FROM FACEBOOK: Cr Ndiaye’s Thoughts on Byron Bay Memorial Rec Grounds

Part of the crowd at one of the many sports fixtures held in the Byron Bay Memorial Recreation Grounds.

VOICE of BYRON regular, Councillor Sarah Ndiaye, shared her “two cents worth” about the continuing use of the Byron Bay Memorial Recreation Grounds.

Sarah says, “FYI- Byron Bay Recreational Fields… my 2c re Rec Grounds. 

Hi everyone. As a long time user of the rec grounds (I coached four seasons of juniors and played quite a few seasons and my daughter still currently plays for the Rams) I too was initially very concerned about this.

When it first came to council I asked that it be deferred until we could have another workshop (we’d had one already where I had aired my concerns and taken them back to the football club).

“I also had a chance to look at at least 4 or 5 Plans of Management (PoM) from other council areas. This outlined to me what the function of a PoM really is. They are not detailed historical documents nor do they contain detailed environmental management policies.

“They are very functional documents that give a basic outline of significant features. I compared the current PoM and found out as best I could how this could impact the grounds. Having taken all those things into consideration I do not see what is proposed as being contrary to what the community wants or needs of this space.

“The commercial (which may I hope include the DA from Byron FC) aspect can address one of the major issues that we have with any large open space and that is passive surveillance.

“We can’t expect that there will always be police or council staff available to stop graffiti, prevent assaults or stop damage being done to the grounds. Passive surveillance is our best means of keeping the area safe and well looked after.

“Markets or big events can’t occur on any of the fields, council wouldn’t let that happen because it costs a lot to maintain an A grade field, but it could allow for a small fete under the treed area or other small community events.

“Lastly, just take for example our memorial pool (another community asset of which I am most fond and use regularly). This operates with a community aspect being the pool and a commercial aspect being Fishheads.

“Fishheads are able to help service the pool area and provide the necessary staff to be readily available and yet it is still and commercial venture that does provide some income toward keeping the pool maintained and open.

“The two operate hand in hand and if well managed I don’t see there being any conflict of use. I’m happy to talk to the RSL and hear their concerns more thoroughly but I really think we need to be open to some changes as they may actually enhance the area rather than detract from it.

“Please pass this on and extend my invitation to get in touch.”
Cr Sarah Ndiaye


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