14.4 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

Kevin cringes at binges

Latest News

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Other News

Tweed council adopts Jack Evans Boat Harbour plan

The Tweed Shire Council has announced that they have adopted the Plan of Management for the Jack Evans Boat Harbour precinct.

Death for koalas

Maria Paola Torti, Italy I’m Maria Paola Torti. I live in Italy, and I’m very concerned with the NSW coalition government’s...

Augmented Reality gives local art exhibition a high-tech twist

A Byron Bay art gallery is seeking to bring paintings to life in its new exhibition, by making Augmented Reality technology part of the experience.

Coalition ‘hellbent’

Mat Morris, Bangalow The NSW coalition seems to be hellbent on outdoing their federal counterparts when it comes to the denigration...

Hanging points

Jo Faith, Newtown Many thanks to The Echo for printing ex-magistrate David Heilpern’s remarkable article articulating the ongoing tragic situation surrounding...

Jack McCoy bringing surf show to Lennox

Legendary film maker Jack McCoy is bringing his acclaimed surf talk, film and live music event to the Lennox Head Cultural Centre on Saturday 8 May.

Story and photo Luis Feliu

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has lent his weight and his 1.1 million online followers to back a Byron Youth Service (BYS) initiative to tackle binge drinking among the young.

During a surprise visit to the BYS centre in Byron Bay on Friday to hear about its national project Cringe the Binge and how the federal government could help, Mr Rudd immediately offered to do an on-the-spot video clip to post on YouTube for his legions of fans to promote the campaign that day.

Accompanied by Richmond MP Justine Elliot, Mr Rudd said the project aimed to raise consciousness that binge drinking ‘is a problem and can stuff your brain’.

After watching a video presentation of the project, he agreed with BYS director Di Mahoney that Byron Bay had a unique problem with youth binge drinking due to the tourist town’s ‘saturation’ almost every night with social drinking which reflected on youth who saw it as a normal way of life.

Mr Rudd said that contrasted starkly with his hometown Brisbane where social drinking was confined mostly to a Friday or Saturday night.

Ms Mahoney told him ‘we want to reverse the culture of drinking and make binge drinking uncool.

‘Two million tourists come to Byron each year and many are drinking every night and there’s a party atmosphere and that has a lot of impact on our kids who think it’s normal, it’s a vicious cycle,’ she said.

‘We therefore need to engage young people to get the message out.’

The Cringe the Binge project will involve a website and a national Weekend of Action each November when everyone will be asked to consider their own drinking habits and donate what they would normally spend that weekend on alcohol to the project instead, via the website.

Cringe the Binge will be promoted on TV, radio, print and social media by a stable of youth ‘stars’ including sporting and music identities.

Organisers also aim to hold a national conference in Byron Bay on the subject.

‘We now need seed funding to get it off the ground, we have $35,000 in the kitty already and hope Byron can be the first Cringe the Binge town in Australia, it will benefit the community and business here,’ Ms Mahoney told Mr Rudd.

‘We find that in Byron Bay, youth binge drinking statistics are higher than the rest of NSW, if not Australia, we have 10,000 schoolies here every November and there’s a lot more liquor licences per head of population than in other parts of NSW.

‘Recently, police identified Byron Bay as the fourth most dangerous suburb in NSW for alcohol-fuelled street violence, there were three knifings alone in the past month here, our youth worker Deb Pearse says it’s like a war zone out there some nights.

‘With this campaign, we’d like to build on our award-winning Project U-Turn to reverse the problem of youth binge drinking, and make young people aware how dangerous it is and how it can affect their health, when they’re in that zone they get into fights, drink drive, have accidents or are raped.’

For further info visit www.bys.org.au

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. I bet Tom Mooney was not around to lend his support for this cause. The benevolent peddler of substances already complains that we need more mega festivals in town to combat his profit growth slump down from 23% in 2010 to an alarming 22% in 2011.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Pandemic plate lickers release lockdown dessert

The 2020 pandemic lockdown meant the entire entertainment industry was cancelled, but making music cannot be cancelled.

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Tony Barry, Ben Chifley and FD’s Four Freedoms

Local actor-vist, Tony Barry, has taken on a lot since he moved to the Northern Rivers, and though cancer took one of his legs, Tony still manages to put in the hard yards for social, environmental and human rights causes.

Government bullying and hidden agendas

Frank Ball, Tweed Heads The treatment of Christine Holgate while CEO of Australia Post is nothing short of scandalous. Not only is it a prime example...