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Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Byron losing its good vibe

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My dear friend, Philip Rubinstein 1934–2021

I first met Phil on a rain-soaked day outside my house in Brunswick Terrace, Mullum. It was an accidental encounter, but we soon got stuck into a conversation about the parlous state of Australian universities.

Therese Howes, Merewether

It was some months back when I read in an international mag while on a flight, that the No 1 ranking in the world of places you are more likely to be assaulted was Byron Bay.

This disturbed me greatly. What happened to the peace-loving community of Byron? What happened to the drumming circles?

Byron is losing its essence of peace and love up Under the Rainbow. I see that the community members and business owners of Byron need to come together and start a campaign, about the expectations they have for the tourists etc that are frequenting Byron and exhibiting such behaviour.

A campaign that reaches all people from all over the world. The last time I was in Byron I was astounded that a shopfront was advertising t-shirts with the slogan ‘Slap the goon’ (or the like, a wine cask bladder).

This is what is being promoted in Byron to local and international backpackers (most would not be old enough to drink in their home countries).

Put together many different cultures, alcohol, drugs and no limit, hence the behaviours that police are contending with.

I think the comment about the warm weather on the weekend as a contributing factor to be an alarming statement.

It does not give me confidence to come visit this summer. Namaste.


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  1. From personal experience I know a Swedish family who stopped their own kids doing their ‘gap year’ at Byron, choosing a Spanish island instead for them. The reason given was that the word getting around the traps is that Byron is turning into a very dangerous place.


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