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Byron Bay News

Council’s Water and Road Projects in 2024: A Sneak Peek

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Byron Shire Water and Road Projects

Council’s Water and Road Projects in 2024: A Sneak Peek

 

As we move further into 2024, Byron Shire Council is gearing up for an extensive schedule of infrastructure projects aimed at improving roads, water systems, and drainage networks throughout the region.

Here’s a preview of some of the key projects planned for the year:

  1. Carlyle Street Reconstruction: The final touches are being made to the reconstruction of Carlyle Street, opposite the Byron Bay Rec Grounds, enhancing safety and accessibility in the area.
  2. Mullumbimby Carpark Renewal: Work is underway to renew the carpark at the Mullumbimby Recreation Grounds, involving resurfacing and the installation of a new footpath for improved usability.
  3. Heritage Park Shared Path: A new shared path is slated for construction in Heritage Park, providing pedestrians and cyclists with a safer and more accessible route.
  4. Fern Street Shared Path: Similar to Heritage Park, Fern Street is set to receive a new shared path, contributing to the network of active transportation routes in the area.
  5. River Terrace Road Surface Improvements: Enhancements to the road surface on River Terrace will enhance driving conditions and road safety for motorists in the Mullumbimby area.
  6. South Beach Road Temporary Improvements: Temporary improvements, including the placement of water barriers and parking space markings, have already been implemented on South Beach Road in Brunswick Heads to optimise traffic flow, with permanent upgrades scheduled for later in the year.
  7. Lawson Street Upgrade: A section of Lawson Street in Byron Bay is scheduled for an upgrade starting in late March, including the installation of a new water main at the intersection with Fletcher Street.
  8. Bayshore Drive Improvements: Major upgrades are planned for Bayshore Drive in the Arts and Industry Estate, commencing in late March or April, aimed at enhancing infrastructure and accessibility in the area.
  9. Water Main Upgrades: Tender processes will soon be initiated for contractors to upgrade water mains on Brushbox Drive in Mullumbimby, Narooma Drive, Bulgoon Crescent in Ocean Shores, and Bangalow Road in Byron Bay, ensuring the reliability and efficiency of the water supply system.
  10. Sewer Mains Remediation: The remediation of sewer mains across the Shire is scheduled to commence in mid-2024, contributing to the long-term sustainability of the wastewater infrastructure.

In addition to these major projects, ongoing maintenance work will continue to be carried out on water and sewer networks, as well as routine tasks such as pothole repairs and road grading, ensuring the continued functionality and safety of essential infrastructure.

For more detailed information on road projects and maintenance schedules, residents are encouraged to visit Council’s website. Stay tuned for further updates as these projects progress throughout the year.

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

Byron Bay News

Hotel sale with $30 million price tag in Byron Bay

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Vali Hotel, Byron Bay sold

Hotel sale with $30 million price tag in Byron Bay

 

Only four blocks from the beach in Byron Bay, the Vali Hotel, acquired by Scott Didier, founder and CEO of ASX-listed Jons Lyng Group in 2021, has sold again.

It is the first hotel transaction above $20 million since 2019 and it was after a highly competitive campaign that held a price guide of $30 million.

Mr Didier had completed extensive renovations on the 52-room hotel creating a Palm Springs and California coastal aesthetic in the heart of the tourist town.

Gareth Closter, Senior Vice President at JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group said the sale aligned with recent regulatory changes made by Byron Shire Council for short-term rental accommodation. This involves a 60-day cap on residential properties, which is expected to redirect visitors towards hotels, motels, and traditional forms of accommodation.

Vali Hotel Byron Bay Room

Vali Hotel Byron Bay Room

“This huge regulatory change will provide an exciting opportunity for improved trading performance for existing operators. Especially in an accommodation market like Byron Bay which has such a strong presence of ‘holiday rental’ operators such as Airbnb,” he said.

Andrew Langsford, Senior Vice President at JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group said the sale attracted significant interest from local, domestic, and offshore investors.

“Byron Bay is an incredibly unique market with extremely strong demand fundamentals and limited large-scale hotel and accommodation offerings,” he said.

“The majority of hotel investors and operators are interested in having a presence in the region which was reflected in the Vali Byron Bay sale process.”

Byron Bay is seeing a flourish of upscale boutique hotels which include the newly opened Marvell Hotel and Swell Hotel, Byron Bay.

A new establishment, Basq House is planned to open later this year.

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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Byron Bay News

Embracing Wisdom: The 2024 Byron Seniors Festival Celebrates Community and Connection

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Pippy Wardell, Byron Seniors Festival Coordinator

Embracing Wisdom: The 2024 Byron Seniors Festival Celebrates Community and Connection

 

Prepare for a heartwarming celebration as Byron Community Centre hosts the highly anticipated 2024 Byron Seniors Festival from March 11th to 15th. Themed ‘Reach Beyond’, this annual festival promises an exciting week of enriching activities, captivating performances and interactive workshops.

“I’m thrilled to be organising the Byron Seniors Festival, driven by the belief that our older generation is an essential part of the Byron Bay community,” says Izzy Durbin, Festival Coordinator. “In a world that’s constantly evolving, championing the support and nurturing of seniors has never been more crucial.”

Seniors will be treated to diverse experiences designed to inspire, connect and entertain. Whether it’s Art, Drumming, Afro Dance, Drama or Computer Club, there’s something for everyone at this vibrant festival. An inspiring Art Exhibition will be on display throughout the week in the foyers of the community centre.

