19.4 C
Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

Locals not happy with Hollywood ‘Magic’

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

Humans suck

Hannah Grace, Ocean Shores I heard on the local news late this afternoon (April 20) that a 370kg tuna ...

‘Natural’ cruelty

Richard Swinton, Clunes While I agree with Desmond Bellamy’s concerns about animal cruelty, the issue of ‘natural’ cruelty if the...

Govt’s new housing plan fails to impress local reps

Local government representatives on the Northern Rivers have expressed doubts over the state government’s new Housing 2041 Strategy.

Locals question placing homes in areas of inundation risk

It is where the community fought off Club Med and it is once again in the spotlight as the current owners, Elements, are seeking to have the zoning of the environmentally sensitive area in Bayshore Drive changed from tourism to residential

NewsCorp announces August revival of regional news print in QLD

Less than a week after the two major NewsCorp-owned outlets on the Northern Rivers lost their websites and redirected readers via The Daily Telegraph (TDT), sister publications in Queensland announced almost the opposite.

Cocaine bust in Byron Shire, 7 men arrested

Police say two separate investigations into the ongoing supply of cocaine in the Byron Bay area have led to charges against seven men.

The locals aren’t happy and they have taken to YouTube with their protest against Hastings Point being used as a Hollywood set.

As a local resident Andi Green has produced a song with a film clip as a way of speaking out. ‘I am advocating to protect the significant and vulnerable ecology of Hastings Point headland and environment from the sort of exploitation and closure of public space for two months, that state and local governments feel they can so casually and sneakily approve,’ he says.

‘This was done so a multinational movie company can exploit this amazing location.

Tweed Shire Council’s Tweed Coast Reserves Trust resolved at an Extraordinary Meeting on June 30 this year, to issue a temporary film licence to Warner Bros for the purpose of filming at Hastings Point.

Tweed Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry said at that time that there was much to learn from the process for all parties.

‘We need to work with producers about what our expectations are and be very clear that we mean what we say when we tell them they need the community on side,’ she said.

‘I think this project is great for the community and will be a good thing, we just really need to make sure the community is considered and taken with us on this journey.

‘We also need to respect the environment and that has been taken on board by the production company.’

What exactly is the significance of the Hastings Point headland?

According to Ted Brambleby, Marine Biologist and Educator, Founder and Director of the Hastings Point North Star Museum of Marine Natural History and Adventure Education Coastal Field Study Facility, the headland provides anchorage to the most unique rocky shore ecosystem for its size on the east coast of Australia. ‘Other than the biodiversity it sustains, this isolated little “Eden in time” is the central hub for five other unique and so far unspoiled connecting environments.

Mr Brambleby says that Hastings Point has it’s own magic that has nothing to do with Hollywood – these include a shallow meandering sea grass and mangrove rich estuary; a pristine wallum heathland ecotone extending from dunes and emerging into tea tree and climax eucalypt forest that still support an ecology lost to the Gold Coast years ago; a complete and undeveloped succession of beach dunes, and; shallow eco-dynamic orb recruitment reef 300 metres offshore that has protected and sustained the headlands one off littoral and sub-littoral biodiversity for a time beyond memory.

‘This unique association of environments on the rim of the Caldera in the shadow of Mt. Warning is what discerning biologists call a “Goldilocks Zone” (not too anything but just right).

‘But I might be prejudiced!

‘This then is the critical reality and ecologically one only paradigm, that council in a spasm of profound wisdom, is unbelievably forfeiting by the precedence set in permitting its abuse from large scale site preproduction by film companies – not for the first but now for the second time in two years.’

Mr Brambleby says that in the last month this timeless yet vulnerable icon has again, by its own caretaker, been permitted to morph into something more resembling a full scale industrial construction site than a nature reserve.

‘Just what were you thinking Tweed Shire Council? Or was this just another inconvenient reality?’


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. Unaware of this taking over of public headland, I went whale watching a few weeks ago when they’d first taken over and erected a security fence, manned by 2 private security men (their T-shirts said “security” and no logo to distinguish which company paid their wages), and 1 traffic controller also with no company logo on him or his vehicle.
    I was appalled at the lack of consideration given to the general public, ie all the bitumen, all the flat grassy land on the headland, leaving a single lane pedestrian access to the eastern (very slopey, not suitable for kids or elderly) face of the headland for whale watching. Some ardent whale watchers had set up their picnics hard by the security fence and were persisting in their efforts to have an enjoyable day out, but I was so dismayed I left soon after, despite the whales being out in force and putting on spectacular displays.
    There was a notice attached to the toilet block, obviously by local residents, that spoke of the Mayor being enraged by the take-over.
    Not only that, there was a picture of the hero of the proposed film, a bald, tattooed, body-builder emerging from the surf with apparently no clothing over his genitals.
    I’m no prude when it comes to sexuality, but this was blatant sexual exploitation.
    I join with the locals in their opposition to this impost.

