in protest against the move and to mourn the loss of the park’s central figure.
Council says the move is happening as part of the upgrade to the park, which aims to achieve clearer sight lines through the area and improved community safety.
The Cranky Women Activists said they were standing with heads bowed in silence to mourn for the environment, community spirit, and for the treatment of BEC at the hands of current council.
‘We wish for the rotunda to remain a visible presence in the centre of Byron Shire,’ said Cranky Woman Rosie Lee. ‘We want the BEC to have security of tenure over the structure it created and which it has held in trust for the community for 17 years.’
Council staff say they and contractors are aware of the importance and significance of the artwork panels attached to the rotunda and all care will be taken to protect the artwork as the rotunda is moved.
Council plan to have two BEC members on site during the relocation to ensure the structure is transported safely.
The Cranky Women said they had several people stop to thank them yesterday during their silent protest. ‘One guy spoke about the importance of wetlands, and a couple of young people were enquiring about what on earth was happening in the park – they were horrified at the prospect of concrete, and of the potential loss of the BEC.’
The items usually kept in the rotunda by the BEC are being temporarily stored by Byron Shire Council at no charge until access to the rotunda is reinstated in approximately two weeks.