Minister approves Barham?s plans for Byron alcohol ban


THE NSW Minister for Local Government, Kerry Hickey, has approved Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham's plan to ban alcohol in Byron Bay's CBD this New Year's Eve.

Byron Shire Council will today vote on whether to declare the town's CBD an alcohol-prohibited zone from midday on New Year's Eve until 6am on New Year's Day.

The prohibition would make it illegal to carry alcohol in the town's CBD streets and parks, or on the beach extending from Main to Clarks beaches.

The Byron Bay liquor industry has labelled the scheme as unworkable.

"I am very disappointed that there has been absolutely no consultation with the industry over this decision," Great Northern hotelier Tom Mooney said yesterday.

"This will hurt bottleshops. It's not only our busiest night of the year, but a lot of jobs will be affected," he said.

However, Cr Barham was yesterday adamant the prohibition plan was needed and people could buy their alcohol the day ahead, as they do the day before Christmas.

"The whole point is to cre- ate a safe event that encourages families back into town on New Year's Eve," she said.

Cr Barham said bottleshops may still be able to sell alcohol on the night if they provided a shuttlebus to ferry customers, and their alcohol, to the perimeter of the zone.

Mr Mooney said that idea 'didn't make sense'. "What will happen is people will bring in their own alcohol. Byron Bay will become the BYO town," he said.

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