Carparks at The Pass, Captain Cook, Tallow Beach and Broken Head, which were closed because of COVID-19, are being opened today (Friday 29 May 2020).
Main Beach carpark remains temporarily closed after it was resurfaced last week. Staff will be doing line-marking work next week with the area expected to reopen on 5 June.
Council will also be installing security cameras in the carpark to deter anti-social behaviour, which was a problem prior to its closure because of the COVID-19-pandemic, in conjunction with Police and Council continuing to patrols of the area.
Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson, said the closure of Main Beach carpark had been a rare gem for locals because it was an opportunity to see what the area might look like if it was open space.
“There was no way we could have closed that carpark for two months just to see what it would look like without cars, so COVID-19 presented an unexpected opportunity,” Mayor Richardson said.
“There are normally so many stakeholders using that area for a whole range of reasons including surfers checking the waves, visitors, pool-goers and families going to the beach,” he said.
“And there’s also the classic Byron ‘drive by’ just to see who is there, saying gidday and continuing on.
“This carpark is one of the absolute best locations in Byron Bay and Council recognises its significance to the local community,” Mayor Richardson said.
The long-term use of the carpark area will be informed by the Main Beach Shoreline Project, which is investigating the degraded coastal protection structure between the surf club and the First Sun Holiday Park (including the rock groynes) and future modifications that will need to be made to protect businesses and properties in the Jonson Street area from serious weather events.
Community consultation for the Main Beach Shoreline Project is scheduled to get underway in July 2020 and a range of alignments of the foreshore area, including impacts on activities such car parking will be presented for feedback and discussion.
“Because of COVID-19 we now have a very good feel for what the carpark would look like as open, community space and while many people have loved the recent change any decision on the long-term look and feel of the area needs to be made with an open and transparent discussion with residents, businesses and other stakeholders, keeping in mind best practice scientific and environmental management,” Mayor Richardson said.