Roads are again the focus of the Byron Shire Council’s proposed budget for 2019/20 with $31 million allocated out of our $49.3 million capital works budget.
“Roads are what concern people the most and we have dedicated almost two thirds of our capital works budget (64 percent) to fixing and improving them and upgrading some of our bridges and causeways,” Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson said.
“When this Council was elected we decided to make this a priority and this budget reflects that commitment,” Mayor Richardson said.
“Some of the highlights include $2 million for road reconstructions on Bangalow Road and The Pocket Road and we will also be putting $1.4 million into the repair of South Arm Bridge at Brunswick Heads and renewal of the Byron Creek Bridge at Bangalow which is terrific.
“Three causeways on Main Arm Road will be replaced at a cost of $1.2 million,” Mayor Richardson said.
Council’s total budget stands at $125 million.
Priority projects in the draft budget for capital works include:
• $49.3 million capital works program (including $31 million for road, $10.5 million for water and sewer projects)
• $17 million for Byron Bay bypass
• $2.9 million for remediation of Mullumbimby and South Byron Sewage Treatment Plants
• $500,000 for the Mullumbimby Inflow and Infiltration project
• $2 million for reconstruction of Bangalow Road and The Pocket Road
• $1.2 million for the replacement of three causeways on Main Arm Road
• $185,000 for the improvements to the South Golden Beach flood pump
• $146,400 for guardrail replacements
• $40,000 for upgrades to the Federal Skatepark.
Other major projects for Council in 2019/20 include the implementation of:
• The Flying Fox Camp Management Plan
• The Byron Arts and Industry Estate Precinct Plan
• The high priority actions of the Bangalow Village Plan
• The Youth Advisory and Leadership program
• The Byron Model of deliberative democracy
Some of the projects identified in the 2019/20 budget are the result of work done by the Community Solutions Panel which stipulated that safety be the number one priority for Council when prioritising road works.
There will be a review of the Safer Community Compact to identify local community safety priorities and development of the Mullumbimby Masterplan as well as finalisation of the Integrated Pest Management Strategy and the Employment Lands Strategy.
The special rate variation (SRV) will raise $3.4 million in 2019/20 and this will be allocated to roads and infrastructure projects.
In 2018/19 the SRV generated $2.27 million which was used for projects including:
• Binna Burra Rd renewal (near O’Meara’s Bridge)
• Playground equipment
• Goonengerry Rd renewal
• Repentence Creek Rd renewal
• Fern Place heavy patching
• Footpath replacement
• Sporting field improvements
• Tennis court resurfacing
Pay parking revenue is estimated to be $4.1 million in 2019/20. In 2018/19 pay parking in Byron Bay raised $3.9 million which funded, either partly or fully, projects and work such as:
• Improvements to the Clifford Street intersection at Suffolk Park
• New playground equipment at Gaggin Park
• Repairs to the Clarks Beach access
• Byron Bay town centre improvements (Railway Park)
• Gravel re-sheeting of Clays Road, Coral Ave, Dingo Lane
“I hope everyone will take an interest in the budget, have a look at it and give us some feedback,” Mayor Richardson said.
The Draft Budget and Council’s Operational Plan is on exhibition until 7 June 2019. To see the documents go to www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au