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Byron Shire
February 2, 2023

A treasured community asset

Latest News

Only nine weeks to Bluesfest and 18 new artists announced

Easter is on its way and that means Bluesfest is only nine weeks away. 

Other News

Bundjalung host Byron Shire Survival Day 

Main Beach Park in Cavanbah – Byron Bay, was the place where both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people gathered yesterday to celebrate the longest-living culture in the world – people who are now living on unceded land.

Looking forward, looking back with Jeff Johnson

Long term independent Ballina Shire Councillor Jeff Johnson reflects on the challenges of the past year, and his priorities for 2023.

Greyhound nightmare

Has the greyhound racing industry no shame? The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has condemned an invasive and painful greyhound breeding...

Local MP mute over PM diary secrecy

Local federal Labor MP, Justine Elliot, has declined to comment on why her government are refusing to provide the diary of Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, as a public document. 

Dear Byron Shire Council

Why, oh why, did you not add a traffic calming device when you recently sealed Clay Rd, Mullumbimby? This was...

Food prices are up, and so is…

I was shocked to see the cost of local bread I buy in Mullumbimby had risen 40 per cent. That particular loaf is becoming a luxury item.

The Bowlo, a treasured community asset in Bangalow very popular with young families, is now destined to be part of Norths Collective, a big city franchise with a business model based on property development and gaming machines, a potent combination that produces growth on steroids and introduces community harm.

The Bangalow Progress Association was an active participant in the Keep the Bowlo Local group, a team of talented individuals with the diverse skills needed to ensure that the Bowlo continued as a sustainable community-led business. 

Group skills included hospitality, marketing, events management, finance, legal, and council experience. These skills are available in Bangalow because of a high concentration of business ownership and a culture of active and strong collaboration on community matters.

Sadly, the Bowlo board became convinced that the certainty of immediate financial support from Norths was the essential consideration. Following the publication of the MOU, various conditions and processes were used to significantly diminish amalgamation opposition with a regulatory framework that enabled complete domination of events and suppression of strong community sentiment.

The ClubsNSW business model has been widely reported (refer SMH editorial 18/11/22) as being out of control with bloated developments creating community misery and attracting crime. Bangalow loses its favourite family friendly venue and Norths gain ownership of a property asset now worth an estimated $5m, but considerably more in ten years. Effectively a wealth transfer from community to big business. Clearly government intervention is well overdue. We move on, but many in Bangalow regard this transition as tragic and avoidable.

Ian Holmes, President – Bangalow Progress Association


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1 COMMENT

  1. I visited the Bowlo recently. It is a horrible dive that needs millions spent on it. Far more to be done there than any community group was going to get together.

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