23 C
Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Tempest of traffic in Byron

Latest News

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some...

Other News

PM’s vaccine

Martin Bail, Federal On 4 February, 2021 ABC News reported, albeit briefly, that the PM will ‘for the record’ be...

Super swim challenge accepted

A group of mates from Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay and Lennox Head, recently formed a swim team known as the Anti Budgie Boardriders for the purpose of taking part in the Starlight Foundations Super Swim Challenge.  

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault to continue facing trial

A police officer accused of assaulting a 16-year-old in Byron Bay more than three years ago is to continue facing trial this week.

Motion to save Lennox pavilion fails

Ballina Cr Eoin Johnston's attempt to save the seventy year old weather shed at Lennox Head went down at council's meeting yesterday, attracting only one other councillor's support.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: There is no place like home… actually there are no places

Local low income residents in Byron Bay are the human koalas of our Shire. They too have lost much of their habitat. We need affordable housing now, not in three years, or five years, or ten. Now.

Research takes the vegan option to a new level

A project by Flinders University will see their Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development fishing for new vegan ideas.

David Morris, Byron Bay

It is hard enough having to contend with the hordes that pour into the Bay now, without the ‘news’ from the chamber of commerce gloating over the numbers and demanding the local governments fix the concomitant traffic problems.

I believe it was, and remains, the opening of the Tugun bypass that facilitated quick access to Byron Bay, making it now like some subtropical Southend or Brighton to the ‘greater London’ represented by Brisbane and the satellite towns of SE Queensland.

The so-called Byron Naturally campaign I suspect has made little difference. I have written before of the paradox of something that emphasises the natural attractions of a place when these suffer under the influx of people and vehicles; and of unbridled development, increase in festivals, etc

There are coastal communities on the far south coast now concerned that they are losing their character owing to so-called Sea Changers. It is a moot point why when some people relocate from the cities to coastal towns, they seem to want these places to become a little piece of a city with all the amenities that the city traditionally offers. Why not simply remain in the city?

There seems to be a relentless drive to make Byron Bay and similar towns into links in a chain of coastal conurbation. As the traffic increases, we have the slaves and worshippers of the motor vehicle beating the drum for bypasses.

We have a bypass; it’s called the highway.

I’ve witnessed bypasses in Britain destroy the quality of life in rural England for some villages. They are noisy; they simply fill up with traffic, which expands like a gas (or the human ego) to fill them. The traffic accelerates, making further problems for pedestrians near them.

I am not claiming that all visitors impact on the town in a detrimental fashion. Obviously many are well-intentioned people who simply want a pleasant visit or holiday. But with these burgeoning numbers the negative aspects increase. Littering and alcohol-fuelled noise, misbehaviour and violence being obvious examples.

Simply being a pedestrian in this town grows increasingly hazardous. The unpredictable movements of vehicles, parking, etc. On the pavements themselves you have to watch your back, as skateboarders and cyclists, oblivious, wheel in their own solipsistic world.

When we have state and federal governments that show little concern for the environment, when money talks, it is hard to be optimistic about the future of the place. And not only here. Concerns spread from the Pilbara to the Barrier Reef.

There is irony that Splendour In The Grass is taken from one of Wordsworth’s nobler lines of poetry. Just as the TV scriptwriters borrowed Sea Change from a beautiful song in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. So in my gloom about the New Byron (which I predicted twenty-odd years ago) I also borrow from the Bard; though I suppose ‘rich and strange’ will mean different things to different people!

Nothing of [her] that doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange
Sea nymphs hourly ring [her] knell
Ding, dong bell

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. What beautiful writing. I read this letter over and over again to bask in the luxury of such language (and looked up the words concomitant and solipsistic).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our privileged, western, simplistic understanding of...

Letting go

Mary McMorrow, Mullumbimby I respect the parents forgiving the drunk driver who killed their four children (one a cousin) as their way of dealing with...

Ministers misbehave

Keith Duncan, Pimlico Accusations of appalling behaviour by the Liberal Party in covering up misdeeds within its ranks just keep on keeping on. The last...

Transparency needed

Janelle Saffin MP, State Member for Lismore. I read with interest Mia Armitage’s front page article in last week’s Echo ‘Electorates miss out on bushfire...