  2. Can’t believe Tweed Shire Council allowed this to proceed. The matter has now been referred by the NSW Premier to the Department of Local Government for further action.
    Will be interesting to see the out-come. Perhaps locals will now get a say in how the environment is managed

  3. I absolutely agree with Andi and Ted Brambleby. Ted has dedicated his life to this fragile and unique environment and is rightly incensed about it. There are species here that exist nowhere else in Australia and some of the highest biodiversity in the land.

    There was no consultation with locals, just a flyer saying it was a done deal and what they were doing which shocked everyone. The headland has now been commandeered for six weeks and still some time to go. When the community tried to stand up for this place they were mocked by the Warner Bros PR machine for taking life too seriously. They wanted to rip out the lovely pandanus tree on top of the headland and all the native grasses and drill into the sensitive rocky platform to put a jetty on it but even council realised that was completely unacceptable.

    Katie Milne, the mayor who has done more to protect the Tweed than anyone, was subject to a smear campaign from the Murdoch press that briefly rivalled the ‘Juliar Gillard’ campaign complete with superimposed full-page pictures and a vicious personal attack in the Daily Telegraph, the Courier Mail and other NewsCorp publications. That spread to other media outlets such as Channel 7.

    The Aquaman trailer is available online and it looks so fake and terrible that they obviously could have done it all in the studio anyway. It’s just the arrogance of Hollywood, thinking we will all bow down before the celebrity machine.

    Apparently the budget has blown out from 160 million – a travesty when you look at the tripe they have spent it on and how desperately poor people in some countries are. There was so much anger in the community but this was shut down by the vicious attacks in the press. Screen NSW, and Screen Queensland are largely to blame by making it almost impossible to refuse these projects. In our dealings with them, the Screen NSW people were just Hollywood sycophants who don’t give a stuff about the environment or local communities.

    Are we angry? Damned right we are and we can’t wait to see the arse end of the joke that is Aquaman and the Warner Bros PR propaganda machine. Do yourselves a favour, skip the film and take a walk on one of the north coast’s beautiful, unspoilt beaches instead!

    • Wow that really sums it up Jeadyn Kennedy. There are a lot of people that are furious that this was ever approved. Shame, shame shame. And what the video shows is just the first 4 weeks, the last few weeks have been a heck of a lot worse with multiple cranes, cherry pickers, trucks, massive film light gantries, multiple diesel generators filling the fresh air with fumes, 2 meter black barriers enclosing the headland, security guards EVERYWHERE, no surf zone while filming, multiple camera scaffoldings on the rocky platform below and that lighthouse complete with another house and fake garden, and jetty.

    • Jeadyn I totally agree with you regarding the attack by the Murdoch newspapers on Tweed Mayor Milne over this. I believe News have a process they use called “cheeky” articles. If they decide someone isn’t following their doctrine, in this case Mayor Milne standing up for Tweed residents and our environment ahead of a large multi-national movie company wanting to exploit Hastings Point for their own profit, then they give them the full bully-boy treatment. The denigrating photoshopped picture, the infantile headline followed by an article that tells the story as News Limited’s “Dear Leader” wants it told. Mustn’t get in the way of the big end of town.

      Also checked out that Aquaman trailer, and yes, just more of the same old Hollywood crap, and to think they did this to our community and headland just for a few minutes of this sort of rubbish!

  4. Was up there this morning. A beautiful headland turned into a construction site. No chance of relaxing with the view or whale watching, just security people everywhere, a fake lighthouse and house complete with an American flag flying from the flagpole (says something about where we are going!). They should not be allowed to do this here. Sounds like the state government and Tweed Council are happy to hand the place over to the movie company to exploit for their own profit and everybody else can “go to hell”.

  5. Good for you Ted. Money sure won’t sustain us once the planet dies. Oh but just one more won’t hurt will it. Typical council manouvre!

