TOTALLY LOCKED OUT: Volunteers at the Total Environment Centre in Railway Park Byron Bay arrived for work on Wednesday morning to find the rotunda surrounded by a fence. Pictured are: Nino MacDonald, John Lazarus and  Marie Hayes.
TOTALLY LOCKED OUT: Volunteers at the Total Environment Centre in Railway Park Byron Bay arrived for work on Wednesday morning to find the rotunda surrounded by a fence. Pictured are: Nino MacDonald, John Lazarus and Marie Hayes. Christian Morrow

Park fencing not the end for environment centre

RAILWAY Park was expected to fully reopen today and safety fences removed after planned upgrade work was completed.

Byron Shire Council's Open Spaces Team said they anticipated finishing scheduled gardening and turfing works by close of business tonight, weather permitting.

The preparatory works involved the removal of the concrete-edged garden beds and two trees to open up pedestrian access to the park from Johnson Street, as part of the Railway Park upgrade. 

Manager Open Space Michael Matthews said they had been following the schedule of works in Railway Park over the last few months to make it more accessible, safe and user-friendly.

"This has involved erection of safety fences to protect everyone while staff and equipment move about the site,” Mr Matthews said.

"We understand that the safety fences have raised concerns and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

"We are working to realise the vision for a revitalised Railway Park adopted as part of the Byron Bay Town Centre Master Plan.”

The garden bed and turfing preparatory works were funded from $260,000 Byron Shire Council was awarded this year from the NSW Government's Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Fund, for the start of the revitalisation of the Railway Square precinct in Byron Bay.

The Railway Square precinct was one of 12 town centre projects identified in the Byron Bay Town Master Plan completed in 2015.

"Early concept plans submitted by council's landscape architect following a design charette involving community members show that Railway Park will be extended, and much improved recreation and leisure spaces will be created so that it will become a central meeting place in Byron for the community, businesses, artists and visitors,” Mr Matthews said.  

"The plans are very exciting and feature keeping the much-loved cottonwood trees as a centrepiece of the park design with improvements to the playground.”

"Any notion of removal of the Byron Environment Centre kiosk will be a decision of the council once current consultation being undertaken by the mayor has been concluded,” Mr Matthews said.

Total investment for the start of the Railway Square precinct is $520,000. This includes the NSW Government grant of $260,000 and $210,000 from Byron pay parking receipts.

Members of the Byron Visitors Centre are also contributing $50,000.



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