19.7 C
Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

Festival of COVID-19

Latest News

Flood warning for Richmond and Wilsons Rivers

A deepening low pressure trough through the northeast of the state is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms during Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the State Emergency Service.

Other News

COVID update: a new Byron case, Aquarius and Community Support Accommodation

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there was one new case of COVID-19 was reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 25. This case is located in the Byron Local Government Area, a traveller from outside the region and e is not associated with the Aquarius Backpackers.

F***ked

Simon Kofe, foreign minister for the small Pacific nation of Tuvalu, brought a slice of reality to the COP26...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Coming out of the Cave

It was 2018, and in this crisis we witnessed the best that the world can be. We all watched in nervous anticipation as cave diving hobbyists from around the world became experts in a rescue never before attempted. It showed the power of collaboration for a higher purpose. It showed true courage; of the men who risked their lives in the complex underground maze of caves, of the boys who maintained the most incredible calm, and of the parents who never gave up hope.

Community carers and responders program launched

Following the recent second anniversary of the bushfires that hit our region, Resilient Byron say they are proud to...

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 2021

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Ballina council votes for waterfront affordable and social housing

The Ballina Shire Council has voted unanimously to ask for state government commitment on waterfront affordable and social housing as part of a marina upgrade.

Oliver Dunne, Byron Bay

In the past few days, the NSW government appears to have changed direction on managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Not surprisingly, this has left many who had praised its performance and its ‘slow and steady’ strategy feeling totally confused. Suddenly, accelerating a ‘snap back’ to the pre-March economy appears to be the new narrative.

However, there has been no update by our Premier of what is proposed for the big music festivals scheduled for Byron Shire – Splendour in October, and the Falls Festival over the New Year’s break.

I have always been a supporter of the ‘Shire of festivals’ concept. But in this period of COVID-19, and without a vaccine, the question has to be asked: ‘Is our Shire fully prepared for bringing up to 50,000 people together for three days and then letting them loose on the unprotected towns of Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads?’

Large intense religious festivals in France and Iran led to uncontrolled COVID-19 outbreaks in these countries. In South Korea, one church gathering affected hundreds. Ditto for the Cheltenham Race Festival in March, where thousands gathered before the lockdown, and then spread the infection into all corners of the UK and Ireland. This event was held days before the UK abandoned its ‘herd immunity without a vaccine’ policy.

For the past six weeks, Wategos Beach has been packed out with young surfers, both local and visiting, all taking advantage of the excellent surf and abundant time to spare. Observing the under-30’s it’s patently clear that they practice zero social distancing, with handshakes, kissing and hugging remaining the norm. They just don’t get it. I understand that, as the feeling of invincibility has always been the essence of youth.

As a deteriorating senior, I don’t mind hiding away a bit longer if it helps young people get back to work earlier, and gets local businesses back up and running. I want to see restaurants reopen, chefs employed and music makers fed. If that’s the deal, I’m happy. However, on the other side of the bargain, we look to our State government and Council not to take unnecessary risks in expediting the return to ‘normal’ economic activity. One Ruby Princess is enough.

If these festivals do go ahead, the organisers will have a COVID-19 safety plan for their customers. But for the community at large, Council should prepare its own special COVID-19 safety plan to make sure Byron doesn’t become known as the origin of the second wave.

So, councillors: if you intend to permit these festivals, let us know very soon about how you propose to protect us.

After all, we are all in this together, aren’t we?


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 COMMENT

  1. Please Oliver, don’t give out Premier ideas. In the absence of a successful vaccine this would seem unthinkable but anything is possible under the pressure of big money. I think the only viable safety plan for Council would be mass evacuation of the shire. I would hope someone else pays for it!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Storms and rain for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Northern Rivers

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is predicting widespread thunderstorms and rain for the Northern Rivers.

Byron candidates 2021 Q&A part 2

Buckle in, seats upright, and loosen the belt!  It’s time to see what candidates have to say – in full – about our collective issues...

COVID update – Aquarius, Lismore sewage fragments and the South African variant

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the 24 hours to 8pm 28 November, but, they are urging residents in the Lismore area to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

Last chance for tickets to Byron Shire Council Meet the Candidates forum

Today is your last chance to get tickets to tonight’s Byron Shire Meet the Candidates forum in the Byron Theatre.