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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Byron Bypass gets the green light from Dept of Environment

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The construction of the Byron Bypass could recommence within days after the Federal Environment Department gave the project a conditional green light last week.

Work on the second stage of the bypass was halted in October last year following concerns that the project would have a significant negative impact on a number of endangered species, including the Mitchells Rainforest Snail, due to wetland clearing.

In response to very loud public outcry over this impact, Byron Council referred the project to the Environment Department for consideration under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

On January 17 the Department found that the project was not a prohibited action under the act, provided it met specific conditions.

This paves the way for the project to recommence, most likely to completion.

‘Due to the small scale of clearing and the mitigation measures proposed, significant impacts to the ecological community and species are considered unlikely,’ a Departmental officer said in a letter to locals who had made submissions in relation to the referral.

Most of the conditions set out by the Department were already part of council’s plans for the project.

This includes the construction of a dedicated fauna underpass at the southern end of the bypass, and the installation of fauna exclusion fencing around the edges of the project.

The Council must also undertake the project without the use of herbicides, and undertake all land clearing in accordance with the Mitchell’s Rainforest Snail Habitat Clearing Protocols it obtained in October.

The $24m Bypass will run south from the Shirley Street roundabout at the entrance to the town centre and run parallel to the railway line until it joins Jonson Street at the southern edge of town.

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  1. Sanity prevails! This will remove thousands of cars pumping fumes into the air as they sit on Shirley Street waiting to go through town. Everyone who has been sitting in traffic jams over the Christmas period will agree this is good for the town, good for locals wanting to travel from one side of town to the other, good for the environment and good for the pedestrian amenity in and around Jonson Street.

    • Until it’s not good for the environment or the town, this project is a bandaid and shortsighted… what’s the plan when it’s all gridlocked which will happen in a short amount of time. A real long term plan would discourage the amount of cars entering the town and FYI we have a current bypass called the Pacific highway.

  2. Greg O. has a very small understanding of how insignificant the moving of traffic from one side of the rail corridor to the other is going to make anything better … and at the expense of last remaining tracts of rainforest and bio-diversity in Byron Bay.

    All hail the mighty motor car … and the sellout Greens, with help from other short-visioned Councillors.

    • I doubt it, most residents arent ecocydal maniacs. With destroyed bush fire landscapes, including the first precedent of rainforest burning, in what will be an increasingly hot planet, with over 1,000,000 native animals dead, and increasing development loss of carbon capture forest, Byron $hire Greenwash and Liebor Councilors destroy further wetlands and endangered species and their habitat., on the suicidal fantasy of eternal development growth. Our survival as a species amongst a natural environmental support system is on the line. Byron Council is a threatening process

  3. All we need is an Aussie version of the”Boring Company” to take root and pioneer in Byron- Australia”s Heartland of innovation…well it could be if we pool our resources and think like Byron’s famous efoil company or our solar train. The bypass is a short term answer to a mounting problem. Let’s burrow down and show Australia how it can be done.

  4. Greg and Will both have good point of view. The bypass is needed but at the same time the council should discourage usage of cars in the city. There are lots of examples in Europe and few in North America of measures and services to promote cycling, walking and public transport. Some of the most prestigious cities make it part of the experience- Whistler – Zermat – Verona.

  5. Whats the point of this bypass? Traffic still has to come all the way into town? Maybe it should have turned off out near the service station?


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