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Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Byron mayor praises ‘incident-free’ New Year

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Byron Shire Council’s aim to make Byron’s Jonson Street a family-friendly entertainment hub on New Years Eve worked a treat. No alcohol, very little rubbish and fun in spades ushered in 2015. Photo Jeff Dawson
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Eve Jeffery

Byron Bay might be losing its New Years Eve party town image after reports of a fairly incident-free night are anything to go by.

Acting police inspector Adrian Telfer from the Tweed-Byron LAC said that to his knowledge there were no arrests in Byron Bay during the evening’s celebrations.

He also said that the 30 to 40 police staff who were present in the town were not the only ones to have a quiet time, as it was in general a peaceful time across the state as similar reports had come from other precincts.

The hospital still had a hectic night as is expected every year. ‘Byron District Hospital Emergency Department (ED) doctors and nurses had a busy new year period with a total of 153 presentations over New Years Eve and New Years Day’, said a spokesperson for the Northern NSW Local Health District.

As expected, many of the people presenting to the ED were affected by alcohol to some extent although they were all generally well behaved and respectful to staff. ‘Patients presented with a broad range of conditions and staff are congratulated for providing high quality of care in a timely manner.’

The Byron annex of the Falls Festival was also very chilled by all accounts, despite a 26-year-old Brisbane man being found dead on the morning of December 31 at the festival campsite. A post mortem is yet to be released.

Acting inspector Telfer said that there was an unconfirmed report that there were no sniffer-dog-related arrests at the north Byron event.

Byron’s New Years Eve was reclaimed by the community, resulting in a peaceful, friendly and fun evening for residents and visitors, mayor Simon Richardson says.

‘With a showcase of street artisans, music and dance, it was a celebration for the whole family. Most significantly we had no arrests on New Years Eve.

‘We celebrated in relative peace, with a dash of cool fun.’

He said that traffic was relatively light coming into town from Ewingsdale Road and that the town clean-up crews reported less rubbish left behind than in previous years.

‘They started in the early dark hours of the morning and in between the storms managed to get the rubbish off the streets and open by 7am – a pretty good effort!

‘This could not be achieved without the support of such groups as the local police, Byron United (business chamber), Northern Rivers Arts, Byron Liquor Accord and Falls Festival Byron Bay,’ he said.

‘Once again, Mouche Philips and her team delivered a family-friendly event that saw locals smiling from ear to ear. Byron Shire Council would also like to thank additional key supporters, In the Pink Ice-Cream and Adhere Marketing for their funding of the Safe Summer in the Bay 2014 program.’

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  1. The Mayor continues to ignore the transference of the past NYE problems from the Bay to the north of the shire. Now we suffer the illegal camping, littering, noise, traffic etc. Perhaps the worst impacts here are those cast upon our local environment – one of the most biodiverse areas in Australia. The #Fallsfestival site is situated in the last major far north NSW wildlife corridor linking the hinterland World Heritage Wollumbin forests with the coastal reserve system. Great to hear that the Bay had it so good, but it came at a cost that should not be ignored.

    There were those that didn’t “Fall in love with Falls”:

    – Birdlife – barely a bird seen or heard during the entire festival.
    – No sight of any of 50 threatened species that inhabit the locality.
    – Those patrons who when told the story of the locality were disappointed to be drawn there by the promoters and were quite willing to attend the festival at another location that isn’t a bio-hotspot (ie end the 5 year trial period now).
    – 250 signatories to our petition to move the festivals – https://www.change.org/p/hon-pru-goward-m-p-nsw-minister-for-planning-petition-tell-major-music-festivals-to-move-away-from-the-biological-hotspot-at-yelgun-byron-shire
    – Our Face Book Page ‘likers’ – https://www.facebook.com/CONOSInc?ref=hl


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