Zbigniew (Sky) Wesolowski, Coorabell
I appeal to the Byron Shire Council to follow common sense, respect the law and comply with The Plan of Management for the Butler Street Recreational Reserve.
Previous generations have left us a toxic legacy of a dump. Filling up a wetland lagoon with waste, they created a hazardous time bomb.
They also left us with a sensible solution to at least contain it by creating the Reserve and laws regulating its use. There was recognition that the area cannot be paved as the ground is not stable. The soil and grass covering was to be protected, allowing only a monthly community market vehicle access and all other recreational activities being pedestrian.
Contrary to these aims, the council has permitted a weekly farmers’ market and its associated parking to operate. That stressed and killed a lot of grass. Subsequent allocation of heavy vehicle daily parking has destroyed the protective surface on most of the Reserve, creating wheel-rut depressions. The Reserve thus lost its recreational and environmental function. It destroyed the community market appeal as punters found dust or mud filled potholes instead of grass. Even playing a ball game was not possible. The market stallholders saw their rent money being thrown away with the ground swallowing more and more gravel spread by the market’s management.
Is BSC planning to remove the underground waste? Why allow activities that will destroy the grass and its roots? Is it planning to cover the Reserve with fake grass and fence it with barbed wire? I honestly would not be surprised.
Connected by a direct manmade canal to Belongil Creek, this land’s surface is critical in protecting the health of the estuary and the surrounding Cumbebin Wetland. The addition of the bypass and the bus station only increased the pressure on the wetland. A properly managed and designed monthly market on the site could help to improve its environmental and social function. It is a Goldilocks (just right) solution for the site. Opening the Reserve to more frequent vehicle use shows no fundamental understanding of how to take care of the grass and can only turn the area into a dust bowl again.