I noticed on The Echo’s front page the ‘Bringing the fun back’ story. ‘Oh, no,’ I groaned with my usual sense of woe and foreboding. ‘Which genius came up with that?’
I was unable to find the website for submissions regarding changes to the policy (www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/COVID19-response/Bringing-fun-back-to-NSW). But I would like to do so. If it were not for this paper, I should not have known about this matter. This is not uncommon, I find.
What I had noticed in recent times is the use of amplified bands outside, playing to small dining places, (and very loud recorded music within). As one Echo writer recently wrote, this must deter many from patronising these joints.
As I recoil in horror from the sudden influx of crowds and their ‘zero emitting’ vehicles to town, I feel this is the advent of a continued decline for this place. Not an economic decline; but in the quality of living here. While commerce, and those who directly profit thereby, may rejoice, I find it just too excessive.
Though the place has generated its own publicity for years, I still believe there has been a concerted effort by vested interests in government and elsewhere to drive all this. Perhaps they live in one of these ‘McMansions’ on what was once good agricultural land.
There is no doubt the town has been and continues to be ‘sold off’. I shudder to think that the situation will continue, that the elections will be influenced by local pork-barrelling and the same suspects will be in again.
I once lived in that beautifully cared for town, Cheltenham, in England. Now I find myself like one of those old ‘disgusted’ retired colonels, returned from India after 1947, penning letters to the Times or Telegraph. I never imagined in the 1960s that I should feel thus in Byron Bay in the 21st Century.