Despite Council’s hope that once family-oriented activities were over the crowds would disperse, thousands of revellers converged on Main Beach just before midnight in Byron Bay to see the changing of the year from the shore.
What appeared to be several dozen police, including mounted officers and the dog squad, kept watch over the ever-expanding throng and though there were a few heated moments, there seemed to be minimal trouble and the crowd began to head on home at around 12.30am.
Families were out in force all evening with the little ones enjoying the colour and noise of the NYE strip as Jonson Street was blocked off for entertainment and food and market stalls.
It remains to be seen if the Park ’n’ Ride initiative was a success; the carpark at the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex was barely half full at both 7pm and 12.30am. Still, there was plenty of parking to be had in town; it would seem that people left their cars at home for the safe non-drink/drive option.
~ Photos Eve Jeffery.
It seems as though Tony Abbot is the new mayor of Byron , ill thought out attempts to turn back the tourists, not consult the community and manipulate the public with a Big Stick rather than doing common sense things is HIS style . Perhaps Simon Richardson is not sure about the difference between unfortunates fleeing war zones and tourists wanting to visit Byron . As a shop owner in Byron I can report the parking experiment was an expensive and counter productive disaster. Firstly it created MORE emissions by the public driving aimlessly around trying to work out what it all meant , THEN being angry at the stupidity of it all and finally NOT being able to spend time (and money ) in the Town.
Far from being FAMILY FRIENDLY it made the town BORED YOUNG PERSON FRIENDLY. Think about it , people with kids , prams body boards are not going to use the Park and Ride especially when it’s not expected .As a keen greenie myself , I think a long term park and ride is a good idea BUT not one thought up by Kermit and Miss Piggy. Signage didn’t make sense and it was far from “fun”, “easy”,” convenient” or “quicker” and cost traders thousands at our peak time of year.