Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced in the Shire without any effort made by the show’s production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local Indigenous groups or Byron Council.
In response, Byron Council last night passed an urgency motion requiring the producers of the reality TV show to obtain Council permission before undertaking any further filming.
‘They haven’t sought clearances, they haven’t considered the relevant stakeholders, and so far we’ve seen no consultation, and yet filming has gone ahead,’ said independent Councillor Cate Coorey, who moved the motion during last night’s planning and development meeting.
‘We’re looking at a production taking place under our nose with virtually no oversight.
‘We need to stand up for our community.’
Under the motion, the filming of Byron Baes has been designated as taking place under ‘exceptional circumstances’ on the basis that the producers have reportedly failed to engage with the Indigenous community, and that filming has the potential to harm the local environment, local businesses, and the day-to-day lives of the community.
Under this designation, the producers are required to get council permission before filming anywhere in the Shire, whether it be on private property or in public spaces.
‘The film industry brings a lot of rich diversity to our community and we have plenty of people working with a lot of integrity,’ Deputy Mayor Sarah Ndiaye (Greens) said.
‘This corporation, Netflix, has basically come in and shat on us.
They haven’t got the community onside, they haven’t consulted council. They need to be put on notice. They have the resources to do things properly – probably more than anyone else does.’
The announcement of the series, which follows the lives of local ‘influencers’ living in the Shire, has brought a strong negative response from a large and vocal section of the community.
A petition with around 9,500 signatures has been delivered to Council requesting that they take action to try and stop the show from going ahead.
In addition to the ‘special circumstances’ designation, Council will seek to inform local businesses about their rights in terms of unauthorised filming on their premises.
Two councillors, Cr Alan Hunter and Labor’s Jan Hackett, opposed the urgency motion.
‘We’ve got bigger things to do than chase these rabbits about the place,’ Cr Hunter said.
‘This [motion] could be quite well done. It’s a knee jerk reaction to people who are feeling emotional about this.’
The Echo is seeking comment from Eureka Productions.