WHERE ARE THE GIRLS?
By PATRIZIA REIMER
IT TOOK two hours, but we% finally found a single woman in Ballina.
And we were two women, photographer and reporter, being upfront about it, wandering the town and beaches and asking women unashamedly if they were single.
So what's a bloke supposed to do? According to the 2006 Census, eligible bachelors in Ballina outnumber the women by 136 to 100.
This statistic has also earned Ballina 10th place in a list of Australia's bachelor hot spots.
Demographer Bernard Salt's 'bachelor barometer' studied results of the 2006 Census and found there were 665 single men aged between 25 and 34 in Ballina, compared with 490 single women of the same age.
Daniel Tiyce is one of those men. He's spunky, genuinely nice, fit and single.
"There's not anything targeted for us, something which caters for people over 20," said the 28-year-old chef, surfer and guitarist.
"I've been to the pubs with mates for a drink and there are definitely more men around.
"I'm a bit tired of the club scene. There's all that pressure, and it's got a sleazy feel about it."
Single Ballina woman Tamara Schmidt thinks it has more to do with work, saying there are more job opportunities for men.
"Why would a single woman come here?" asked the 29-year-old.
"I found when I was looking for work it was hard. A lot of the jobs required physical labour or a forklift licence."
But Bernard Salt has another theory: "Byron Bay has one of the highest concentrations of single women relative to men. So we've got a bachelor hot spot situated right next door to a bachelorette hot spot.
"I think whatever it is that lures single women to Byron Bay is probably having an impact on Ballina. I suspect it's the Byron effect. It's not an oversupply of men, it's an%undersupply of women."