The Byron Bay Farmers Market. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star
The Byron Bay Farmers Market. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star Patrick Gorbunovs

'Why are we paving paradise and putting in a parking lot?': MP

BALLINA MP Tamara Smith is appalled at the lack of public consultation regarding the site of the Byron Markets.

"I am appalled that our iconic market space in Butler Street is being replaced with a giant bus interchange. It is up to the community and Byron Shire Council to tell government where the best location for a bus interchange is and that process of consultation simply has not occurred," Tamara Smith said.

"On what planet would you want to replace one of the key features of our Byron town, a designated and central space for the monthly Byron market that has been there for decades and a weekly farmers market, with a giant bus interchange? The former is a cultural and economic hub for locals and visitors alike and the latter is a giant bus shed.

"The community were told that the bus interchange would be built on the rail corridor and now without any community consultation we are being told that it is being built on the market site. It is the community that needs to decide when an iconic, cultural and economic hub is being removed from its home of many decades, not the General Manager of Byron Shire Council. There are so many innovative ways to do bus terminals these days, just look at what the Queensland government is doing.

"Losing an iconic public space and replacing it with a transport terminal does not seem innovative at all.

"Council should engage in thorough community consultation about the market site and about what happens along Butler Street, particularly given the phenomenal waste of ratepayer's money in the recent protracted legal battle with the Butler Street residents.

"With so few historic, iconic spaces left in Byron, Council should be looking at how we retain what we have and love. The idea that we have to lose a Heritage neighbourhood and a well-loved community market space to make way for a bigger road, car spaces and a bus terminal seems to me a very sad day indeed," Ms Smith said.



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