BUTLER STREET: Paul Jones, architect and Butler Street home owner has founded the
BUTLER STREET: Paul Jones, architect and Butler Street home owner has founded the "Grab the Rail" campaign proposing the new Byron Bypass use a section of the old railway within town. Megan Kinninment

OPINION: Butler Street Bypass terribly concocted.

THE BYRON Bay Butler Street Bypass is again on public exhibition following a 6 month delay due to inadequacies in the previous DA exposed by The Butler Street Community Network, the Byron Bay residents association campaigning for a better bypass solution for the township.

“How much more time, money and scarce community resources are to be wasted before our Council rethinks its absurd Butler Street bypass and properly addresses the rail corridor route” said association president Paul Jones.

“We urge all local residents to get active and write again a submission to the new DA if you value the disused infrastructure corridor through the centre of our town that offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide a multimodal (car/bus/light‐rail/pedestrian/cycle) transport and traffic solution.

The rail corridor route will be far superior in terms of environmental impacts, ease of construction, better traffic outcomes through better proximity and parking opportunities, integration of a bus transit centre, avoidance of the Markets precinct, heritage and residential impacts and most extraordinary, it will be cheaper to build.”

Rail Trail Inc. have to date been very successful in steering Council away from the rail corridor route as their intention was and remains to take exclusive control of all rail land and assets for the Rail Trail development.

Byron Shire Council has aided and continues to support this outcome despite Rail Trail failing to secure $50 million seed funding. “This new DA continues to make pathetic excuses for not

addressing the Rail Corridor Route while still spruiking the out‐dated rail trail proposal,” said Mr Jones.

“Council continue to suggest that the rail corridor is not wide enough, that they would require an Act of Parliament, that the rail land would have to be brought without an ounce of evidence. All claims to the contrary in the DA are fabrications.”

Byron Shire Council is proposing possibly the most important infrastructure development for Byron Bay since the establishment of the lighthouse and yet they steadfastly refuse to formally approach the State Government to ascertain the feasibility for the rail corridor route.

A motion was put to Council, as far back as August 2014, to write to the State for clarification of the availability, terms and conditions to utilising the rail corridor land. Incredibly this motion failed and essential information was declined in favour of hearsay, wrongful advice and threats of loss of funding.

The township of Moree has just completed its long awaited bypass right along an active rail corridor in town. Any further claim that our generous rail corridor cannot be shared has to be considered suspiciously.

“Butler Street Community Network will be steadfastly opposing the current DA,” said Mr Jones.

“We are asking all of our friends and visitors alike to again get on board and help us create a great piece of infrastructure for our town’s future rather than the Council’s terribly concocted proposal.”

Our new Local Member Tamara Smith is a staunch advocate for the proper investigation of the rail corridor route, in her words, "Why, when there is a gold standard bypass solution for Byron Bay as put forward in the 2001 EIS, are we going ahead with a second rate Butler Street proposal with its extra costs and major impacts foisted on the community."

Submissions close 4pm Friday 1st April and can be made to: submissions@byron.nsw.gov.au quoting DA/Parcel No. 10.20016.77.1/237984

You can view details for a rail corridor alternative bypass route at www.byrontrafficfix.org

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