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www.byronbayweddingdj.biz 10 January 11, 2017 The Byron Shire Echo
Invasion of the peace snatchers Q A thin sliver of intense red sunlight, like a giant bloody fingernail clipping, cuts above the horizon and soon vanishes up into clouds gathering off Cape Byron. It’s sunrise on New Years Day, 2017. Hundreds of people are sitting meditating, quietly holding hands, gazing east. Above us, the twin beams of the lighthouse slash through the sea mist like giant light-sabres, in perfect time to the crystal bowl music going on below: a dazzling, natural, sound-andlight show. Love is in the air and magick loose upon the landscape. As the daylight intensified and we all chanted three Oms, patches of fog broke up and flocked south with the northerly, like ghosts from the past rushing out of view, allowing a new light to shine through. Holding Suzi as we lay on the grass, I suddenly thought of friends we’d lost and realised it was moments like this that had drawn us to Byron in the first place, a community of like-minded souls… An hour later, I am cycling home via Paterson Hill on a detour to avoid the drunks still shambling around town, and also the many patches of broken glass – little bicycle landmines, now scattered in glistening splotches all along the main roads and footpaths. These will cause punctures for weeks and months to come. But at the summit of Paterson Hill I find another Byronian mountain-top scene: a pack of shirtless and legless young men, occupying the middle of the road, their cognitive abilities enfeebled by fourteenstraight hours skolling Bundy
continued from page 9 of cognitive bias, as described in page 9 of the December 21 Echo. I suppose that had The Echo been in existence when Gough Whitlam established the growth areas of Orange/ Bathurst and Albury/Wodonga in the 1970s a similar cognitive bias report would have graced your front page news. I don’t know Senator Williams; however, he has been prepared to cross the Senate floor and has shown a great deal more guts and knowledge and puts Australia’s interests before his own, unlike most of his parliamentary opponents. Hans, it was cognitive bias that allowed the leftwing media to be blindsided by Trump’s win. Just keep to the facts and endeavour to
and colas. Their cars are scattered, open-doored, spewing rubbish all around the bottom of the water tower, their nearby toilet waste just starting to attract a bevy of flies in the early morning heat (and yes, that’s our drinking-water tower). Thanks to my slim bike profile and rapid peddling, I manage to avoid eye contact with the puffed-up hooligans and slip through their silly, informal blockade. Two hours later a friend of mine was not so lucky. Driving over Paterson Hill to a yoga class, her car was effectively blocked by the same group. One fool jumped on her bonnet, another on the boot and a third on her roof, giggling and poking his ugly head through the window, insensitive to the complex public, personal, and thirdparty property liabilities now in play. Here was a woman, alone in her car, on a major public thoroughfare, being put upon by bunch of drongos at nine o’clock in the morning! And they’d been at it for hours! Where were the police? Where were Council’s rangers? Why do we pay rates and taxes in the first place? This was also Byron 2017 but it didn’t seem to be the one we’d chosen to live in. Paul Davies Suffolk Park Q The Shire is overwhelmed with tourists. It’s more like a war zone. On top of a massive influx of people coming to Byron for holidays, the Falls Festival is the last straw. Because of the heat, patrons from the site flooded into Brunswick Heads, en-
cover both sides of any story, and let that be your New Year resolution. Tim Harrington Lennox Head
Dogs and rates
Being a serious dog owner I was appalled to read of Kelvin Davies’s recent encounter with a vicious dog in Mullum. This sort of irresponsible behaviour gives all dog owners a bad name. However, I have a suggestion. Enrol you and your dog in a fantastic BARCO training program. This program is as much about the owner as it is about their pet. BARCO operates every Sunday on the sporting fields behind Bruns Bowlo (except during school hols). Good fun with friendly people! The other issue is to re-
suring that there were no parking spaces, big queues outside cafes and fast food joints, crowded footpaths, hundreds and hundreds of people crowding the river banks, hundreds if not thousands of people on the beach, Torakina looking more like a stuffed pond than a beach. We live near Devines Hill in Ocean Shores. Illegal camping has been happening every night for the last week and more. My husband on his early morning walk came across a couple having sex on the grass. They had to be careful because the site is littered with turds, toilet paper, empty bottles and rubbish. As he and other neighbours regularly clean up the lookout as it’s a popular destination, picking up turds is not a chore that neighbours will undertake nor should Council staff be obliged to do so. The amenity of ratepayers and people who live in Byron is completely destroyed. Byron has been over-sold by the tourist industry and the festival cartel. If Council does not take immediate steps to object to the efforts of North Byron Parklands to gain approval from the state government to be designated a State Significant Development with 12 events allowing 50,000 people and eight events allowing 25,000, it is clear that Byron will be completely transmogrified into an appalling place with an infrastructure and a community that cannot cope. Byron is not a ‘green shire’. Money, greed and the complete inability of Council to protect the natural assets and spond to the Murdoch (and Trump) supporter who advocates The Echo should become part of the same stable. I feel ill at the thought of it! Finally, I agree with the council’s proposed rate increase. Being a pensioner my income would suffer but the Shire would be a better place to live. Stop whingeing, pay your dues and enjoy the benefits. Alan Ramsay Ocean Shores
This year they are implementing a pension assets test for the hoi polloi while the fat cat bureaucrats sit back for the rest of their lives, licking the cream with their excessive, non-means tested pensions. I guess there’s little we can do about that.
the beauty of this place will ensure its ultimate destruction. Councillors have an obligation to take action or be regarded as complicit in the sad destruction of the Shire. Sue Arnold Ocean Shores Q Another invasion of people, mega festivals, cars, traffic gridlock, illegal camping in streets and reserves, streets used as toilets and garbage tips by people who have no respect for anything or anyone. Roads that are nothing but a dangerous patchwork of potholes. Nothing but stress and loss of amenity for locals. Quality of life and our precious environment are being destroyed by greed and the almighty dollar. Capitalism has well and truly gone berserk in Byron Shire. It’s obvious by the letters in The Echo in response to proposed rate rises that residents, many of whom have spent decades trying to protect the joint from inappropriate development, are well and truly over it. How many more people, mega developments/festivals/tourists can the state government stuff into the joint before enough is enough?! Instead of asking distressed ratepayers to pay more, Byron Council, councillors and residents need to demand the state government, which has created this mess spending millions in taxpayers’ money promoting tourism, to start spending our taxes on providing the infrastructure residents need. Louise Doran Ocean Shores
Then there’s the Chinese multi-billionaire who bought the Victorian electricity distributor. Every time a Victorian turns on their lights, he makes more money. Unfortunately, as reported by Four Corners, he shirks paying tax and when looked into offers the ATO a tenth of what he owes, and they accept and are silenced. This is the perfect example of why owning our own power company is so important. Enova is doing an excellent job and will keep growing. They are to be congratulated on the excellent business model they have incorporated. They will make money, as business must, but they also have ethics and invest heavily back into the area in which we live. continued on page 12
Byron Shire Echo archives: www.echo.net.au/byron-echo
Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire in northern NSW, Australia.