Council rejects celebrations
A PLEA to spice up New Year's Eve celebrations in Byron Bay has been rejected by Byron Shire Council.
Byron Bay's Chamber of Commerce, Byron United, wrote to the council earlier this month, asking that it move from its current “defensive” strategy, to a “more pro-active and inspiring” approach that would include a countdown and fireworks, circus performers, music and street dining.
It follows the council's dramatic toning down of New Year's Eve celebrations in recent years – a move that has been widely applauded by the community.
Alcohol has been banned in the CBD and entertainment kept to a bare minimum to discourage crowds and make it a more family-friendly event.
But Byron United says council has succeeded in breaking the party town mould, and it's now time to ramp up New Year's events.
“We have major problems with the way the event has been run over the last couple of years,” Byron United Vice President Paul Waters told yesterday's council meeting, “We want a proper New Year's Eve celebration.”
The request was knocked back unanimously by councillors.
Cr Simon Richardson said businesses had shut up shop and had wanted nothing to do with New Year's Eve five years ago.
“It was only after this style was shown to be a success and all the businesses opened and did a roaring trade that now they want it to go further,” he said.
Cr Ross Tucker was less hostile, suggesting council work with the chamber on this year's event.