Byron meets to discuss future NYE debacle
A PUBLIC meeting to discuss future New Year's Eve celebrations in Byron Bay will be staged this month (date to be announced) in the wake of widespread anger over the trashing of the town this year.
Byron Shire Council mayor Simon Richardson stressed that he wants people to come to the town committee armed with positive ideas rather than it turning into a big whinge session.
Cr Richardson said the $36,000 budgeted by council for the post New Year clean up had been well exceeded after they had to engage backhoes for the clean up for the first time.
He said that was money that could have been much better spent.
It took staff and contractors two days to remove 15.5 tonnes of bottles, rubbish and human waste from the town.
Cr Richardson has previously suggested that a 9.30pm finish up of celebrations should be considered, but he said he was open to what other suggestions the community came up with.
He is hopeful that the town committee might be expanded into other initiatives like a park clean-up in the future as the town lacked a progress association.
Council staff are currently preparing a report into the New Year's festivities.
Group to brainstorm ideas to help fix Byron's flagging reputation
A PRIVATE security firm patrolling the streets is one of many ideas that will be considered by a lobby group that is forming to brainstorm solutions to the alcohol-fuelled violence in Byron Bay.
The group called Enough's Enough in its initial stage will comprise just eight local people including businessman Steve Eakin and youth worker Deb Pearse who will meet next month to discuss a range of options that might be employed to combat the problem and how to fund them.
The initiative is being spearheaded by local retailer Jason Adamek who receives a unique insight into the amount of violence in the town as his wife is an emergency nurse at Byron Bay Hospital.
Mr Adamek said he wanted to keep the group small in its initial stages to combat negativity and the paralysis that can come in large groups.
But once they had come up with a range of potential solutions, they would then seek wider input from council, police and community members.
The group was researching successful anti-alcohol violence measures in Newcastle, Geelong and Kings Cross.
Mr Adamek warned major changes were needed which may upset people.
He said private security patrols in Kings Cross had received mixed reviews but no idea would be off the table in the early stages.
"There's nothing we won't throw around. Nothing's too radical," Mr Adamek.
Mr Adamek is pro-CCTV and pro-tourist, but also concerned that more families and "quality visitors" be attracted back to the town.