David Morris, Byron Bay
I was pleased to see in a recent Echo [observing the opening date for the completed bypass] that it was noted [by The Echo ] that there had been considerable local opposition to the bypass. When I read the Council’s last emailed media release, it was puffing the bypass achievement for all it was worth: a triumph following ‘thirty years in the planning’.
I argued that all the protests [which we were invited to submit] were a waste of time. As with most of these so-called developments, there is little democracy: they are all done and dusted before submissions are called for. You can put your protest in, but in the long run it will almost certainly not make much difference.
I for one am pleased the bypass was delayed at all. Like others better informed than I am, it was clear from the start that the so-called bypass was not solely about the road. I believe; and I’m not alone I think, that there is an agenda to do with the commercialisation of this whole Butler Street area.
It dismays me to witness how this neighbourhood has been altered; and I shudder to contemplate how ghastly it will be when it ultimately opens, along with the wretched new transit centre.
I am not, nor ever have been, part of the car-worshipping society; though I admit being a non-driving pedestrian can make life difficult sometimes.
I used to be able to rely on the train to get in and out of Byron Bay; but as this was taken away years ago that was the end of that. The removal of the train under Jemma’s Labor NSW administration was just as maddening as the pro- development Lib Nationals gung-ho development-at-all-costs approach.
I note well that the Nationals’ Franklin is the name quoted in the Council’s media release on the bypass; it seems odd to me that this name crops up again and again, as though he is already de facto elected MP for the area. But, of course, we are to know it was through this agency that the money that was solicited earlier to do the deed was secured. It must have irked Mr Franklin that he wasn’t elected as the local MP; but perhaps when the mini-motorway and grand central transit centre is open for business, he will be seen as the kind of MP that ‘gets things done’! I shudder to contemplate.
And when I do contemplate all that is happening in this town and area, it is little wonder that I said, a while ago, to religious proselytisers in the main street when they asked me, ‘Who shall we pray for?’ I retorted, ‘Pray for this place. It’s going to hell in a handbasket!’