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When numbers get serious…

David Morris, Byron Bay

I sometimes think that the tourism groups and some Council beings inhabit a parallel universe (I suppose that can be said of many!).

How many actually spend much time in the town, I wonder? I do know of one!

Paul Bibby’s Echo article (November 11) makes reference to Council’s draft Sustainable Visitation Strategy (SVS) and reports the Council’s media release: ‘The aim of the SVS is to support a visitor economy that cares for and respects local residents, protects the natural environment, celebrates cultural diversity and shares local values’.

Well, sorry, but I have not seen much evidence of that in recent times. Perhaps some are trying very hard in these administrative bodies to follow these guidelines. If so I crave indulgence.

Despite claims of dropping numbers, I see no indication of that. The place seems packed to me. As for respecting local residents and protecting the natural environment, Butler Street’s devastation, with developments on sold- off sites, plus the so-called ‘bypass’ and monstrous bus transit station, gives the lie to that.

I sat near some fellows discussing real estate sales and the grabbing of a personal million from a ‘knock down’ and ‘rebuild’ – I love these terms – fairly arcane to the likes of myself. Then one real estate fellow remarked that he was off on holiday next week. ‘Not here. Too many people in Byron Bay’.

Quite.

The irony, if he saw it, or gave a stuff, seemed lost on him.

As I walked out this morning in Butler Street, I saw some tree ‘surgeons’ hacking branches (limbs) from a venerable silky oak (native) whose bronze-gold blossoms I had admired again this spring. Whether any tree will remain on the border of this site remains to be seen. I wonder whether a snail check was carried out before the trees and remnant vegetation was cleared on that site? Or does the earlier survey for the resident Mitchell’s Rainforest Snail population cover that also?

I fear this town is set to implode in the not too distant future as a consequence of the open slather certain business and private interests seem to be enjoying in this gold rush town of ‘Booming Byron’ [sic] ..

‘What do you read, my lord?’ Hamlet is asked. ‘Words, words, words’ he replies.

I suggest much as with this promulgated Council SVS.


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