Looks like we’ve passed through the most recent ‘reign of terror’, at least for now. No, I don’t mean Schoolies Week but the police response to it.
Driving past Simmos service station opposite Byron Bay Police Station I saw three burly police with a screaming teenage girl’s head pinned to the pavement. Disturbing echoes of America where police overkill has become the new normal.
The sound of sirens, flashing lights ahead and in the rear view mirror, parking inspectors dishing out fines willy-nilly, surveillance cameras everywhere.
Standing on a rock to catch a fish to take home for dinner is now a criminal act throughout most of Byron Bay, despite the twin facts that not a shred of scientific evidence was produced to show it was causing any harm to the marine environment and that these spots had been part of a sustainable marine harvest by local families for millennia. I can’t catch my own fish for dinner but I can go buy factory trawled fish from distant oceans in Aldi, which somehow constitutes progress in marine conservation.
Meanwhile thousands of cigarette butts enjoy a daily tidal ride from the sand into the wild ocean. For a place still trading on it’s reputation as a bastion of free thinking Bohemianism we sure have become a community used to suckling on the teat of state sanctioned force and pecuniary coercion. Magic happens?
Steve Shearer, Lennox Head.