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Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

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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

MAYDAY – MAYDAY – One hundred years ago today

One hundred years ago this week, around noon on Saturday 14 May 1921, the 2,000 tonne steamship Wollongbar ran aground on Belongil beach.

‘Endless land releases’ not the solution for Byron’s housing crisis, says Labor mayor hopeful

Northern Rivers-based trade unionist and MBA student Asren Pugh has announced his candidature for Byron Shire Mayor in September’s local government elections on behalf of Country Labor. 


Gareth Smith, Byron Bay Trade Minister Dan Tehan wants to refer China to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because he...

Michael Lyon elected as Byron Mayor

Owing to the resignation of former Mayor at the end of April, a vote was held today to replace Simon Richardson, until the next election

How much do you know about koalas?

How well do you know your koala facts? Test your knowledge at the June 2 Koala Hard Quiz in Mullumbimby.

Deep listening and housing ideas under Mullum’s fig trees for Renew Fest

Around a hundred presenters, musicians, other artists and community activators plus a bumper crowd of punters all came together under the fig trees at the Mullumbimby Showground over the weekend for Renew Fest 2021.

David Morris, Byron Bay

This town breeds festivals like maggots in a dead dog. I noted, in a previous Echo, a recent Byron Shire Seniors festival where the activities offered, ‘aim to foster a sense of community and belonging; to empower older people and bring joy to their lives.’ There is even a ‘mayor’s morning tea’.

Now I have no wish to denigrate or disparage the energies and activity of well-meaning people. But I do wonder about this ‘empowering’ business. Not to mention bringing ‘joy to their lives’. And as for ‘a sense of community’ – well…

I am reminded of the old recitation, ‘It was Christmas day in the workhouse’, where one old fellow gets up to tell his benefactors where they can stick their Christmas pudding. Were I to attend the mayor’s morning tea (unlikely) I should be sorely tempted!

In the thirty-odd years I have inhabited the place, I have seen any sense of community disintegrate. Anyone who believes this town is a uniquely pleasant place to live any longer does not live in town; or chooses to ignore what is going on.

It is a place focused mainly on hedonism and self-enrichment; I don’t see the elderly receiving much consideration. Nothing has been done about the reckless skateboarders and cyclists. The noise from venues is loud and intrusive and goes late into the night.

When I consider the inappropriate developments foisted upon the place, and more to come, I despair.

The disgrace of the so-called bypass development is another monstrosity and is soon to destroy the bush at the south end of Butler Street.

I cast around for comparisons for the horrors of what has been, and is being, inflicted upon Byron Bay. My latest, that I try to disseminate as a sort of anti-tourism effort) is the Torremolinos of the South Pacific.

In my fantasy, I should like to be ‘empowered’ like Eastwood’s Korean veteran in Gran Torino (though that hardly ends well for him!).

I suppose the reality is closer to Chekhov: ‘Poor Uncle Vanya, there’s no joy in your life’. The reality of ageing for many that few want to countenance?

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Power outage in Byron Shire

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