Thursday, May 30, 2024

Next stop Premier’s award for Byron bus interchange

Byron Bay’s centrally located bus interchange has won a string of prestigious awards in recent months and this week received a nomination for the NSW Premier’s Putting Citizens at the Centre award.

“This precinct was the first to roll out from the Byron Masterplan and delivers significant outcomes in terms of removing heavy traffic from the centre, improving pedestrian and cycleways, creating beautiful new community spaces and celebrating our town’s heritage,” said Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon.

“There is always uncertainty and scepticism when we talk about change in Byron, but we are thrilled that the feedback we’re getting is that these projects have given the community confidence that Council can sensitively and respectfully improve the way the town centre looks and feels, and how it’s used.

“That was always the aim and we feel like it’s been achieved in this precinct,” he said.

In addition to the Premier’s recent award nomination, in June the Byron bus interchange received Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture Awards (AILA) for:

  • NSW Excellence Award in Infrastructure;
  • Regional Achievement Award for Northern NSW.

The interchange was a partnership project delivered by Transport for NSW and Council as part of the Byron rail precinct upgrades completed in 2021.

The vision was to transform a disused and unsafe area of town into a place where community could gather, that could be accessed safely and easily.

Council says the area had consistently received negative community feedback due to illegal camping, rubbish dumping, community safety and flooding.

“The project teams worked together to address these issues while celebrating the site’s rail heritage and link it with significant local Aboriginal heritage,” said Mayor Lyon.

The old Green Frog jetty engine, which chugged around Byron Bay from 1923 to 1983, has been restored and will be permanently housed on the rail platform, a reminder that long before it was a tourist destination, it was a working-class town with a meatworks, butter factory, whaling station and sand mining operation.

The planning, design and delivery of these projects involved a collaborative process with a broad range of stakeholders including Transport for NSW, Sydney Trains, Heritage NSW, design teams, engineers, local building contractors and the local community through the Byron Masterplan Guidance Group, Byron Historical Society and the local Arakwal people.

Byron Shire Council Mayor, Michael Lyon.

“We will soon see the next round of Masterplan projects roll out, with construction of the new skate park at Sandhills beginning in August and the proposal to move the markets to the centre of town later in the year,” Mayor Lyon said.

“We know there’s both excitement and nerves around these next projects too and hope the community will continue to work with us to deal with any issues as they arise and hopefully celebrate a great result at the end,” he said.

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