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Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

The new Pompeii

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In response to Brian Mollet’s article : Byron Bay – the new Shire Rome? (4 January), I would argue that the ancient Roman resort city of Pompeii is a much more suitable comparison to our Byron Bay.

Nestled in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius in the Bay of Naples, the city was preserved for centuries in ash and debris when the volcano erupted in 79CE. The remains are prime evidence for the lifestyles of the Roman rich and famous. Like Byron, the population was around 11,000 and the streets are full of Hellenised villas, spas, theatres, and bars (with the inhabitants still inside frozen in time).

However, when you search a little farther from the main tourist attractions you will easily discover the rooms of Pompeii’s slaves and lower classes – cramped rooms containing the common items of their precarious existence.

We know from the remaining graffiti and slave revolts (don’t forget Spartacus), that not everyone was happy with the situation.

In the end, the only solution to the housing crisis in Byron will be innovative, creative, collaborative action… or if Mt Warning erupts and levels the playing field.

Angus Ferguson, Suffolk Park

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  1. That would imply the solution is to nuke the place.
    I would still contend that it is analogist to the end of the Empire. Endless bread and circuses, currency debasement, and a lack of marshal preparedness – down right decadence – left it open to ‘unapproved sudden mass migration’ of Visigoths and Vandals. Byron can look forward to feudalism and a thousand year darkage. I would suggest the locals retreat into monasteries with all your precious holy books and wait for a renaissance.

  2. Seriously though. …modular self contained off the grid homes ( modified fire proof mould proof storm proof modified container homes with solar and generator backbup.
    Lease land from farmers on long term leases …total build cost for home ( including self generated electricity ie no power bills! ) $ 50,000.
    We already know what to do for quality affordable housing.
    Just do it!!!

    • I’ve been trying to push that for the last 12 months. It’s how I live. But they don’t actually want to live an eco friendly existence. Too uncomfortable.


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