17.6 C
Byron Shire
March 24, 2023

Byron’s licensed premises ‘still protected’

Latest News

Political Cosplay for Fun and Profit

Costume play is not just for Trekkies and Disney fans. If you want to get anywhere in Australian politics, cosplay needs to become a vital part of your skillset.

Other News

Nationals and Labor didn’t sign Clarence anti-mining pledge

The Clarence Catchment Alliance (CCA) have been seeking the support of all candidates running for the seat of Clarence...

NSW Greens MP defends Nats smear

NSW MP Tamara Smith (Greens) has defended a political post on Facebook by Nationals candidate Josh Booyens. Booyens claims Smith...

Scientists call for urgent groundwater management

Groundwater provides almost one-third of the nation’s water and is worth more than $34 billion to the economy, but results from a recent major review have prompted scientists to call for urgent and better appraisal of groundwater and how we manage it.

Lismore candidate Matthew Bertalli

With just a few days until we head to the polls, The Echo asked the candidates for the seat of Lismore one last bunch of questions.

Man dies in custody in Casino

A critical incident investigation is underway following the death of a man in Casino today.

Saffin MP’s community election commitments

Sitting Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin, has announced election commitments aimed at what she says is making local communities safer, keeping public schools open, protecting our natural environment, and removing a costly regulation from one local government area.

I admit I have been one of Barry O’Farrell’s and his government’s greatest critics for their past pathetic response to primarily preventable alcohol-related harm and the avoidable loss of young lives.

Yes, I have accused his and previous governments of clearly being in the pockets of the powerful liquor industry.

Substantial evidence exists of the industry’s pervasive inappropriate influence including their redrafting of important NSW Liquor Promotion guidelines and the watering down of three-strikes laws to render them impotent.

The refusal of the government to establish a Precinct Liquor Accord (inclusive of residents with equal rights) in Byron despite police, council and resident support is clear evidence of how the local premises remain a protected species under patronage of the NSW government and local MP.

The premier’s surprise announcement on 21 January 2014 of the reduction in drinking times for Sydney CBD based on the successful ‘Newcastle model’, in which I contributed representing the community and small businesses, left me sobbing.

Not so much for the personal vilification, retributions and foregone income my family and I have endured over recent years; not for the vindication of my costly voluntary public advocacy for proven, modest and sensible alcohol-harm prevention measures at no cost to NSW taxpayers; but the certain knowledge that the modest reduction in last drinks in Sydney’s CBD championed by the premier will save young people’s lives, reduce the associated alcohol toll and harrowed grieving of inconsolable parents and family.

Sydney parents will be able to sleep a little more comfortably appreciating a safer night economy for their kids to responsibly enjoy.

Emergency department staff will experience wards less crowded with critically injured/highly intoxicated patrons of the late-trading pubs and clubs. Fewer frontline police and ambulance officers will be assaulted by drunks.

The NSW premier, regardless of any underlying motivation and pressure, has exhibited a rare political trait of statesmanship. One small step for O’Farrell, one giant leap for preventing the scourge of alcohol-related harms in Australia.

This small but nonetheless historic monumental step must be replicated in regional NSW and the rest of the nation that equally shares the burden of the dangerous oversupply and availability of alcohol, failed RSA and consequential harm.

I plead with our local MP Don Page, and all his colleagues in other similarly disaffected towns, to follow his premier’s lead and put the safety of young people ahead of the profits of just a few small late-trading premises in Byron Bay and elsewhere.

I plead with him to support the immediate two-year trial of tailored measures including (like Sydney) a modest two-hour reduction in last drinks in Byron.

The premier was equally provided with numerous unfounded excuses (like those we have all heard in Newcastle and Byron) from the powerful vested interests in the grog industry and those closely associated with the them, why he should not reduce late-trading hours in Sydney.

It is now the right time for all federal, state and territory leaders and our own Don Page MP and Byron mayor Simon Richardson to display, to their enduring credit, the same degree of courage exhibited by the statesman of our reinstated ‘premier’ state.

 Tony Brown, Newcastle/Byron Bay

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.


  1. Congratulations Tony, your effort is very much appreciated by the community. O’Farrell’s measures are only the first steps in solving this horrendous problem. Keep it up.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Nationals and Labor didn’t sign Clarence anti-mining pledge

The Clarence Catchment Alliance (CCA) have been seeking the support of all candidates running for the seat of Clarence to physically or digitally sign...

Not a ‘bonanza for developers and land bankers’ as local councils lose planning controls?

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment were quick to respond to the article ‘A bonanza for developers and land bankers?’ published on 21 March 2023 on The Echo online ‘to correct the inaccuracies contained in your article’.

Janelle’s four year road to the 2023 vote

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of Janelle Saffin's win in the seat of Lismore and with not a minute to celebrate, Saffin spoke to The Echo about the 2023 campaign.

Appeal to locate woman missing from Tweed Heads

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a woman, Kara Symington, missing from Tweed Heads since Tuesday.