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Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

What are your ideas about managing tourism in Byron Shire?

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A Talking Future Tourism campaign was launched by Council at the Mullumbimby Farmers Market on Friday, with the aim to develop a new ten-year tourism management plan.

But before the Byron Shire Sustainable Visitation Strategy is drafted, locals are invited for ‘a six week, in-depth conversation about how tourism should be managed’.

Byron Council’s acting mayor Michael Lyon says, ‘It’s no secret that Council, and the community, have been struggling to keep up with the impact of ever-growing visitor numbers over the last decade.’

Two million visitors

‘Last year more than two million people came to Byron Shire – the numbers are staggering’.

‘The question is – what do we want the next 10 years to look like?’

‘This is a big, complex and often emotive topic and that’s why we’ve prepared a kitchen table handbook which allows our community to deeply understand the facts and figures relevant to the tourism industry and also provides in-depth commentary on six key topics.’

Topics covered include Tourism in Byron Shire: the Facts, Figures and Trends, Economy and Infrastructure, and Benefits and Impacts; Culture: Maintaining the Vibe and Our Unique Environment; Events: Local, Emerging, Celebrations and Global Festivals; and Short-Term Rental Accommodation (Holiday Letting).

Following this community consultation process, the findings and recommendations will be presented to a group of 35 randomly selected residents in a Community Solutions Panel (CSP) who will then recommend a vision and prioritise actions to inform the strategy development.

Staff say the draft will be authored by August 2019 and placed on public exhibition for comments in September/October.  ‘The draft strategy will go to a Council meeting for adoption in late 2019’. 

Council’s kitchen table discussion handbook is available from www.byron.nsw.gov.au or from the Mullum chambers.

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  1. How about a bed tax so the locals can live like the rich tourists who come here because they have the money to come here but we, the locals, have no money so we can’t become tourists like them and travel.
    How about doing away with the parking meters so the locals can live like they used to live when we had no parking meters increasing our cost of living.
    Then Council would have the money to have another entrance and exit to Byron Bay other than the ever-slow and traffic-snarled Ewingsdale Road.
    How about putting a hospital close to town where it used to be and now it is way out of town on that stuffed up and traffic-congested Ewingsdale Road?
    How about Byron Council getting some commonsense?

    • Good comments Emily. It exasperates me that we do not have a bed tax. Just $2 per bed would bring us 4 million dollars p.a. I have paid bed taxes wherever I go in Europe and it is just part of the accommodation.
      No big deal. It will not stop people coming to Byron Shire.

      • The bed tax has been discussed for decades. Basically, there is no ability for a local council to introduce a mandatory bed tax unless its mandated by the state gov. Port Douglas council north Queensland had one for a while. It was voluntary and was extra on top of the room rate and visitors could decline to pay it if they want. That is the only option. Many things have been tried by this council asking for the state to allow and it not allowed. Simon Richardson throws up his hands when anyone asks about doing a bed tax.

        We may have better luck now that we are a marginal electorate. We may get more attantion. The bed tax is insignificant as the amount of money Byron shire pays to the state gov in stamp duty makes it look paltry. That is another option. Have the state gov pay back to us a fir portion of what they collect in stamp duty.

        The lady Emily who started this response also needs to accept one other thing. Our tourism problem would be worse if it weren’t for rich people. Need to remember when we were backpacker party town. IT is better we are quality over quantity. Rich people stay longer and spend more money. Day-trippers and backpacker trash the place and don’t support the town.

      • Sadly the state government has the power to say no to the bed tax, which they will probably keep doing while byron is governed by a ‘green council ‘. And as for paid parking, as a resident you get a pass for $50 a year. I think paid parking has helped raise funds and open up spots. The Uni at lismore did a study about 10 years back that suggested that byron’s amenity would be lost at 1.3 million visitors per year. Seems they were right and sadly it seems that these things don’t revert. Blame social media, self obsessed people and the general sheep mentality of people.

  2. Return the trains.
    Scrap the bypass.
    Put in a three lane overpass behind houses in Shirley St and down the track.
    Very small footprint involved with this.
    Move the Police station to out near the Hospital.
    Use those sites for Buses and additional amenities including a police hub.

  3. Reduce residential development.The more you develop the town and surrounds the more they will visit.A catch 22.Increased maintenance infrastructure and reduction in eco-systems.The upgrade of the Lookout on the way to Bangalow will increase tourists, traffic more concrete,landclearing.Next someone decides a Cafe would be a good idea.The once quiet peaceful simplicity and softness of nature is being lost and turned into a central parklike fakeness.


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