  6. I agree with Ted Brambleby. This is not an appropriate use of this area. It does set a precedent. On what basis will council say yes or no in the future? The headland and rock pools are a sensitive area and a local treasure. Eco tourism is the only appropriate use. Erecting this structure on the headland is not eco tourism. Eco tourism promotes knowledge, understanding and a relationship with the place. Businesses that come to set up something like this most likely have no interest in developing a relationship with the place or the community. And it’s the relationship and connection that will ultimately offer protection to the environmental attributes. Thanks to the local songwriters and musicians for their efforts to raise the profile of this issue.

  7. upset about the beautiful headland of Hastings being used for this movie. this has to stop here (shouldn’t have been allowed in the first place) I’m a local of 18 years and this has always been a special place to me. Having this featured in an American movie certainly doesn’t make it any more special! the movie could have been made any where else. if people locally were consulted about his, they would have said no.

  8. TSC staffer: “Ooh, the movie people are talking to me! How exciting! There’ll be meetings with Producers and Location Managers and I can mention it casually at dinner parties! I’m important!”

    NSW staffer: “I’m important too! This is about Economic Development! We need to make sure stuff like this goes ahead, because what would happen otherwise? I’ll tell you what would happen – they’d go somewhere else, and then where would we be?”

    Warner Bros staffer: “Yep, we’ll look after the environment, no worries. Now, where’s all that styrofoam we ordered? What? You left it on the rocks and it got swept into the ocean? Well hurry up and get some more then, we’re filming tomorrow!”

    Local Bloke: “Why don’t you all shove off and take your crap movies with you.”

  9. I also totally agree with Ted Brambleby about this. This area is ecologically sensitive and a local treasure. It is not an appropriate use of the area. Sensitive eco-tourism which promotes knowledge and understanding and a relationship to the place is what should be supported in my view. Commercial ventures such as movie production arguably will have minimal interest in developing an understanding or relationship with this place. And it’s the relationship and connection to a place that most often inspires people to protect it. There is no incentive for this company to protect the headland. And it does set a precedent. On what basis will Council decide to say yes or no in the future? This process of decision-making and the criteria Council will use to make the decision must be made more transparent in the future. And thank you to the local songwriters and musicians who took the time to produce this song to raise awareness of the issue. I’m pleased Katie Milne voted against this and shocked nobody else on Council did.

  10. In response to many queries from concerned locals, I advise that the Office of The Hon
    Gabrielle Upton MP on (02) 8574 6107 Minister for Local Government, has not responded to this issue. I suspect this will continue to be the case until after the film crew have gone and the damage done.

    • Another person to contact is Geoff Provest our NSW State Representative. He says he is 100% for the Tweed.

      If you email him [email protected] and ask him bring up this matter to Minister Harwin (who is responsible for Screen NSW) then Geoff will make an appointment to meet with the adviser in Minister Harwin’s office when parliament resumes in September. You will just need to provide Geoff Provest with your name and residential address so he can formalise these representations.

  11. My questions are:
    How many locals (Tweed Coast people) were employed?
    Why film during whale watching season?
    What other benefits do we get by having Hollywood in Hastings?
    Will they leave the Point they way they found it?
    Is the car park now open? It is August 16th today!

    Bet no one will answer those! Can anyone, Please?

  12. I couldn’t agree more with Ted Brambleby and I’d like to congratulate him on taking a stand about this. I have visited beautiful Hastings Point since I was a baby, so 38 years in total. This unique haven is saturated with biodiversity in a very rich sense and anyone who comes to enjoy its environment must respect it and educate themselves on its ecosystem to understand why it must ALWAYS be protected and preserved for generations to come. The headland especially is NOT a site to exploit and the Tweed Council should never have agreed to issue a temporary film licence to Warner Bros and this I demand, should be the last! I don’t agree with them about it being “great for the community” or “a good thing” – this is such a weak response and cover up for the real reason why they allowed this corporation access – money. Whether or not damage is done to the headland after they leave, this is an issue about leaving Hastings Point out of the Hollywood/Gold Coast glitz limelight. It is a place people come to enjoy the serenity and timeless charm it is so unique for and to appreciate and look after the wildlife and environment as it is.

  13. Looks like the Tweed has become part of Queensland.
    The film site has now been extended to south of Hastings Point. They have now closed access to the beach from opposite the BP service station which exceeds their DA, not to mention the extended time now for completion.
    Who the hell is monitoring their activities ?
    Seems Warner Bros. are running their own show and can get away with anything they choose here on the Tweed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality.