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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Suffolk pump track

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Dr Ray Moynihan, Suffolk Park

Thanks to The Echo for ongoing coverage of the debate about the proposed pump track at Suffolk Park (10 and 17 February).

As more scrutiny and information emerges about the size, scale, design, and potential impact on the community gardens and local amenity, the less appealing the plan appears. My family’s hope that the track and gardens can coexist remains, but anything the Council and community can do to ensure it is a genuine coexistence would be very welcome, and other appropriate locations for the track are worth considering.

Fun spaces for young people away from screens are vital, but so too is the calm quiet power of a growing garden in a tranquil suburban parkland.

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  1. Why is there a sudden pile-on about the pump track? The community has been informed and consulted about the pump track going back over several years and it has been overwhelmingly supported. It has been the subject of a POM.

    The grant itself ,received by the SPPA from the NSW Government, was awarded on the basis of a community vote. In December 2019 there was a large public meeting in the SP hall to discuss a range of options for the siting and footprint (ie size and scale) of the track within the park, with an opportunity for residents to state their preferences in a survey. The additional funding that Council voted to give the project last December was to enable design parameters that were envisaged from the beginning. It will not involve a larger footprint or greater impact for the track.

    I wonder if people concerned about the community garden have actually visited the site to see how totally discrete they will be from each other.

    Community gardens are a wonderful concept but it has seemed that for the history of Suffolk Park’s CG it has remained a worthy concept rather than something the community has embraced for active involvement – which has largely been left to a small group of enthusiasts. It seems ironic that suddenly there is so much interest in and supposition about how it will be impacted. The community garden has every right to have its place in the park but it can and should coexist with other uses in an area with limited public recreational land.

    If we do want to encourage healthy physical outdoor activity the facilities need to be accessible and WITHIN the boundaries of the communities it caters to. There is a decided lack of other land in Suffolk Park but a growing population. For younger children contrast the prospect of parents strolling with the family (some maybe in prams) to the neighbourhood park with the prospect of loading kids and bikes into the family car and sitting in the weekend traffic of Ewingsdale Road to get to the Cavanbah site. For kids who will get there themselves ask yourself if, as a parent, you would want your kids riding through Byron Bay first then having to cross Ewingsdale Road.

    Investigate other sites? There has already been considerable expenditure on the various reports, (including an EIS) and site preparation for this site. The consultation was copious – decisions were made.


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