28.7 C
Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Last Drinks attacks Byron NYE plan

Latest News

Police looking for missing Pottsville woman

Police say they are seeking public assistance to locate a woman missing from Pottsville for almost a week.

Other News

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our...

Bringing down the heat in our ‘hood

How well we survive the future depends on our vision for our towns and suburbs – and on how we bring that vision about.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 24 February, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 24 February, 2021

Council’s power

Matthew O’Reilly I refer to Ian Pickles’ letter, titled ‘Developers’ power’ (Letters, 10 February). Generally, I must agree with most of...

Motion to save Lennox pavilion fails

Ballina Cr Eoin Johnston's attempt to save the seventy year old weather shed at Lennox Head went down at council's meeting yesterday, attracting only one other councillor's support.

Call to protect oceans from plastic and pollution

A new sign has been installed at Main Beach, Byron Bay, calling for increased awareness and collective action on the issue of marine debris and pollution. 

Chris Dobney

The Last Drinks at 12 coalition has taken the extraordinary step of opposing Byron Shire Council’s plans for a safe and sober family New Years Eve.

The group has described the council’s measures as a ‘very costly, reactive approach’, which they say will do nothing to help prevent ‘the high levels of intoxication after midnight’.

And they have gone even further, attacking Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson personally for his roadblock plan, arguing that even though it had worked successfully before it would have had ‘implementation’ problems this time around.

The RMS withdrew its permission to maintain the roadblocks out of concern it would lead to increased traffic problems on the Pacific Highway.

Mayor Richardson said he was ‘mystified’ and ‘disappointed’ by the comments, from a group ‘I agree with 99.9 per cent’.

‘Byron Council’s campaign for a safe summer in the Bay fails to address the key element of alcohol-related violence: the oversupply of alcohol after midnight,’ the group said in a media release yesterday.

‘Cr Richardson’s proposed strategy of closing off roads into town was successfully implemented in the 90s. However, in 2013, this strategy was known to have implementation problems. There was always doubts that Council would get the necessary authorities required,’ they wrote.

‘Mayor Richardson maintains Byron Shire was trying its utmost to ensure that the trashing of the streets and antisocial behaviour does not occur this New Years Eve.

‘Yet instead of adopting proven, cost-saving measures to help prevent the high levels of intoxication after midnight, the mayor has resorted to the very costly, reactive approach of more police to pick up the predictable pieces,’ the group wrote.

Cr Richardson said he was mystified by the group’s attack.

‘I don’t know why they’re deciding  I’m the enemy in this situation. Anyone who knows me knows I spoke against Dan Murphy’s, I was an important player in the topless venue fight, I volunteer at schoolies…

‘My only point of disagreement with Last Drinks at 12 is that I think 12 is too early. I’m open to a later time, which I understand half that group is as well.’

Last Drinks at 12 said the inclusion of Cheeky Monkey’s this week on the state’s most violent venues register was evidence ‘our Council is still not focusing on what needs to occur’.

‘If Byron Shire Council really wants to make Byron Bay a “family-friendly”, chilled-out place to celebrate NYE, it needs to address the basic causes of alcohol-related harm: the late-night oversupply of booze.

‘The antisocial behaviour caused by extreme drunkenness is not a problem that will be solved by extra police. The police themselves have acknowledged this repeatedly.

‘It’s a problem that needs to be tackled by cost-effective, proven measures including a reduction in late-night trading hours and limits on alcohol sales.’

But Mayor Richardson said the council was doing everything it could to dampen down late-night partying in the town over New Year’s Eve and that changing the licensing provisions of late-night venues was not within its power.

‘The granting, the monitoring, the withdrawal or not of liquor licences, none of them are within our scope of power,’ he said.

‘If you want to change the drinking culture to have as one of your first ports of call New Year’s Eve is a very big ask. New Year’s Eve is one of those nights that people who may never drink all year have a drink.

‘By its very nature the climax doesn’t happen till 12 o’clock, so everyone doesn’t go home at 12.01.’

The group will be holding a meeting of members and supporters at the Byron Bay Community Centre today from 4pm to 6pm.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with Simon – the council can’t do anything about the licence laws and he already does support change there. At least the idea of trying to discourage party people to Byron to NYE is a start. I remember how successful the last roadblock was in keeping hard drinkers out of town. It’s a shame we can’t do it again.

  2. Has Council contacted the licensing authority and requested that all alcohol sales be stopped after midnight on New Year’s Eve ? what has council done to address the authority to support police concerns and those of the community in any realistic way? Are we dealing with Simon Richardson’s personal opinions ?

  3. The point of the road blocks was to prevent an anti-social group of NYE visitors bringing their vehicles into the Bay loaded with booze and intent on causing trouble. No reduction in trading hours in Byron Bay would prevent that happening. This approach has proven successful in the past and would, at worst, have been revenue neutral.
    Neither the Mayor nor the Summer Safety Committee have control of the numbers of police assigned to Byron at any time. They are operational matters determined by the NSW Police. If Last Drinks had been privy to the ‘implementation’ problems ahead of time, they should have shared them with the Committee which was working in good faith to replicate ‘proven measures’ to deal with anti-social behaviour.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Truth

Dr Matt Landos, East Ballina There is the real news and then there is the fake news. The radio news announced recently new economic figures showing...

Monkey see

Daniel Brown, Byron Bay Back in my early youth growing up in Mt Eliza Victoria in the ‘90s I’d secretly look up to and admire...

Australia’s bastardry

Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay Australia has a long string of racist and anti-humanitarian policies. These range from its treatment of Aboriginal people, complicity...

Mt Warning ban

Chris Gee, Byron Bay Indigenous readers be advised that the following letter contains references to persons deceased. I read with some interest and also, I am...