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Byron Shire
January 29, 2022

Council defends bypass process, again

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Award winning filmmaker David Bradbury filmed a short video on April 2 of the works, and was approached by two Hazell Bros contractors, who calmly accused him of trespassing and threatened to call the police. They denied the area being cleared was a rainforest – despite contrary evidence – and said that if anyone had complaints, they should take it up with Council.

Hans Lovejoy

With Council’s controversial Byron bypass project along Butler Street continuing into stage two, it’s emerged pre-clearing surveys and a species relocation report are to be published after the clearing has been completed.

A freedom of info request by former councillor John Lazarus asked Council for the reports, to which staff replied Council, ‘are awaiting the report from the consultant for the clearing.’ 

They added that ‘Once received, this will be uploaded to our website…’

Post report of destruction

Echonetdaily asked staff, ‘It appears this project is occurring without anyway to ensure proper process is being adhered to – all that will be presented to the public is a post-clearing report. Is that correct?’ Council replied that proper process is being followed. Council’s client representative for the project, Joshua Winter, told Echonetdaily, ‘The project is approved’.

‘There is no requirement for a pre-clearing report to allow clearing to proceed – that is what approvals are for.

‘The ecologists and the Contractor have the procedures in place that were approved by the NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment (formerly OEH) and considered by the Australian government’s Department of Environment and Energy in our referral.

‘There is an ‘unexpected finds procedure’ where if something was found that was not previously known in these approvals then works would stop and any further approvals required would be obtained. This was not required.

‘The requirement is for a post-clearing report, that describes the work that was undertaken and the fauna that were found and relocated.

Winters says after the recent removal of trees, ‘There was then a substantial amount of mulching… which is now completed.’

‘The ecologists were required to be present for those works and the procedures include up until those works are completed, which is why we don’t yet have the report. We do have the report for the small section that was cleared opposite Burns Street in stage one however Mr. Lazarus asked for stages two and three (although there is no clearing in stage three).

‘Nevertheless, we will be publishing both stage one and two reports, and I anticipate they will be published by Friday. These reports are also sent to the NSW and Australian government environmental departments for their records.’

Council’s website says, ‘The clearing work was carried out over two weeks, with independent ecologists overseeing all activities on site’. The website claims all vulnerable snails found prior to clearing ‘were removed from the site…’


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Bare witness to the destruction wrought by Byron Council and the 7 Councillors that pushed this agenda.
    The Councillors who pushed this destruction, in this era when the earths Climate Emergency repair systems are failing, and we have an Extinction Crisis are: Green Party – Crs Richardson, Lyons, Ndiaye and Martin. Labour Party: Spooner and Hacket. And Nationals aligned: Hunter. The two Councillors who voted against this ecocide are Independents: Cameron and Coorey.
    Council has placed reports on its website : https://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Works-projects/Byron-Bay-Bypass-Stage-2
    The Reports identify that there was 140 Critically Endangered Mitchells Rainforest Snails found in the 2nd Stage developments destruction of habitat, which I suspect is the largest amount seen, and the densest colony identified, since the snails Recovery Plan was Federally adopted, and the species listed on the International Red List of endangered animals. As well as the snails, there were three Carpet Pythons, one Short-beaked Echidna, seven Sun Skinks, 103 Striped Wallum Marsh Frogs, a Green Tree Frog and a Bandy-Bandy Snake removed from their now permanently destroyed habitat.

  2. True, John, but Cate Coorey and Paul Spooner attempted to get a path through the rail corridor investigated, after enquirers initiated by Tamara Smith. It was lost after a close vote despite, it seems, Jan Hackett in support. Let’s consider the full history.

    From the June 2017 council minutes:
    ‘Notice of Motion No. 9.2 Byron Bay Bypass File No: I2017/788
    Moved that Council:
    a) Provide an updated estimate for the full construction costs of the proposed Byron Bay bypass;
    b) Provide an estimate for the full construction costs of a roadway within the rail corridor from Lawson Street to Browning Street Byron Bay; and
    c) Identify the available sources of funds to construct the Byron Bay bypass. (Spooner/Coorey)
    The motion was put to the vote and declared lost.

  3. Quite right as far as your history goes. However, prior to this all the myriad of studies have shown the inappropriateness and ineffectiveness of this bypass and was only given the go-ahead as a condition of developing West Byron. It’s still inappropriate and won’t solve any traffic problems. It will, however, enable the extension of the Byron CBD and the huge amount of ready cash that will provide.

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