Byron Bay New Years Eve celebration plans were thrashed out at last week’s Byron Shire Council meeting, with recommendations being adopted from the Community Summer Safety and Cultural Activities Committee.
The committee was formed in late May this year to facilitate a safety-focused NYE strategy and summer holiday period, and is made up of two councillors plus staff, police, business and youth representatives, and community members.
As expected, the focus is family friendly, with activities concentrated around Railway Park instead of Apex Park and road closures in Jonson Street. It will conclude by 10pm although later an event is planned at the Youth Activity Centre (YAC).
And the evening also includes perhaps the most ambitious plan to date for Council and the business community – the introduction of park-and-ride at both entry points to the town and paid entry for non-residents in vehicles. The proposed fee for the NYE park-and-ride is $30, and the ‘sticker/town entry’ system is $20; all of which will be placed on public exhibition. Entry stickers for residents, ratepayers and workers will be free.
But it will all depend on finding external funding of $70,000; Council’s budget allocation towards NYE activities is $45,500, which will fund extra toilets, bins, clean up, waste disposal and traffic management. Mayor Simon Richardson told The Echo that the Falls Festival ‘is chipping in $25,000’, and that Council will apply to the NSW government for $70,000 to run the evening. ‘If we come up short, it will affect the creative aspect. Ultimately, the basic infrastructure costs will be met.’
A request for a staff report on finding the extra cash will be brought to Council. Crs Di Woods and Chris Cubis voted against the motion to proceed with the NYE plans.