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Byron Shire
July 20, 2024

What about the young peeps?

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The Echo work experience student, Tonali Davies

The Byron Shire is a popular place to live, and a sought after tourist destination, however it lacks infrastructure to accommodate young people. 

Improvements with public transport are needed to complement the solar train and Bat Bus, which is a safe service run by the Byron Youth Service (BYS). 

The purpose of the Bat Bus is to provide cheap transport for young people, however it requires a minimum booking of eight people, so it has its restrictions. 

Improved bus services are needed, for people of all ages. 

A significant increase in public transport for young people would reduce the number of road incidents owing to intoxicated or late night driving. 

As a bonus, greater use of public transport decreases pollution and impact on the environment from driving private cars. 

As a teen who has grown up in Byron Shire, I would like to see more inclusive developments, such as a Mullumbimby BYS, or a youth group involved with Council to advocate for community-run events such as concerts, open air flicks, and discos (blue light style). 

Friendly, drug and alcohol free events for weekend evenings would be effective for entertaining and ensuring the safety of the region’s teens. 

It would also create connections between young people from different schools and towns in the region. 

These events would promote relationships, friendships and community, in a world where the ideal of community is rapidly changing due to social media.

Currently, young people in the area are struggling to find safe and engaging activities, and reliable transport. 

Many teens are relying on methods such as hitchhiking, or getting lifts with older people from events like parties and concerts, which can be dangerous owing to intoxication and reckless driving. 

I believe that entertaining the Shire’s young people will reduce the number of teenage crime incidents in the community, which is something we all can hope for. 

Increasing liveability, connection and community for all ages and groups is an important issue for the region. 

With the Shire’s strong community and family values, it should be recognised that young people may not have the ideal infrastructure for a safe social life. 

As a community, we need to ask what can be done to further promote activities, events and reliable transport for young people. 

If you would like to contact me to help make Byron a better place for young people, email me at [email protected].

Guest editorial by Echo work experience student, Tonali Davies.  

News tips are always welcome: please email [email protected].

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  1. Great article. A rail trial, safe, affordable healthy, enjoyable way of transport seems a great solution towards helping young people move around the Shire. A number of years ago this was” Shovel ready” the so called Greens member at the time opposed it and it never went ahead. The Tweed Shire is showing us how ideological blinkering prevents good projects going ahead.

  2. When I was a teenager, we created our own events and figured out our own transport. Learning how to make things happen, problem-solving, organising, is all part of becoming an adult. Demanding the government/adults to do it for you, is how to grow into a sheeple. People will let you borrow resources, and donate money to your project, if you show you are responsible and organised. Tell us your project idea, how you are planning to achieve it, and methods for us to donate resources and give advice.

  3. Great article. Pro-life initiatives aimed at youth are a no brainer from an economic standpoint . Latest figures are that the cost of juvenile detention has hit $2000 per day. Yes, thats around $730,000 a year to keep one juvenile in detention. And once a young person goes into the detention system , the chance of re-offending is high ( 90% among indigenous youth). So I kid who goes off the rails can easily cost society upwards of $10 million , excluding the tragedy of a productive life lost. The real key is fully funded early education. Studies have shown the die is cast often before the age of 5. Spend at the front end, to save a lot at the back end


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Developer may destroy up to 1.5 million indigenous artefacts in Lismore

Land and Environment Court accepts Uncle Mickey Ryan as party to the case after Lismore Council fails to defend Aboriginal cultural heritage of North Lismore Plateau.

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