21.5 C
Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Pokies gone – Green Room on

Latest News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 10 March, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 10 March, 2021

Other News

Brunswick Heads marina berths to increase

Questions remain unanswered around a press release from Nationals MLC Ben Franklin’s office regarding a $2.8 million upgrade to...

Byron carjacker and stolen vehicle still not found

Police say that a man carjacked a 17-year-old in Byron Bay just before midnight on Friday.

A Lego load of fun on the Gold Coast

A place for water dragons to thrive was the theme of a construction competition at Southern Cross University (SCU) yesterday. The tricky part was making the build with Lego.

Byron’s rail reactivation saga continues

Byron Council will consider funding further investigations into getting trains back on the tracks in the Shire, despite strong criticisms of the reports on the matter that have been prepared to date.

Suffolk Park pump track

Jinesh Attard, Suffolk Park Many in the local community of hillside Suffolk Park have come to understand the impact the pump...

Naming Ben Franklin

Cecily McGee, Mullumbimby It's very misleading for the Byron Shire Echo to repeatedly give Ben Franklin free media coverage,  as in...

The Beach Hotel in Byron has stripped out the pokies and created the Green Room – where they source everything locally. Photo supplied.

The Beach Hotel in Byron has changed hands and is making big changes to how it approaches its operation from improving recycling to getting rid of one-armed bandits – and the staff and owners couldn’t be happier.

Since the Impact Investment Group (IIG) bought the Beach Hotel in 2018 they have removed the 15 poker machines that operated in the pub and taken the chance to redesign the space. Last night it reopened as the Green Room and it is the epitome of sourcing and working locally.

We are really proud of making the big move to remove our poker machines, It was a hard decision financially but it certainly feels like the right decision. The feedback from the community has been extremely positive,’ said general manager Elke van Haandel. 

‘For the new incarnation of the space, we have sourced everything locally. From the materials – to the collaborators –  to the menu, everything possible has been curated around what’s available in our shire. 

‘It’s not just the food – but the beverages too, every cocktail was curated around a Brookies Gin or a Husk Distillers product, with Stone & Wood on tap of course, but also we have been the first to pour Jilly wines on tap and Mount Warning mineral water.’

Aiming high

Reducing their contribution to landfill for a business like The Beach Hotel is no easy task, but it is one they are determined to tackle. The hotel has been working towards reducing their waste through new waste handling procedures and feel they have really been covering the ground.

‘We have been working hard over the past few years to reduce our landfill and do our bit to make change through our waste handling,’ said Ms van Haandel.

‘We went from a dismal 10 per cent recycling rate to a whopping 90 per cent+ and we are aiming for 100 per cent in the next year.

‘It’s not an easy process to instill with 180 staff but we have a great team who are all engaged in making a difference.’

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. Great stuff Beach Hotel. Pokies, whilst a lucrative income stream for businesses and governments alike, are a scourge on society and the small communities within it.

    This decision will ensure more money stays in the pockets of locals and boosts the local economy in a positive way!

    Anthony Donnellan


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Interview with Mell Coppin and Zara Noruzi, from Byron Comedy Festival

Byron Bay Comedy Festival: Bringing in the Laughs. Last year wiped out our entire entertainment program, but while things aren’t completely back to normal, it’s looking up. The easing of COVID-19 Public Health restrictions means that smaller events are back!

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Aged Care Fail

Our aged care system is broken. We didn’t need a Royal Commission to tell us that many of our old people have been abused by the system that is supposed to care for them. But now we have hard evidence that we are failing our elders. Some of the data that has been released is shocking. One in five residents have experienced sexual or physical abuse.

Sowing the seed for a connected, local food chain

Lisa Machin If you’ve ever been to the New Brighton or Mullum Farmers Markets you’d be forgiven if you thought you were seeing double. Over the...

The moveable feast

David Lowe There’s never been a better time to revisit the classic picnic and its many variants. With many venues moving to focus on outdoor dining...