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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Police say ‘STAY PUT’ for Easter

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With the Easter holidays coming up, the New South Police have advised that they will not tolerate travellers visiting holiday destinations as tourists.

They say they understand everyone’s frustrations at this time, with many restrictions limiting what individuals, families and businesses can do right now.

The current orders as outlined by the NSW Premier and the NSW Health Minister state that a person must have a reasonable excuse to leave their home at this time.

These rules are in place to protect millions of people across the state.

Holidays and travel are not essential

We appreciate the pressures many businesses in the tourism industry are facing – holiday rentals, licensed hotels and accommodation providers, caravan parks, tourism operators – under the current NSW Public Health Act (2010) regulations, we cannot be encouraging people to visit our popular locations and destinations.

The safest thing every person in the state can do right now is stay put.

As operators in this space, we are urging you to work with us as we all need to work together to spread this message – unfortunately, at the moment, we cannot be pleading with the public not to visit the Byron area and the Tweed Coast.

Police say all of these rules are in place to protect the health and safety of not just travellers, but residents in these smaller communities. An influx of visitors could put their health systems under pressure, whilst potentially transferring the virus from one part of the state to another.

Safest thing is to stay where you are

This is also relevant to the thousands of visitors and backpackers that are currently in NSW. We cannot have additional persons migrating to parts of the North Coast, the safest thing at the moment is to stay where you are. Do not decide that now is the time to get in your van and head towards the border. The risks greatly outweigh the benefits, and it is now law to stay put.

This is about everyone’s actions – everyone has to band together to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Every industry, every family, every person.

If you have a holiday booked in for this Easter/school holiday break – cancel it.

If you are an accommodation operator – you need to tell the public that visitors aren’t welcome.

We know this is hard, especially after the heartbreaking bushfire season and ongoing drought impacting many of our holiday destinations.

But this is something every person has to do – everyone needs to do their part.

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  1. If this weekend just gone is any indication this request will make absolutely nil impression. On Sunday morning, when the surf was good, Tallow Beach along the length of Suffolk Park resembled scenes observed over Christmas and New Year. Umbrellas, cabanas prone bodies everywhere suggesting many had settled in for the morning. Wonderful, harmless, innocent when we are not in a pandemic! Now totally irresponsible – what part of exercise then go home and stay home is so hard to understand?

    Why is this happening at the weekends? I can’t believe it’s locals and local families as this mass increase isn’t usually observable and should be less so as weekends mean less now to all the local kids already home from school and the numbers no longer working.

    We have Easter yet to come! Here’s a novel idea from a novel virus – let’s close down (including the beaches) for Easter, publicise it widely and get serious (including the police) about enforcing it. Who knows how much spread might be averted and how many lives saved?

  2. Just read in the SMH:

    ‘The beaches at Surfers Paradise, The Spit and Coolangatta on the Gold Coast will close from midnight on Tuesday to deter travellers seeking the sand.

    ‘Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said he had been speaking to local police who pulled drivers over at the weekend, and there was a concerning number who told officers they were travelling to the beach from Brisbane.’

    Prepare for the invasion!

  3. We need more Police resources and we need Council to make some serious restrictions and request urgent assistance from State. The situation is not under control and people are doing what they want aside from Main. Each which has a regular Police patrol.
    The compliance issues that have been bubbling for years and not been taken on seriously are the reason that now when we need to enforce it is complicated in areas.
    Up until a week ago there was over hundred people using one shower at Broken Head and many overseas travellers. We must help people but solutions and requesting resources is needed now.

  4. Another Monday morning at Wategos …many Qld number plates in a full carpark. Lots of people on the beach, in the carpark and in the surf. Obviously, this pandemic is not being taken seriously . Do we really want a UK or a New York situation in our shire? (Don’t laugh….count how many weeks it took UK and NY to get from zero cases to thousands.)
    Restrict vehicle access to Wategos Beach ….local residents (and that does not include rich people corona-cationing in their holiday homes) should be the only ones allowed in.
    Maybe our local parking inspectors could, on their travels, alert the police to any out-of- state registration plates in our shire, and police could then follow up.
    And, why not extend this even further….anyone without a Byron Shire parking permit should not be here (apart from people with a good reason eg essential workers).

  5. Agree with Liz L – the police did drive along the beach from Broken Head at about 11am on Sunday asking everyone how many in their group but were happy to leave people on the beach – this is ok as there was plenty of space but this coming Easter will see half of Queensland along here.

    Add that to the backpackers in vans who still have no idea of distancing – they seem to think six of them standing around chatting in Woolies blocking an aisle is ok.

    I think closing the beach over Easter is absolutely necessary – still ok to swim or surf just don’t hang around.

    Also the border closure is a farce when there is still Ql;d Uber drivers roaming Byron streets then going home agin of an evening.

    Might be an idea for people to start calling Tamara Smith and getting something done in the next few days. Before it’s too late.

  6. Just lock down the state and show cause why you need to be here [just like QLD].

    Conversely, take responsibility of your actions when your proximity is near fellow humans.

  7. This plandemic is a massive hoax. The people must rise and express a loss of confidence in the australian government and they, along with the mainstream media should face charges of terrorism.

  8. cabarita, hastings point, wooyung, black rocks. same problem. I observed a group of 6 or so south american surfers tell a local resident that they were from robina and could go wherever they want and do whatever they want. This is while they were playing hackey sack in the cabarita carpark on saturday.

