'Put bypass on hold'
BYRON Bay community members have made a final plea to halt the development of a bypass and bus terminal that will 'destroy native wetland'.
Appalled locals gathered at Butler Street Reserve on Sunday to pressure council to reconsider further community consultation before building the bypass that includes a bus terminal on Butler St.
Paul Jones from the Butler Street Community Network said the community is battling on and 'calling for the end of this bypass on Butler St, full stop'. "There is a better outcome, it was devised in 2001 ... which included community consultation,” Mr Jones said.
A Grab The Rail CBD bypass proposal put forward in 2001 was supported by Member for Ballina Tamara Smith and proposed using the rail corridor route as a multi-modal corridor; a cheaper option, offering 'big mobility gains' and less environmental impact.
Country Labor candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh called for the development to be halted immediately for further consultation with the community and stakeholders.
"There has been absolutely no community consultation about it. This is the damning point behind the Nationals plan. If you are going to build something like this you have to talk to and consult the community,” Mr Pugh said.
"It is a massive bus station with a lot of cement, it will impose noise onto the residents of Butler St. It will mean impacts on traffic and people movement across town to the markets.
The development set to run south of Butler St, over the disused railway and finish at the corner of Browning St and Jonson St is part of an ongoing commercial expansion of the area.
At the rally there was a proposal for a bus station at the solar train in the industrial estate with a shuttle train into town.
Ecologist and community volunteer Mary Gardner spoke during the rally and said she was 'gobsmacked' at the final outcome of the project. "As a volunteer in committees, frankly we have no power,” she said.
"I would insist that there were actually ecologists in positions, long-term viable positions on council. We need terrestrial and aquatic ecologists who are there part and parcel with all the planning,” Dr Gardner said.
No candidates for election who supported the bypass attended the rally.