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Byron Shire
May 18, 2024

Byron’s Muddy Waters

Latest News

Brunswick 30 has been delivered to Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour

Following successful sea trials at Yamba the Brunswick 30 was delivered to Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour on Wednesday, May 15. 

Other News

Rally in Byron against Gaza war

Locals are being called to join in a rally at Byron Bay this Saturday at 2pm calling on the Australian government to take action against the deaths of Palestinians in the invasion of Gaza by Israel. 

When Miriam Margoyles came to the Byron Farmers Market

Actress, author and British-Australian documentarian Miriam Margoyles recently launched her latest ABC docuseries, Impossibly Australian, in which Byron Bay...

National Service

I have to say that having been conscripted into the army in 1970 I couldn’t disagree more with Peter...

Reading flash mob? Kyogle leads the way

Saturday saw what may have been a world first with a reading flash mob hitting the streets of Kyogle as they prepare for the Kyogle Readers and Writers Festival.

Death wish

Money that should be spent on decarbonisation is being spent on catastrophe repairs. We are putting out the fire...

Mullum Road upgrade

Construction is expected to commence in December to improve the flood-prone Mullumbimby Road near Uncle Tom’s corner.

Geoff Southward, Suffolk Park

Byron United’s Paul Waters deserves a certificate of merit for his creative interpretation of the phrase ‘vocal minority’. BU’s own website lists ‘over 300 members’ which in a shire-wide population of approximately 30,000 (2011 census) translates to about one per cent of the population.

This cabal of self-appointed, self-important business owners claim on their website to be the flag-bearer of our community’s core values, yet Mr Waters describes those of us who have been marginalised in our own town by alcohol-fuelled chaos as ‘precious’.

I’m not suggesting that everyone else in Byron disagrees with Mr Waters, but I haven’t heard too many people saying ‘You know I really learned something from the packs of shirtless vomiting drunks this year; made me feel less precious about myself. Thank you, alcohol!’.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Commercial interests can find synergies with community desires, prosperity doesn’t have to be solely measured in turnover, and there doesn’t need to be a division between community and enterprise.

In a progressive society searching for true sustainable practices the peak commercial body should truly reflect the desires and aspirations of the broader community. Naïve and idealistic? Maybe, but when you have BU (the true vocal minority) doing their best to drive wedges in the hearts and minds of residents it’s time for a rethink.

With his dismissive old-school approach to anyone who speaks up against rampant excess, Mr Waters would make a great state premier, but for me he makes a lousy community spokesman.


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  1. Dear Ed,
    Geoff Southward’s comments re. the BU clique are right on the money, because that’s where this group’s main interest lay, in the almighty dollar.
    I’d like to see Mr Waters, a well known Tory, contact his mates in the NSW Government ranks and just enquire when those extra Police resources are arriving as were promised in the lead up to the last election.
    Some of the business community in Byron over the last decade have been at the forefront that’s seen a push for profits at any cost.
    This has changed and ruined the unique fabric of the once glorious Bay and the relaxed vibe it oozed.
    It’s now a generic town that’s overcrowded, overpriced and unclean, under-policed, gridlocked and no where near as friendly as in the past.
    Sadly BU only seen interested in pushing further down this tired path.
    To those greedy operators, the time will come when it will be one of your kids out on the town for some fun with friends that will cop a glass in the head and get stomped on by some drunken misfit.
    Surely there are better ways where all in the community can be happy, feel safe and the business community can still prosper.


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