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Byron Bay Rec Ground guaranteed to be retained for local sport

The number one priority for the future management of the Byron Bay Recreation Ground (Rec Ground) is for the area to continue to be used by sports clubs and the community for a wide range of sports including football, cricket, tennis and rugby union. 

Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson, said suggestions that sporting clubs would be forced off the fields is simply untrue.

“Byron Shire Council has no intention of limiting or changing the use of the Rec Ground for sports activities and rumours that the playing fields will be downgraded so they are unable to be used for regional competitions and fixtures are incorrect,” Mayor Richardson said.

“The Byron Bay Rec Ground is a wonderful community asset; it has been the gathering place for people for more than 90 years and Council has no plans to change this.

“Council is aware the Rec Ground has very strong ties to the community particularly as a memorial to the local men who died in World War 1 and World War 2 and recognises this important history.

“Council will not be doing anything to disrespect this important part of local history,” Mayor Richardson said.

The Byron Bay Rec Ground is currently categorised as sports ground and Council is proposing this category be changed to ‘general community use’ to allow for the area to be used for a broader range of activities. 

“The Revised Plan of Management for the Byron Shire Recreation Ground is looking at retaining the area for sport but to also allow the community to use the space for a range of different activities such as an outdoor cinema, a festival, or for a one-off concert,” Mayor Richardson said.

“Council is proposing that ‘user’ agreements be signed with all sporting clubs and this will mean that any extra activity on the Rec Ground will only be allowed if they are complimentary to the needs of the clubs and users,” he said.

“The contribution local sports clubs make to the Byron Bay community is immense, not just in terms of getting people active and moving, but the friendships and social interaction they inspire for people of all ages is equally important,” Mayor Richardson said.

“I spent my childhood in and around sporting clubs and I understand the value of these organisations and the value they bring to the Byron Bay community.

“I love the benefits local sporting clubs provide – they are community centres, provide mentoring across generations, foster fun and activity for families and long may this be the case at the Byron Bay Rec Ground and everywhere else in the Shire for that matter.

“There are also no plans to move the monthly market to the Rec Ground or any other regular market for that matter,” he said.

“This Draft Plan of Management for the Byron Recreation Ground is about being able to use that community land, when there is no sport being played, for some other occasional uses.

“Council is committed to not only maintaining and supporting the grounds for current and future sports activities, but we want to improve facilities and put in more water bubblers and enhance the playground.

“The Byron Bay Recreation Ground has been used for sport for generations and that will continue to be the case in the future,” Mayor Richardson said.

“I urge anyone with questions about this Draft Plan of Management to contact the Council and a staff member will be available to talk to them,” he said.

The closing date for submissions is the 21 December 2017. 

For more information contact Mayor Simon Richardson on 0427 076 834 or Michael Matthews, Manager Open Spaces and Resource Recovery on 6626 7156.

Media contact:

Media Communication Officer
Byron Shire Council
Ph: 02 6626 7320

Byron Shire is located at Australia's eastern-most point with a population of almost 29,000. It is a thriving community where residents and visitors live, work and play in a sustainable environment and where Council strives to deliver the highest standard of local government services and infrastructure.