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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

‘Right to party’ questioned

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The efforts to get the community talking about the issue of alcohol-fuelled violence in Byron Bay are working. This is great; everyone needs to be involved, to think about and discuss the issue. The freedom to drink late at night in public is seen in different ways by different people. At one end, there are those who see it as a right, not to be taken away, and at the other, it’s an activity that has too many harmful effects, one that, in some, leads to unacceptable behaviour that ruins it for everyone. Certainly the facts are that it is getting worse.

Many people are not aware that our nurses, hospital doctors, police, ambos and others, are unable to speak out about the problem. They have NSW government work contracts which prohibit this.

So the rights of some who live in our very permissive town, who feel they should have the ‘right to party’, need to be balanced with the rights of those who have to clean up the mess, deal with the injuries, the innocent victims, the sexual assaults.

Many can’t go into their town after a certain time at night, because they fear what might happen, and see their town changing to a ‘party town’ where the greed of five late-night venues brings violence, binge drinking, and antisocial behaviour

Residents want their town’s reputation and pride restored for every one of the 24 hours. When the violence stops, jobs and opportunities will come from the visitors and investors who come, having avoided town due its current reputation.

Graham Truswell, Coorabell


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  1. With every so called “right” lies a reciprocal “obligation”. The majority of younger patrons loaded up after midnight tend to forget the obligation to behave responsibly and respectful towards other members of the Byron community and their property.

    It is a trap however to characterise this as the pubs/clubs and AHA do, as a “lack of individual responsibility” by their impressionable patrons who appear to equate having a “good time” as getting “as pissed as you can, as quick as you can, and as cheap as you can” – aka binge drinking.

    There is only one group who profit from the alcohol supply chain and it isn’t the people of NSW whom the NSW Auditor General recently found had to pay approximately $4B pa on the total social/public costs of the grog oversupply problem.

    The handful of Byron’s late trading licences premises equally have legal and moral responsibilities. OLGR appears to have let off La La land with a love tap. It’s time our NSW government and its representatives acted in the interests of all Byron community members just not their soul buddies


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