So, Byron United and the Byron Liquor Accord believe we should have CCTV installed in the streets of Byron.
After reading their views in last week’s Echo I published a photo on my Facebook page to gauge the response and immediately was inundated with opinions and scepticism. Common Ground Australia, a local Byron Bay membership-based business that publishes photographs, film and stories online about what’s happening in our community, posted the photo on their Facebook page and immediately received a huge reaction from its followers.
It seems everyone has a view and everyone has a study that backs their point of view.
Rather than rushing in playing a game of ‘follow the leader’ and installing surveillance cameras at great expense throughout Byron Bay we should at least be asking the community if they want to be photographed every time they walk down a street? Have the business groups in town bothered to ask their customers? Have the police checked with residents? Is Council consulting with local organisations?
This lack of public discussion on key community matters has led a number of people to form a group interested in standing candidates at this year’s council election. The group is called Community Independents and will be running under the slogan ‘Keep it REAL’ (Responsible, Ethical, Accountable, Leadership). It stands for community values, cultural activities, local economy and environmental sensitivity. I will be standing on their ticket.
To find out more about this emerging community initiative search for Community Independents on Facebook to stay tuned, have your input and be involved.
For the record, I suggest we not look to Big Brother technologies to solve our social problems. We can be much more creative and effective than that – just ask the Street Cruise workers who have been keeping our young people safe for nine years on the streets of Byron Bay without a camera on them.
Paul Spooner, Community Independents