Oliver Dunne, Byron Bay
I believe The Echo’s commentary on the Greens candidate, Cr Lyon, were mean-spirited. Though not a Greens supporter, I believe the campaign against him, the mayor and other councillors for supporting the Butler Street bypass route has crossed the line. It is intimidation and bullying.
This project hasn’t just turned up from nowhere. Byron residents have long supported a second crossing of the rail line. The line acts as an effective Berlin Wall, leading to congestion and traffic jams right across the town.
The route was first placed on the Council books in the 1982 LES study; the 1987 Council organised the crossing at Browning Street with State Rail and placed it in the 88 LEP. Anyone who purchased in the area after that time would have been advised of it.
This is a second rail crossing for the locals to get around the CBD, not a nuclear power station. The NSW government recently bulldozed a $2.5 billion motorway through our Shire. This project is insignificant by comparison.
The so-called senior Greens have, for years, pursued a ‘do-nothing’ traffic strategy on the basis that if they could maintain traffic gridlock in Byron Bay, tourists will be deterred. That’s really worked well!
For over two decades, they failed to identify an alternative second crossing and would have this Council walk away three months from commencement.
When a council project reaches tender and construction councillors can not simply abandon it on a whim, no matter how well informed, particularly where approvals are in place. The bypass has successfully withstood a court challenge and the government funds have been allocated and spent.
At this stage you are effectively asking these councillors not just to sabotage years of work and chuck millions down the drain, but to effectively put their heads on the chopping block and risk an ICAC or Local Government minister-ordered Inquiry.
On this issue, I say to those carrying out this campaign, I feel you are leading the charge for your faction and seeking to dictate terms to these councillors. I think that amounts to bullying.
When it’s placed alongside the recent comments of the other senior Greens in your paper, it is akin to intimidation. This would not be acceptable coming from a self-interested developer or property owner, so why should it be from any other source, however high-minded?
I was happy to support the Butler Street residents search for an alternative route. But it hasn’t worked. We have currently an effective working council. Be careful. Once you have torn it down, don’t complain about its replacement.