Drink Tank

Byron community sick of party tourism

A massive influx of revelers hit Byron Bay on New Years Eve, leaving behind a massive clean up operation, and a community completely outraged by the state of their home.

Since then, concerned locals have attended two packed out community forums to discuss the issues, and are looking at forming a new association to further pressure all levels of government about alcohol-related issues in the town.

Outside of Sydney, Byron has the highest tourism numbers in NSW and with a steady increase in QLD day-trippers making regular visits, tourism is assured to remain the most important industry in town.

However, while many of the benefits of tourism seem to have been captured by private interests, the costs and impacts have been socialized. And New Year’s Eve was a good example of what that looks like – ugly!

Alcohol-related crime statistics in Byron are bucking the downwards statewide trend, and despite extra police being assigned to the town throughout 2012, they aren’t improving.

So there is a lot of talk going on about what strategies will help Byron to address the mostly late-night alcohol-related violence that seems to now be a regular weekend occurrence.

As a community renowned for being innovative and creative, an array of strategies will be considered, and no doubt the discussions within our diverse community will be colorful.

What is most important now, is that there are passionate people, who love Byron, that are engaged in a new process to change the status quo!

Of course I think its time for Byron to become Australia’s first “Cringe the Binge” town. One where we all work together to ensure our community is a safe and healthy place not only for us and our kids, but for all visitors.

The time has never been better to “Cringe the Binge” and “Binge on Life” in Byron!

Di Mahoney

Di Mahoney is the Director of Byron Youth Service. She has lived in Byron Shire for the past 9 years, having moved from the Surf Coast of Victoria, where she had previously worked in community planning and development with Surf Coast Shire. Di is a passionate community development worker with extensive and diverse experience in community sector organisations. She loves seeing people of all ages and stages reach their potential and this extends to whole communities striving to be the best they can be! Di has qualifications in social science, education and training, small business management and community sector development.


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