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Byron Shire
June 18, 2024

Thumbs down for Council’s plans for Mullum’s main St

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Residents have sent a clear message to Council regarding its plans for Mullum’s main drag, with staff reporting over 500 submissions were received for the Burringbar Street Concept Design.

Key concerns for the majority of the submissions, says staff, were the ‘proposed reduction in car parking spaces and the proposed replacement of existing palm trees with better shade trees’.  

As is standard Byron Shire Council practice – which is not legally required, and unlike other councils – all submissions were confidential. 

Put on the backburner 

In response, councillors voted on Thursday to put the contentious plans on the backburner, and focus on ‘projects relating to car parking supply, future needs and management in Mullumbimby’. 

During morning access, Dr Anne Stuart from Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB) told councillors she did not fully support the plan, and referred to award-winning town designs. 

‘First you repair, then you clean, and then beautify and maintain,’ she said. 

Later in the day, all councillors (except Cr Duncan Dey) voted for Mayor Michael Lyon’s motion to support staff’s recommendation.

It also includes a list of ‘Design Directions’ to be ‘used to inform the drafting of a preliminary engineering design at a later date’.

Cr Dey’s alternative motion was unsupported by all councillors, which was similar but more specific – it called for a ‘formal review of the Mullumbimby Master Plan; a resolution of vehicle movement problems on the two bypass routes, especially at corners like Station Street with Tincogan and Ferns Streets; and repair, maintenance, and regular cleaning of gutters including in Burringbar Street’. 

During debate, Cr Lyon repeated Council staff talking points around the plans, emphasising that parking is planned for the rail corridor and is almost signed off on. 

He claimed 100 parking spaces would be created, all within 100 metres from the CBD. 

Yet it is unclear how car parking at the town’s entrance aligns with the town’s masterplan – on page 43, it reads, ‘The gateway [of the town] is an opportunity to reflect Mullum’s “green” image and to establish varied living forms and opportunities…’.  

Cr Lyon also said it was ‘hard to make changes’ when it came to town planning, and resistance could be ‘based on fear of what will happen, and not on the opportunities’. 

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