Byron bypass blockaders are calling for supporters to join them today as some blockaders expect bulldozers to start clearing vegetation today. They are calling for a red alert and for all supporters of the blockade to join the camp as soon as possible.
The protest has now entered its second week as they seek to stop the controversial Byron bypass that is set to extend down Butler Street and cut through an area of SEEP 14 wetland that includes a threatened ecological community and habitat of critically endangered Mitchell’s rainforest snail.
Former local politicians and councillors Ian Cohen, Jan Barham and John Lazarus have all been critical of the bypass, which they say will be 30 metres wide and cause unnecessary stress to threatened species. Former mayor Jan Barham has taken two advertisements (part 1, part 2) in The Echo detailing concerns about the transparency of the process used to approve the bypass and the validity of using biobanking as a way to offset damage to the local endangered ecosystem.
Protesters stopped drilling
On Monday protestors formed a circle inside a banner to prevent drilling on the site for several hours, until workers later returned with a police escort.
Since that time the blockade camp has relocated from the east side of the street to the west, after police fenced off the area and warned they would be clearing the site by the end of the day.
Police and council have agreed that that activists have authorisation to camp in Butler Street for the remainder of the year.
Blockader Saul Dalton says, ‘It’s time for our Mayor to be honest to ratepayers about the reasons they have chosen this destructive route for the bypass when there were better options available.
‘As a balance to the stressful side of their campaign, the protesters are planning an upcoming “camp-warming” in their new site, with workshops, drum circles and film screenings.’