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Byron Shire
September 28, 2023

Another bottleshop application for Byron

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A liquor bottleshop development application (DA) that was ultimately rejected by the Office of Gaming and Racing (OLGR) is again before Byron Shire Council.

Located behind the Palace Cinema on Jonson Street, it is roughly half the floorspace area of that in last year’s liquor licence application by Dan Murphy’s.

While Council approved Dan Murphy’s DA in May 2011, a full day of public hearings before a OLGR panel in 2012 heard almost unanimous calls for its rejection.

Remarkably the renewed application was missed entirely by the public and media: public exhibition for the DA closed July 8, 2013.

The applicant is Nerang-based Global Centres Australia Pty Ltd, which, according to Cr Duncan Dey, never withdrew its original DA.

So who is the applicant?

A search with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) shows that that company is what is commonly termed a ‘two-dollar company’. ASIC records say Global Centres Australia has issued two shares, valued at $1 each, to GTM (Aust) Pty Ltd. GTM shares the same Australian Company Number (ACN) as the Azzura Group, and is now the new company name.

The site’s property owner, Robert Badalotti, is the sole officeholder of GTM.

Cr Duncan Dey told The Echo that Council’s Planning Review Committee (PRC) last Wednesday looked at two applications for the area below the Palace Cinema on Jonson Street.

‘The meeting was mainly to determine who would manage the applications. It’s at a very preliminary stage of considering the DA,’ he said. ‘Both were directed on Wednesday by the committee to be determined by Council, not staff.’

‘One of the applications is to build a restaurant in the block nearest to the street,’ he said, ‘and another is a section 96 application for a building refit where the rear building has been demolished.’

As for the front plans for the restaurant, Cr Dey expressed concerns that the applicant planned a very small kitchen while the dining area and bar area appear much larger.

Meanwhile Paul Waters, president of the town’s business chamber, Byron United, told The Echo, ‘I expect the applicant will run into the same problems with OLGR over density of liquor licences in Byron Bay, especially with the focus on alcohol-related issues that have been evident in the past year in Byron Bay and in fact around the state.’

Fewer carparks

But he did add that he was,  ‘quite impressed with the long-overdue renovations of the shops and carpark and credit should be given to the owners. However, it looked like a few carparks had disappeared at that end of the development.’

Darren Pearson, the operator of The Cellar bottleshop located in the northern end of the Woolies carpark, told The Echo he was very concerned to hear of the plans.

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  1. Another bottle shop for Byron? Again? Sounds like a sick joke. When will the liquor merchants get the message that Byron Residents don’t want anymore grog thank you. You cannot even order lunch anywhere without being offered a drink first.
    When will the grog merchants come out from behind their weak attempts to turn the tide with their predictable and boring comments like ‘oh it’s a nanny state.’ And ‘party poopers’ and the ‘fun police’ etc So boring and this tactic does not hide the fact that people are nervous in Byron after 10pm.
    A local dentist has just told us his experience recently when he decided to take an overseas couple dancing at the Beach Hotel. He says the women were very anxious approaching the Beach Hotel seeing the streets full of drunks and it spoilt their night as they made their way back to their car wondering why the town was like that. Asking themselves is it really acceptable to be so blind drunk to everyone? Do you have to be off your face to enjoy yourself? Are we just numbing ourselves against ourselves?
    Are they really having fun at all?
    Love the way this sneaky DA is back again challenging the public once more. Sad really.

  2. What is it with people being against a bottle shop? Bottle shops do not cause the drunk problem evident on Byron streets. I am a regular customer at DMs at Ballina and I have got to tell you I have never seen a young person (teen or otherwise) in the store. Hotels are where our young people get their grog, try telling that to Council.
    Self interest is in evidence here plus of course the wouser faction. Go Dans!

  3. I am gobsmacked, really! What an ordacious move! To have come in under the radar like that is also very worrying that a hole like that was not known and covered.
    What part of the answer, ‘No, we do not want more grog-shops in Byron’ do they not understand ?!! It’s prevocative and daring to the point of inciting a war on our social values. We will not be won over by such bullying.
    I can see a street march coming out of this!
    What has it come to when our Council overwhelmingly supported by public and police opinion, are not in a position to stop this. When it comes to Holiday Letting the State Gov. have said its a local decision. If its alcohol related I would think its even more a Local Issue to resolve.


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