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Byron Shire
April 17, 2024

Suffolk Park residents pressure councillors over pump track

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Residents explained their concerns to councillors on Saturday. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Councillors, Michael Lyon and Jeanette Martin, met Suffolk Park residents on Saturday to hear concerns around the proposed pump bike track, which is slated for the Linda Vidler park.

Late last year, councillors adopted a motion to push ahead with the next stage of the project. Residents say they have been blindsided by a lack of consultation, and that it is more suited to be built at the Cavanbah Centre in Ewingsdale.

Community Gardens Australia president Naomi Lacey wrote to Council on February 22 saying that her organisation is ‘highly concerned about the plans to build a pump track within Linda Vidler Recreation Park and the process that has been taking place around these plans’.

The letter reads, ‘It is quite clear that due process has not been followed and that appropriate community consultation has not taken place’.

‘The impact of this track on existing community spaces such as the community garden and soccer field will be devastating and we feel that Byron Shire should be taking steps to ensure that a proper period of community consultation occurs.

‘Subverting democratic process by requiring some interested parties to await listing on the master plan, while giving another party automatic inclusion, plus the awarding of significant sums of money without a proper tender process, is most alarming’.

A petition against the track is online.

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  1. The Cavanbah Centre out on Ewingsdale Rd, yes build it there. That’s close to where all the local families live – NIMBY

  2. This is such a beat-up. Consultation has been happening for years on the pump track and it has been strongly supported. It was not stage 2 that Council voted for it was to award extra S94 funds to meet a budget shortfall and allow the original vision and plans to occur.

    It does not encroach on the community garden (that hardly anyone in the community goes near anyway). It is nowhere near the soccer field which incidentally takes up around half of all the available park space for an activity that occurs seasonally one day a week with one night a week training. What it MAY impact on is the desire of the soccer field to expand with another half field and totally dominate the space. What happens to the community garden under these plans?

    Like the skate park, the picnic areas and the playground the pump track will provide healthy outdoor family activity seven days a week, year round.

    Not in the yet-to-be master plan? No but it was already approved by Council over a year ago and given Council’s endorsement in its successful application for a grant. Neither is the community garden nor the soccer field in the Masterplan. Should we declare tabula rasa and put them all up for grabs?

  3. Not only was the ‘community consultation’ process deficient, most people in SPk had no idea of what they were getting, much less those most affected. As the Mayor incorrectly stated just a few weeks ago most thought it was for “kiddies on bikes” (Stage 1). Suddenly on Dec17 it became Approved Stage 2, the SPPA drivers plan all along. The residents did meet with 2 kindly Councillors, not just to ‘have their questions answered’ (mea culpa, we learnt a lot from this, and we will do better next time) but to indicate the heat of asphalt, and noise issues for outraged neighbours, at midday and potentially all weekend and more. We do need to keep this process truthful. Questions still unanswered: Has the contract been signed, and if so, what date? When can people see the true scale of this drastically life changing fun park, with a stated wide drawing area? When will the environmental impact and traffic and increased heat (in a heatwave zone) and noise studies (in a sound resonance zone) be shown? Skateboards or not (a question still avoided)? Motorised or not (a serious question, given the noise of evenl ONE small vehicle last week)? How “quiet” did the Mayor and neighbours expect a mass influx of kids and adults to be, for adjacent homes? Why were direct neighbours (including many distressed elderly residents) not informed? Why all the misleading messages? Why was such a controversial decision as Stage 2 made at Christmas?


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