  9. Liz is absolutely right. Alcorn street was packed. People everywhere clustered in groups. Surfboards sticking out of vans and cars. No where to park. We thought a bike ride would be safe. But no. There was no way to avoid contact. So we went home

    It was the same in Suffolk village at the pie shop. Crowds of people

    It seems some people just don’t get it , or think they won’t get it , or don’t care.
    I won’t be going anywhere near Suffolk Park again

    It was irresponsible and dangerous behaviour and I hope the police patrol these ‘not main beach’ spots over easter and book offenders

  10. We witness the appaling behaviour, taking place in Ballina, on our bikeways/walkways, where many people of all ages jogging, cycling & walking, totally ignoring the social distancing advice.
    Wake up people before it’s too late.

  11. We witness the appaling behaviour, taking place in Ballina, on our bikeways/walkways, where many people of all ages jogging, cycling & walking, totally ignoring the social distancing advice.
    Wake up people before it’s too late.

  12. I reckon that anyone who wants to pit themselves
    against the pandemic has got a bat stuck in his or
    her antlers. As well, it’s irresponsible, & if you get
    the virus you may just ‘cark it’ after giving it to
    some other unexpected person of any age. Stay
    home. Exercise there. Walking time-bombs are
    not needed. Not local – then bugger off back
    home. Qld plates, this includes you.

  13. There could be nothing healthier at this time than getting out in the sunlight and taking healthy salt-water baths, especially in the surf where the saline gives the sinuses a good flushing.

    Vitamin D is an excellent defence mechanism against contracting any type of flu, and there is much evidence to suggest that increasing body-temperature is easily able to defeat many viruses.

    Fear, stress, staying indoors, are all conducive to contracting disease. Surely, sensible social-distancing is all that is needed to prevent cross-contamination. Especially now in light of information arising which suggests bacteria and viruses are produced by the body as a reaction to toxic conditions, and a person can come down with any one of the 8 variations of alleged corona-virus without contracting it from another person.

    All this fear-mongering and overkill is not helping. If anything, it’s making things worse. A quick research into causes of death shows this virus is a puppy compared to multiple other things, like heart disease, cancer, car accident, yet when have any of these mass-murderers been declared a pandemic?

    Anyone else remember the infamous Good Friday Anti-Sniffer Dog rally at Apex Park? Amongst the entertainment was one singer who played a song with the catch-phrase, “Let’s all get stoned and go naked, and lay in a great big pile.” Perhaps this could be this year’s protest against being told to stay home? Alas, we Aussies have become much too compliant, more interested in fighting over bog-rolls than freedom and natural-born rights.

  14. Some sobering thoughts and questions to consider:

    Yesterday there were 13 hot spots identified of concerning community spread of covid-19.

    Byron Bay is one of them.

    One is as far west as Broken Hill but there seems to be a positive correlation with coastal magnets.

    The SMH reported yesterday ‘ …cases in the Byron Bay area (has) remained steady at 13 for the past five days. But the area has had a 63 per cent increase in case numbers since last Tuesday, one of the highest in the state.’

    Despite all the tough talk from the authorities, we have all observed unusually large numbers flocking to our beaches especially the ones accessed in small residential areas as the major car parks are closed down. Apart from the worried locals, no-one seems to much care.

    This is just an entrée. We are likely to be swamped with visitors for Easter especially since, as the SMH also reported yesterday: ‘The beaches at Surfers Paradise, The Spit and Coolangatta on the Gold Coast will close from midnight on Tuesday to deter travellers seeking the sand.’

    We can decide to go into our own personal versions of lockdown for Easter but every new infection of covid 19 that these crowds bring to our community stays in the community to spread and multiply

    While the important decisions made for action on state and national levels go through a national cabinet, with the benefit of some of the best medical advice in the country, decisions about how to safely manage our beaches (the crucial element) are left to our Council. What expert medical advice have they called in to guide them?

    Byron Shire has a population of around 35,000 with health infrastructure in proportion. What intensive care bed capacity exists in Byron Hospital? On current projections how does this stack up and as is the case in the capital cities, are there any strategies in place for a surge in demand?

    Are we likely to get an augmented IC capacity especially initiated by our Sydney-centric State Government?

    Can we hear an update from our Council’s deliberations on their strategy to protect the local population? If. They are not going to close the beaches, over Easter what strategies are in place to stop the mass introduction into the Shire of potential new carriers?

    I think we deserve some answers.

  15. Hey Max Igan You’ve been watching too much rubbish on social media. Or listening to Trump
    What will you say after you get sick with the virus from not staying at home ?
    “I’m not sich, it’s a hoax”

  16. ‘Let’s all get stoned and go naked’

    How assiduously have you been following this advice, Ross Thatcher? I’m concerned that SOMETHING seems to be affecting your capacity to read!

  17. It is helpful to me to see how many people have disregard for the health advice/rules. I was traumatised while shopping last Sunday at WW where people just walked right into my space – all the time. I was amazed. Now I hear people at the bottle shop next door to where I live, fueling up with boxes of drinks for their Easter holiday trip. They waved good bye and went off as if that is what we do. Shocking.

    This is not a judgement about how people ought to be. It is about preventive health measures for the entire local and wider community. They are crazy who think it won’t/can’t come here near them. Lots of people think that and they get angry if you mention it. The bottle shop man puts his kids out on the street to play while he runs his shop during the day. They roller skate up and down the footpath and walk to the park by themselves. I don’t think it is good to teach the children to disregard the social norms put in place for the benefit of everyone.

  18. Max I, I don’t think you authentically thought that up. I hear the echoes of many doubting people. It is crazy to say that you know better than the – say just look at the virus tracker. Have a look at the rates of case numbers and at what could happen to a community.

  19. To Ross Thatcher,
    YOU ARE [UNINFORMED] – I am a Microbiologist of 35 years and I have NEVER heard such rubbish from another humans mouth.Bacteria and viruses are NOT produced by the body – have you ever seen them – i have spent my whole life studying these organisms and comments like yours FRIGHTEN ME!
    We all need to follow government guidelines – it is people like you that will cause the DEATHS of others!


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