Police and protesters have clashed at the Byron Bay bypass site.
Police and protesters have clashed at the Byron Bay bypass site. Ned Whitford

WATCH: Protesters claimed they were 'choked' by police

WORKERS at the site of the Butler Street Bypass today closed off vehicle access to the protest camp set up to stop construction of the $20 million CBD bypass.

The blockade began three weeks ago and today large concrete bollards were lowered into place blocking access to the camp as protesters looked on peacefully.

Protesters now have a well established camp and although relations remain civil between protesters, workers and police, tensions have begun to rise, with police moving in on Wednesday to clear protesters blocking a small excavator from entering the Butler Street work site.

Lily Smith from the Cumbebin Alliance -- comprising protest groups from across the region -- agreeing they had so far enjoyed good relations with workers and police, aside from Wednesday's incident.

"We have safely stopped work here for a few days and we are on pretty good terms with the workers, the police have so far been quite nice apart from yesterday when they used excessive force on two of the young men here," Ms Smith said.

FAMILY FRIENDLY: Knitting Nanna Rosie Lea watches on as workers block access to the  Cumbebin Alliance protest camp in Butler Street Byron Bay.
FAMILY FRIENDLY: Knitting Nanna Rosie Lea watches on as workers block access to the Cumbebin Alliance protest camp in Butler Street Byron Bay. Christian Morrow

"One was choked and one was restrained which was a shame as they were peacefully protesting, they were not aggressive at all.

"We have a lot of people coming in and its growing, we have had about 20 people here today.

"We are asking for the council to look at other options, rather than building this bypass. We are in a climate crisis, and though this may be small, it sets a precedent for destroying more of the wetland later on if we do not stop them now."

The first stage of the bypass will support upgrades stretching from Northern Butler St to Glen Villa Resort with a new roundabout to be built on Somerset St just before Christmas.

The entire bypass will stretch from the North of Shirley Street to the South end of Browning Street.

"This project has been approved following a rigorous environmental assessment process," Byron Shire Council said.



‘A loveable larrikin’: Tributes to crash victim

premium_icon ‘A loveable larrikin’: Tributes to crash victim

The family of a much-loved Gold Coast businessman who lost his life in a motorcycle...

Union on Provest’s back over promise

premium_icon Union on Provest’s back over promise

Despite being a promise leading up to March’s state election, no decision has been...

Woman pronounced dead after crash

premium_icon Woman pronounced dead after crash

The woman has died after crashing into a building on a major road