VISION THING: Architect's rendering of plans for Railway Park in Byron Bay.
VISION THING: Architect's rendering of plans for Railway Park in Byron Bay. Contributed

Railway Park funds secured

BYRON Bay's Masterplan Leadership Group met with Council last week to hear there were now enough funds to complete the whole of the railway park project.

There had been concerns raised previously by chair of the Leadership Group, Chris Hanley there would not be sufficient funds available to complete the whole of the project, the first such project identified by the group.

"My understanding is the $2m project will now be assessed by quantity surveyors prior to it going out to tender,” he said.

"The council has assured us that funding sources have been allocated to the project, including funds from paid parking in Byron Bay and that construction would be completed in the next financial year.

"News this project is going ahead is very welcome given that we have been working towards this for the last 4 years.

Meanwhile Byron Mayor Simon Richardson has held out the prospect of adjustments being made to the proportion of money Byron Bay may get to keep of their paid parking revenue.

Currently non-Crown pay parking revenue derived in Byron Bay is allocated 50% to projects in Byron Bay and 50% allocated to projects in the rest of the Shire. Additionally of that 50% non-Crown pay parking revenue allocated to Byron Bay, 50% of that amount is to be allocated to Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan Projects.

"Looking at last years figure's we had $2.5 million incoming. Setting aside around $500,000 in Crown Land parking revenue that leaves $2million with 50% of that or $1million quarantined for Byron Bay and half of that, $500,000 allocated to Masterplan projects,” Councillor Richardson said.

Many in Byron are upset that both Bangalow and Brunswick were promised all funds would go to those towns yet Byron seems to have slipped through the cracks with just proportion of the money retained in the town.

"Currently only Byron Bay captures revenue from visitors via paid parking and as these visitors also impact other areas of the shire, it is right and equitable that some of this revenue is used across the shire,” Cr Richardson said.

"Obviously if we have a second revenue stream from visitors say in Brunswick heads, that may mean we review the proportions and keep more revenue from Byron Bay paid parking in Byron.

Long time parking campaigner Paul McCarthy continues to press for all the money collected from Byron Bay's paid parking to be spent in Byron Bay.