17.5 C
Byron Shire
April 14, 2021

Transparency lacking as cypress pine becomes first bypass casualty

Latest News

SCU celebrates alumni achievements with awards

A group of Southern Cross University graduates who have made extraordinary global achievements in research, community building, healthcare and environmental issues have been acknowledged with the 2020 Alumni Impact Awards.

Other News

Is it solar fair?

Meg Pickup, Ballina The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) draft rule change will result in solar households and businesses being...

Council crews working hard to repair potholes

Tweed Shire Council road maintenance crews are out across the Tweed's road network repairing potholes and other damage caused by the recent prolonged rainfall and previous flood events.

Local sailor triumphs in blustery Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race

Local sailor Craig Watson battled near gale-force winds on Coopers to have one of his best ever Brisbane to Gladstone yacht races claiming fourth place in line honours.

SCU celebrates alumni achievements with awards

A group of Southern Cross University graduates who have made extraordinary global achievements in research, community building, healthcare and environmental issues have been acknowledged with the 2020 Alumni Impact Awards.

NSW coal power stations still emitting dangerous levels of air pollution

New National Pollutant Inventory data shows that toxic air emissions from the state’s coal-fired power stations fell 15% in the year to June 2020, but they are still among the most polluting industrial facilities in NSW.

Sprout lovers

Sprouts can sometimes be overlooked on the weekly grocery list… except for those in the know, of course!

Hans Lovejoy

With residents claiming a cypress pine, paperbarks, and eucalypt trees have been destroyed in the first phase of the Butler Street bypass project, it’s emerged Council are undertaking the large project without a contamination report or providing proof that they have met extensive requirements of Land & Enviroment (L&E) Court orders.

The L&E Court orders outline all management and reports that are required before undertaking the infrastructure project.

The Byron bypass protest is in its second week. Photo supplied.

Butler Street residents say the established trees unnecessarily came down last week and they are now without privacy screenings. 

Labor councillor Jan Hackett told The Echo, ‘I do not understand why the trees have been removed on the residential side of Butler Street. I have asked mayor Simon Richardson and staff to explain’.

Throughout the project, the Greens and Labor councillor majority have supported the project while having virtually no involvement – all management has been palmed to staff to manage under delegated powers. Only a vague mayoral minute asked staff, just prior to awarding the construction tender, to ‘identify areas of degraded wetland near the bypass and what the cost would be to do some restoration work’. This report is expected during the construction phase.

Given the lack of transparency, The Echo asked staff why this project has proceeded given crucial documents have not been provided to the public. 

‘Why is Council doing this, given any commercial developer doing a similar project would unlikely be allowed to proceed without this information?’

Staff replied, ‘Council is focused on building the approved and funded bypass. Current bypass testing results are part of working documents associated with the construction contract (compliance with consent conditions) and are not publicly available at this stage’.

The Echo has also asked for the L&E Court orders to be provided – nothing is available on their website.


The long-running saga of what route alternatives were explored and why they were rejected remains unclear.  

While Council’s website states, ‘Using the rail corridor to build a road would rule out the option of delivering a rail service in the future,’ it is at odds with recommendations from a government-funded 2014 ARUP Rail Trail study. 

On page 32, under section 4.7.5, it states: ‘It may also be possible to include both rail trail and the proposed bypass and the proposed Byron Bay Community and Tourist rail shuttle within the corridor…’

The Echo understands no formal request was ever made to Transport NSW to explore all uses for transport within the corridor. Staff were asked to comment, but there was no reply. After an attempt by Labor councillor Paul Spooner to investigate route options was knocked back by fellow councillors, he then supported the final tender in late May. 

Blockade Tuesday

Meanwhile, a protester at the construction site told The Echo on Tuesday that contractors had stopped work and police were on their way owing to the blockade. They are seeking an urgent meeting with the mayor so he can explain his decision, he said. 

The blockade is expected to continue.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Why are they wanting to Hack threw the wetlands killing off so many endangered animals and distroying Byron Bay forever just for pedestrians . Even to use the Rail corridor would be just as bad cause it would still kill off and poison our native animals . Why doesn’t council wake up to themselves and stop wasting money and wetlands . We need overhead Bridges threw the town excample the two Lawson st roundabouts cause that’s what stops the traffic when cars have to stop all the time to give way to the pedestrians walking across the roads All the time . We don’t need roads cutting threw our wetlands and rail trail at all. I’ve lived here 20 years and ratepayer and I fully disagree to and bypass in town at all


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Red Cross offers additional bushfire grants

Australian Red Cross is opening a final round of support grants for people affected by the bushfires who are suffering extreme financial hardship.

The return of the prodigal son

Gallery DownTown, the annexe of Tweed Regional Gallery, is presenting a new exhibition by regional artists.

Rotary Downunder Baton handed over at Byron Bay

The Rotary Club of Byron Bay recently took the Rotary Downunder Baton to the most easterly point of Australia as part of its national journey. As well as being the national celebration of one hundred years of service by Rotary in Australia, the theme for the centenary is 'Rotary says no to domestic violence'.

Interview with Jean Kittson

Comedian, writer, and social commentator Jean Kittson has the ability to distil complex ideas into commonsense. Jean is one of the national treasures in conversation with Mandy Nolan and Fiona O’Loughlin at No Eggs for Breakfast, a comedic chat themed around life beyond fertility! It seemed remiss not to ask Ms Kittson on her take on the debacle that is federal politics and gender equity.