Jim Beatson, Byron Bay
Gotta love Mandy Nolan (Mandy’s Soapbox, Echo 10 Oct 2018), a jewel of humour and conviction journalism who proves that Byron may be damaged but is certainly ‘not fucked’. I’ve only lived here 15 years, and it is certainly in worse shape than when I arrived, but it takes decades for the greedy thoughtless few to fuck our beautiful community and region.
My reason for spending about six years working on Byron Shire Council’s Tourism Advisory Committee, always chaired by either our current mayor or deputy mayor, was that Council would determine the image of our Shire by promoting on local websites and media and state national and international tourism websites and publications, our 19 ‘core values’ developed by the committee and adopted by Council 10 years ago:
1. Respect for residential, amenity and community lifestyle
2. Celebration and appreciation of the cultural and social diversity of the Shire
3. Conservation and enhancement of the rich natural environment, flora, fauna, beach, marine life and coastline
4. The community, arts, heritage and natural environment
5. The diversity contained within the whole Shire, its villages, parks and reserves, and agriculture
6. Local produce, cuisine, arts, crafts, culture, services, their producers and outlets
7. Local history and cultures – inclusive of Aboriginal, spiritual and healing
8. Harmony, sensitivity and courtesy
9. Safety and security
10. Acceptance of others, their beliefs and practices provided such beliefs and practices are not harmful to others
11. Active lifestyles
12. Ongoing education and self-enlightenment
13. A relaxed, engaged and healthy community
14. A consultative and collaborative approach
16. Economic, social, cultural and environmental balance (quadruple bottom line)
17. Support of appropriate sustainable economic activity (including tourism) throughout the Shire
18. A wide range of rich and unique visitor experiences that focus on the natural environment, wellness, and cultural diversity of the Shire
19. Welcoming visitors who share our community values.
Or does Byron Council happily stand back and let its image become just an aggregation of tourism promoters with images of bikinis, beaches, restaurants and party-goers.
Surely it’s time Byron Shire Council promoted its own core values reflected so brilliantly every week in the brilliant Echo written by the always brilliant Mandy Nolan.