John Lazarus, Byron Bay
Recent letters (David Kolb, June Grant), regarding concerns over the mayor and staff, and Council’s heritage management, are accurate. The mayor has contempt for heritage protection, and staff need to be overseen.
In a recent Council meeting on a development in a heritage area the mayor stated he didn’t support heritage protection of, say, an old miners’ hut. Ironically it was the Builders Labourers Green Ban that preserved the heritage of The Rocks in Sydney (which also involved Builders Labourers lodged up trees to stop their removal), which inspired a German woman to initiate the global Green Party political movements.
But apart from the mayor’s callous disregard, residents also need to oversee Council’s management of staff. Councillors voted to turn the railtrack land, between the Byron Railway station and Lawson St, into a park, with turf to the top of the existing rail track, and to preserve the railway heritage infrastructure. But the staff tender for works was for the removal of the rail lines and rail infrastructure.
After many emails, Council did do a heritage study, which hopefully got this State Registered Heritage Site development back on track. Unfortunately the mayor’s disregard for built heritage appears to align with his disregard for preserving our environmental heritage – his support for the Byron bypass illustrates both.
We’ve driven the protection of the environment from this region, from the world’s first big forest blockade in the ‘70s (when there was no Environment Minister in any world government, only Resource Ministers). And we need to again rise and challenge the status quo, and I call on all Councillors standing for this year’s election to commit to demolishing and revegetating the bypass.