PARTY TIME: Celebrating New Year?s Eve were Ellie Vanderburg, Jess Brady and Amy Nolan.
PARTY TIME: Celebrating New Year?s Eve were Ellie Vanderburg, Jess Brady and Amy Nolan.

Alcohol-free Byron could hurt Ballina

By DAWN COHEN

IF BYRON Bay shut down its town to New Year's Eve revellers it could send them south, a Ballina councillor warned yesterday.

Byron Bay mayor Jan Barham and local police want public areas to be an alcohol-free zone on NYE.

In previous years, police did not have the power to confiscate unopened alcohol cans and bottles, but could only act if the containers were open or being consumed.

Councillor Keith Johnson believes the decision could send partygoers south, but he hopes Ballina Shire's 'fuddy-duddy' image could be its secret weapon.

"Ballina's fuddy-duddy image may be the only defence we have," he said.

"People who want to get drunk should do it in the privacy of their own home."

Cr Sharon Cadwallader said there was a need for gatherings catering to different groups each with pro- fessional security guards.

"The emotional meaning of the night must be acknowledged in how we create each celebration."

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