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Byron Shire
August 5, 2021

Paid parking please

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Rod Murray, Ocean Shores

Well, it looks like another rate rise is in the wind for Byron Shire ratepayers with no sign of paid parking in Brunswick Heads or Mullumbimby on the horizon.

You have to wonder what it will take for local rate payers and businesses to ask where the money will come from for the ongoing maintenance of road and infrastructure across the Shire enjoyed by the endless, increasing, stream of tourists.

I’m fascinated to see how the Council will respond when the shysters who have ignored planned retreat expect Council to protect their homes (including those planned to be built in the West Byron ‘swampland’ who will very likely not be able to get flood insurance) from rising sea levels, as well as some very low-lying roads. More costs in the Land and Environment Court no doubt.

Business owners, accommodation providers, councillors, and others who oppose paid parking and benefit from ratepayers in one way or another – get honest about the future costs in this Shire. Don’t expect ratepayers to subsidise the endless maintenance of services and wider infrastructure for your business model.

Ocean Shores residents have not forgotten the dodgy deals that allowed the sale of the Roundhouse site – given away for a song (which was a major community asset).

Bring on paid parking.

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  1. Byron Council has already squandered $300K on an exploratory report into running converted minibuses or miniature trams on the old railway line. They have allocated another $200K (that they don’t have) to “digitally assess” the condition of seven of the “unknown number” of decaying wooden bridges between Bayshore Drive and Mullumbimby. Millions of dollars of ratepayer funds will be spent on consultant reports before anything is actually done, if ever. They haven’t even found the money to clear the vegetation off the line so they can see what is actually there.

    For a fraction of what has been spent, they could have completed a business case for a rail trail that would have been funded and ready to start construction, like what is getting underway in Tweed. In fact had the Byron councillors not ignored the offer by Tweed Shire in 2016 to include the five kilometres between the shire boundary and Billinudgel in the Tweed Valley Rail Trail Project, the people of the villages in the north of the shire could have been looking forward to a rail trail bringing thousands of low impact visitors and millions of dollars to their communities.

    A vote for any of the candidates backing this futile railway project is a vote to get to the next election in 2024 with no trains, no rail trail and no money for anything else.


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