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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

A great milestone?

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David Morris, Byron Bay

I gritted my teeth and fumed when I read in The Echo (24June) that the Nationals MLC Ben Franklin described the near completion of the Butler Street bypass as a ‘great milestone’.

A milestone to where? In my mind it is the road to perdition, a damned future for Byron Bay. I believe what has happened and is planned to happen in the future development [sic] of this town is a disgrace.

This so-called bypass resembles a mini-motorway and has cut a swathe of destruction through the bush corridor that residents used to have along their street, and beyond, at the south end through to Browning Street.

The placing of a transit centre at what used to be the Butler Street crossing is another horror.

In the sixteen years I have been walking daily over that crossing, I used to manage to take some small solace in the pine tree that grew there. When the turmoil of the over-crowded town was agitating me, I would, poor fool, gaze at the filigree of charcoal branches and pine needles against the luminescent evening sky. It was like some living Chinese silk painting. Against hope, I hoped that somehow the tree might at the last be spared the chop. But I went out one winter morning, and when I came back in the early afternoon, execution had been done and the tree felled and cut up.

I dread the opening of this road. It will degrade the living quality of this neighbourhood (formerly relatively peaceful). There will be traffic noise day and night (how loud it’s hard to predict; but what with emergency vehicles and buses ’24/7′ there will be little bird song heard. One may still hear the crows. How apt a bird to be cawing commentary on the devastation, and utter commercialisation, to the oblivious disregard of many residents’ wellbeing).

As with the ‘relaxing’ of COVID restrictions and the encouragement by the state government to visitors from all over to rush back into this town, greed overcomes fear. And they feel they have nothing to worry about, except the money not flowing.

I again suggest the motto of the town be ‘Sell, sell, f-ing sell!’

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