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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Byron reverses position on CCTV

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Byron Shire Council now supports, in principle, the use of CCTV in Byron Bay.

The reversal on the matter comes after it was voted on at last Thursday’s meeting. The note of CCTV support was included within the Draft Safer Community Compact policy, which had been on public submission.

Crs Ross Tucker and Jan Barham voted against the motion.

It’s welcoming news to Byron Bay Liquor Accord (BBLA) chairperson, Elke van Haandel, who is also general manager of the Beach Hotel. ‘The Accord and police cannot fix the issues of the town,’ she told Echonetdaily.

‘We need the Council’s support on many factors contributing to the town’s issues, namely, the installation of CCTV, improved lighting in the CBD, and to improve the transport hub.’

She says the Accord meets every eight weeks and members are made up of representatives of all major venues in town (bottle shops and restaurants), local police, Byron Youth Services (BYS) and the chamber of commerce.

‘The council is invited each time but most often doesn’t attend,’ she says.

The purpose of the Accord, Ms van Haandel says, ‘is for us to work together as an industry to introduce practical solutions to liquor-related problems’.

‘Recently we have been focusing on the town’s alcohol-related assaults. It’s important to note that this has always been Byron Bay’s issue. There hasn’t been a significant spike in assaults although the media will lead us to believe that; it’s a longstanding issue that the police and the accord are working closely together to address.’

At the last BBLA meeting in April, she says the Accord pledged their support to: impose drink restrictions in our venues to promote RSA (for example, no doubles, plastic containers to replace glass, limited drink purchases after midnight, stricter RSA practices), target illicit drug use within venues, improve communication of security between venues regarding problem patrons, support the Designated Driver campaign, to continue the current self-imposed 2am lockout and to support maximum capacities in venues.

‘We also support greater police presence and greater enforcement action from police for venues, staff and problem patrons.’

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