Afro Dance - Byron Seniors Festival

Afro Dance – Byron Seniors

On March 13th, the Byron Seniors Festival Luncheon with Carers NSW will offer delicious cuisine and a chance to connect, followed by a film screening of ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ at Byron Theatre. A special Seniors Showcase on March 14th will feature a variety performance by our talented seniors.

“This festival is about creating moments of connection, new experiences and, most importantly, having fun together,” adds Izzy. All of the festival workshops and events will be held at the Byron Community Centre and Theatre, at 69 Jonson Street in Byron Bay.

The Byron Seniors Festival is a celebration of life, creativity and community, inviting seniors to embrace new experiences and foster connections. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to Reach Beyond and make cherished memories.

For more information and to register, please visit: www.byronseniorsfestival.com. Contact Festival Coordinator Izzy Durbin at (02) 6685 6807 or seniors@byroncentre.com.au.

 

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Advertising NSW Northern Rivers

Save Wallum campaigners ready to fight off bulldozers

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Save Wallum campaigners ready to fight off bulldozers

Save Wallum campaigners ready to fight off bulldozers

By Sarah Waters

Supporters of the Save Wallum campaign ensure there will be ‘a big community presence’ if developers try to proceed with earthworks on the unspoiled coastal heathland in Brunswick Heads.
Byron Shire Council staff will issue the subdivision works certificate for early stage one works to begin on the major and highly controversial housing estate, the developer has named as ‘Wallum.’

Save Wallum campaigners ready to fight off bulldozers

Images show koala scratching on large scribbly gums taken at the Wallum site marked for development.

Wallum, or wallum country, is actually, a coastal ecosystem along south-east Queensland, and northern NSW, characterised by flora-rich shrubland and heathland.
Developer Clarence Property Pty Ltd plan to build 124 residential lots, three medium density lots and supporting infrastructure on the culturally sacred and ecologically significant land at 15 Torakina Road, Brunswick Heads.

It is home to numerous threatened species, including nine federally listed Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) such as the critically endangered Swift Parrot and Mitchell’s Rainforest Snail.

More than 5000 people have thrown their support behind the Save Wallum campaign since it started more than six months ago.
Campaigners have spent countless hours combing through environment and planning laws to try and stop what they call a ‘zombie development’ which was approved due to a loophole in NSW planning legislation.

The proposal for the Wallum housing development was approved by the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) in May 2023.
Save Wallum spokesperson and local ecologist James Barrie said the development did not reflect current environmental or cultural concerns and requirements.
At last week’s Byron Shire Council meeting he told councillors if they approved the subdivision works certificate, they were perpetuating known, incorrect information and allowing destruction of a precious environment.

“Corrections by expert (independent) ecologist David Milledge need to be heeded in detail and the plans updated to include the statutory requirements for the threatened species concerned,” he said.

Mr Barrie said Eucalyptus Signata at the site had been previously misidentified as Eucalyptus Racemosa.

“Significant koala feed trees have not been identified in the plans.

“We still don’t know the actual number of koala feed trees to be removed.

“This demonstrates the basic information that was requested, can’t be answered from the expert reports.

“So how can a VMP (vegetation management plan) address impacts on threatened species such as the koala when we don’t even know the number of koala feed trees to be removed,” he said.
Mr Barrie also slammed the developer’s ‘revised froglet management plan’ and stated there was no scientific evidence that artificially constructed frog ponds have ever worked.
Hundreds of community members were present at the meeting, voicing their disapproval – as they have done for months – about the development.
Councillors went into deadlock with four voting in favour to approve the subdivision certificate and four against.

After hours of debate, Mayor Michael Lyon used his casting vote to determine the matter, voting in favour of approving the application.

Save Wallum campaigners ready to fight off bulldozers

The ecologically and culturally significant Wallum heathland

Mr Lyon said he had made it ‘crystal clear’ from the beginning that council were limited in their power as the Northern Rivers Planning Pannel (NRPP) had already approved the development.
He said it would be better to have discussions with the developers about preserving parts of the site rather than ending up in court and potentially coming out with nothing.
The early stage one ‘ecological rehabilitation works’ certificate for the subdivision to start was subject to discussions to clarify some potential errors including, the VMP being updated.
Councillor Peter Westheimer, who was against the subdivision certificate being issued, asked ‘how much are the community willing to risk for Wallum.’
“I’d say a considerable amount,” Mr Westheimer said.

“Risking that the council has to go to court and the council will have costs, that’s just the way it is.
“I’ve been involved in lots of these issues since the early nineties, and it takes guts for the community, and it takes energy … but the community can win.
“Let’s look at some of the terms being thrown around in the environmental management plan, we have a ‘habitat translocation plan’ a ‘revised froglet management plan’ these terms are increasingly dystopian.

“They are all about humans trying to manage an environment which they want to destroy but trying to make themselves feel better along the way,” he said.
Supporter of the Save Wallum campaign Maria Lloyd said she and many others were left ‘really disappointed’ by the decision.
“We really hoped council would step up and support the community,” Ms Lloyd said.

“We’ve had incredible community support for this issue for months, council have received thousands of emails from members of the public.
“The issues of the environmental significance of the site and cultural values of the area have been brushed aside in favour of negotiations with a developer who has shown no respect for the area,” she said.

The Northern Rivers Times was unable to contact the developer before this story went to print.

But they told ABC they rejected claims from Save Wallum that environmental and cultural assessments carried out were inadequate.
Clarence Property’s managing director Peter Fahey has stated they have been rigorous and recent and gone through all the processes set out by the state government and the council.
A follow up on the developer’s comments will be in next week’s edition.

The Federal Environment Department said Clarence Property had been notified of its obligations under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

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