With three black riot squad vans in Byron Bay on this morning, there was speculation that they were there to enforce shutdowns of venues and beaches.
Yet NSW Police media told Echonetdaily that they were ‘being utilised for a pre-arranged commitment in the area’, and were ‘not coronavirus related’.
‘For reasons beyond our control the original reason for deployment has no longer proceeded. As a result the unit has been conducting proactive tasking in and around the area to best utilise their resources while in the region,’ a police spokesperson said.
‘They will only be in town until the end of today.’
The controversial bypass works which are now in stage two did not elicit any protest action when it began last week though there was a police presence at the site in case of protests.
Stage two includes removal of sensitive wetlands that contain vulnerable species.
Council, who are heading the project, are yet to reply to Echo Publications as to what independent oversight there is being carried out with the ecological destruction.