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Byron Shire
February 2, 2023

Byron’s historic jetty engine unveiled

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Pictured are Brian Kelly, NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway (Nationals), Mayor Michael Lyon, Byron Historical Society President, Donald Maughan, and Brian Parks, son of the Frogs last driver, Len Parks. Photo Jeff ‘Croaked’ Dawson

A piece of Byron Bay history, the old Green Frog jetty engine, has been restored and is now on permanent display at the Byron Bay Railway Station.

The Green Frog is housed in a large, custom-built case at the southern end of the Byron Bay rail platform.

Many of Byron Bay’s more recent residents have never heard of the Green Frog, but for old locals, the jetty engine was a familiar sight, chugging around the coastal town from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Byron Bay Historical Society (BBHS) president, Donald Maughan, told The Echo that for 63 years – from 1923 to 1983 – the Green Frog jetty engine ferried passengers and freight from the old jetty to the coast steamer that travelled to Sydney, and then shunted freight for the meat works, the whaling company, the Norco Cooperative and Zircon Rutile.

He said, ‘When the meat works closed in 1983, the old engine was presented to the Byron Bay Historical Society and the last two drivers, Brian Parks and his father, kept it in their shed, ensuring this important piece of the town’s history was preserved’.

‘This engine was a fixture of life in Byron Bay for decades, and is a symbol of the town’s industrial history,’ Mr Maughan said.

‘Many people don’t know that Byron Bay was a traditional blue-collar, working-class town where people were employed at the meatworks, the butter factory, the whaling station and in the sand-mining industry,’ he said.

Industrial heritage 

‘Much of the town’s industrial heritage has disappeared over the years and to be able to return the Green Frog to the track where it will be on display is wonderful, because it reminds everyone that Byron Bay has a proud industrial history,’ Mr Maughan said.

‘The BBHS was successful in securing a grant from Sydney Trains and the State Rail Authority, which has resulted in the long-term preservation of the engine and the construction of its new home at the Byron Bay rail platform,’ Mr Maughan said.

‘On behalf of the historical society, and all the residents of Byron Bay, I extend our gratitude and thanks to Brian Parks and his father, who have looked after the Green Frog, in their shed, for almost 40 years’.

‘It’s been a labour of love and what a gift they have given to our community,’ Mr Maughan said. The addition of the Green Frog completes the rail precinct area, says Mr Maughan. ‘Late last year, Council unveiled the rail corridor upgrade which transformed an old section of the disused rail line into a beautiful park that celebrates and highlights the rail heritage of the town’.

‘Add to this, the restoration of the old water tank that was recently done by Transport for NSW and this historical precinct is now complete’.


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10 COMMENTS

  1. In pride of place/up front and wearing a racial tee-shirt – there he was in all his glory !
    ‘Pictured are Brian Kelly, NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads’ – alongside the refurbished and historical ‘Green Frog’.
    It is a somewhat different pic of the Nat’s Sam Farraway than expected.
    Just a gross error, or the usual ‘Echo’ political/social comment?

  2. Gross error? Nope – just an overabundance of commas – a.k.a. overcommaplication – blurred the meaning.

    • Maybe; but the connection of Brian Kelly and his prominent shirt, regarding the Green Frog article, seems at best nebulous.
      Politically Correct certainly.
      But his prominence in the picture appears unnecessary regarding the scope of this article.
      Unless you can elucidate on his relevance being so up-front there.

    • That begs the question Jimmy Z – why is Brian Kelly there and why so prominent in the Echo’s picture?
      He seems to have no connection to the Green Frog in their article.
      If the Aboriginal Flag is not of racial origins, how would you describe it ?
      BTW – the 1901 Australian flag is for everyone, not just a 4% section of the community.

      • Why so prominent? obviously just to enrage the petty bigots who post to the Echo!
        BTW the 1901 Australian flag was the Red Ensign, which Australian troops fought under in all wars prior to Korea, a flag now irrevocably linked to the anti-vaxxers & freedumbers – <1%, & was only changed – unilaterally, without a parliamentary or democratic vote by Menzies, to his choice sycophantic monarchist royal blue because of his fervent anti-communist fetish.
        FFS, it also begs further questions: why shouldn't he be there? he obviously has more connection than the Member for Bathurst!
        & the next question, why can't he wear whatever he wants?
        Spot on Jimmy!

  3. Whichever way that the commenters above wish to cut the mustard, at the end of the day all Australians (native or otherwise) are still under British occupation and still to this day Australia is ruled by a British colonial system occupying stolen land. Now, for the native aboriginals still being occupied – well the British have refused to first negotiate in good faith and then sign a meaningful treaty. So then, this leaves options open for the aboriginals. My advice to them, sign a joint treaty with the BRICS+ group of nations. They might offer you a better deal (at least much better than the nothing but genocide that the British have offered you so far). And remember, James Cook lied on the paperwork. This undisputed fact cannot be undone. That written lie has meaning under other treaties and international law. So my comment to the person wearing the T-shirt – stop wearing the T-shirt and making a meaningless statement whilst standing right next to the loyal representatives of your City of London rulers. Actions not words. Sign a treaty – then there will be change.

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