Have you noticed that the streets of Byron Bay have been a less tuneful and colourful place in the past week or so?
That’s probably because Byron Shire Council has quietly banned buskers, pop-up stalls and tarot card readers from the streets of Byron at the request of local police.
And councillors will, this week, vote on whether or not to formalise the ban, meaning it will extend until at least the end of October.
In a notice of motion to this week’s Council meeting, mayor, Michael Lyon, said that, following the request from police, he used his delegated authority to implement the busking ban.
‘There are heightened community concerns about the potential spread of COVID-19 into the Byron community, as more people begin to travel to the region’, Cr Lyon said in the notice of motion.
‘The Public Health Order outdoor gathering restriction remains at 20 persons’.
‘It is the end of the September school holiday period, and October Labour Day Long Weekend in NSW, this on the back of the lifting of recent lockdowns is expected to see more people in the Byron area.’
The ban includes ‘tarot card and palm readers, fortune readers’ and ‘the display or demonstration of items… with an implication that they are available for sale or otherwise in exchange for money’.
The motion proposes that the ban should be in place until October 31, ‘or until the Public Health Order on outdoor gathering restrictions is increased to at least 50 persons’.
It is the second time Council has sought to ban busking and the like during the COVID-19 era.