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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Hotel Mercato

Latest News

‘Hollywood’ drug squads over the top

I guess we have to thank Hollywood for the enduring myth that a black-clad squad of elite 'blokes', preferably with cool helicopters, from the capital are needed to crack down on really serious crime in hick parts of the country like Mullumbimby.

Other News

Interview with Sarah McLeod

Sarah McLeod is a passionate woman. She’s Aussie rock royalty, front person of The Superjesus and a powerful solo performer. In this interview she talks about her two loves, one new and one gone; her piano and her dog. One found, and one lost, during lockdown.

Cartoon of the week – 24 February, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Pottsville’s controversial Men’s Shed extension to be advertised

The controversial Men’s Shed at Black Rocks Sports Fields in Pottsville is seeking to expand its footprint 12m to the west.

A safe space for sexual assault survivors

In a perfect world, the trauma Margot and Joana experienced would not have happened, and there would be no need for the very important support group they have created.

Community bar – not

Liz Levy, Suffolk Park I couldn’t believe what I was reading in The Echo: a plan to turn an ‘iconic’...

Rainbow Region Dragon boat racers pick up third place in return to racing

The Lennox Head-based Rainbow Region Dragon boat team had a promising start to 2021, when they picked up a third place at the Broadwater Regatta.

Hugh Downie, Federal

I should start off by stating I am pro-development in Byron Shire. I come from a tourism perspective (40+ years) so have witnessed the slow change in boutique resort towns across the globe.

On my first visit to Acapulco and Cancun there wasn’t a ‘golden arch’ to be seen. But times change and in my opinion, we must not hold back a development because we feel we have a given right to protect ‘our’ town.

I recall the laughable TV interview 12-odd years ago when the chairman of Byron business owners association criticised the wish for a (heaven help us) chain store wishing to take up a lease in town. How hypocritical.

The blinkered attitude of so many people within this Shire would never have allowed the expansion of Ballina Airport that now rivals Coolangatta as the main air gateway to Byron.

A hotel of this size will be of huge benefit to the town and its shopkeepers. Apartments, while smaller in number per site, are mostly families. A hotel will appeal to couples with a higher disposable income and discretionary spend.

I arrived here when the whole debate about Club Med coming to town was in everyone’s mind. I can still hear the cries ‘it will spoil our little bit of paradise, it’s the thin end of the wedge, it will never be the same again, just wait for Big Mac to arrive’.

Now we have Elements, a concrete monstrosity with an electric train reminiscent of a Disney resort. Is that good for Byron? Is that the right image? If you came here 20-odd years ago, then the answer surely has to be no.

Is the fact that areas of Byron are almost exclusively taken over by families from an area of Melbourne good for the diversity of the Shire? Of course not, but it has happened. We have created enclaves of taste.

This negativity slows the advance of life. None of us wants to die, but it’s inevitable. Accept it and work with it. Because, sure as hell, it’s going to happen.

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Local fisherfolk caught in the parking fine net

FIsherfolk have been caught in the net of parking fines designed to stop travellers parking up for the night on the Tweed Coast Road and they are seeking help to access their beaches at night without fines.

Family Court scrapped

Despite overwhelming opposition from Australia’s family law specialists and advocates, the federal Liberal-Nationals government and cross benchers scrapped the Family Law Court and subsumed it into the circuit courts last week.

Cavanbah centre gets a taste of 3×3 basketball

The Byron Beez basketball team in collaboration with the U League hosted a 3x3 tournament at the Cavanbah centre at the end of January that attracted 30 teams.

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault acquitted

Magistrate Michael Dakin has ordered a common assault charge against a former Byron-based policeman be dropped after an altercation involving a naked youth in Byron Bay three years ago.