WELCOME STRANGER: Byron Bay loves its tourists, according to locals Ralph Mamone (far left) director of Fish Heads, Gary Charle
WELCOME STRANGER: Byron Bay loves its tourists, according to locals Ralph Mamone (far left) director of Fish Heads, Gary Charle

Byron anger at acronym antics

By RACHEL AFFLICK

WANTED: Tourist-loving Byron residents to join an action group with the longest acronym the town has seen: BBRWLTAHSJWBTT.

FED UP with Sydney media bagging his town, Byron Bay real estate agent Paul McCarthy is forming a new group called Byron Bay Residents Who Love Tourists And Hate Sydney Journalists Who Bag Their Town.

Members should bring a copy of Tuesday's Daily Telegraph to the first meeting for a ceremonial bonfire.

The Telegraph article that has Mr McCarthy so worked up described Byron Bay as 'a tourist town that hates tourists and forms groups with acronyms longer than what they are complaining about'.

"All these places bag out Byron Bay, but how many times have you seen properties advertised as 'three hours from Byron Bay'?" Mr McCarthy said.

He said his new community action group could be formed in conjunction with Yamba Residents Who Wish They Had The Tourism Dollars Of Byron Bay (YRWWTHTDBB), the Stay In Sydney And Be Miserable Group (SISBMG) and Residents Against Doom Gloom Negative Sensationalist Journalism (RADGNSJ).

Byron United president Ed Ahern said it was disappointing to see negative comments from faceless journalists based hundreds of kilometres away.

"I'm confident about our tourism for the future," he said.

"We're comfortable and we know who we are."

Dailan Pugh, spokesperson for the Byron Environmental and Conservation Organisation (BEACON), said besides the fact BEACON was not even a 'long' acronym, community groups had been responsible for maintaining the unique atmosphere that made Byron Bay a special place.

"If anything I don't think there's enough activism going on in the community," he said.

Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham said it seemed to be a case of 'Byron Envy'.

"There's always someone desperate to have a go at Byron Bay because we're so iconic," she said. "Byron status seems to signal marketing for any next destination."



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