ELYSIUM, the public art project to revitalise the Lateen Lane in Byron Bay is stirring up passions in Byron Bay with questions raised over the involvement of the mayor's partner in the project and claims the project is a waste of council money.
Comments in online discussion forums have branded the project ugly and a waste of money with most taking issue with the bold yellow stripes painted on the road surface.
Others have suggest the involvement of the Mayor's partner, Jane Fullerton as a volunteer co-curator on the project, has ensured it proceeded.
One contributor to Byron Bay Community Notice Board, wrote in part: "hello mr mayor? are you watching the comments? seems a majority of people don't like it... I'd also like to point out that you neglected telling us in your post about it being a local project that your wife is also involved in... conflict of interest much? is this why this is getting pushed through..."
Mayor Richardson dismissed as parochial suggestions the project may have received favourable treatment from council because his wife was working on the project.
"This is 2017 and my wife is a poweful creative person doing work in her own right- the idea that her work and achievements some how derive from her relationship with me is something straight out of the 1950's," he said. "The project was initiated long before Jane got involved and when it came to any vote in council regarding this project I absented myself from the discussions and voting."
Other have criticised the $20,000 contributed by council saying the money could heve been better spent on fixing the Shires notoriously bad roads.
The money for roads and public art come out of different funding pools," Cr Richardson said. "The reletively modest $20,00 council invested has attracted $150,00 investment form local businesses and the creative community."
"This is a bold initiative about creating a beautuiful space that reflects our creative community."
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