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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Details on Byron bypass debated

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Interview with Toni Childs

Internationally celebrated musician, Emmy winner and three times Grammy nominee Toni Childs is bringing her show to The Brunswick Picture House. With two acts, Childs is promising a special two hour performance as she celebrates her vast catalogue of music, which also saw her celebrate the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union in 2019.

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Oliver Dunne claimed in his letter that ‘senior Greens’ failed to identify an alternative second rail crossing for Byron Bay.

I’ve kept my distance from local politics since leaving Council, but when a former Shire president misrepresents the facts so blatantly I feel compelled to jump in.

Around 2002 Council adopted my suggestion to assess a second rail crossing immediately south of the railway station. The subsequent traffic study furnished by Veitch Lister predicted that this crossing would more than halve the traffic using the top end of Jonson Street and that vehicles entering the critical Lawson St /Jonson St roundabout would drop from 31,350 to 19,250. In contrast, the larger bypass (as currently proposed) would only attract about a quarter of the traffic away from the town centre.

This so-called ‘mini-bypass’ was lambasted by the Chamber of Commerce. The Byron News, in their erudite way, described it as ‘wacko’. Why? Maybe certain individuals had/have a lot to gain from a big ‘bypass’. Follow the money.

Neither proposal acts as a bypass. Most people, especially tourists, want to come to the town centre. What is needed to ease congestion is a second rail crossing. My proposal would have cost very little (er, involve few juicy contracts). The major by-pass, if it doesn’t bankrupt the council, will starve the rest of the budget – meaning more potholes etc.

The current proposal is by no means a fait accompli. At least one current politician hasn’t lost the plot. Keep up the good work, Tamara.

Richard Staples


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