Police on NYE in Byron Bay 2012 Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / The Northern Star
Police on NYE in Byron Bay 2012 Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / The Northern Star Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Byron licks its NYE wounds

Many Byron Bay locals are seething with anger over the behaviour of "bogan" tourists over the New Year's period, with fears that the town was again descending to the point that saw a riot erupt in 1993.

There are calls for the community to come together and discuss ways to reclaim the town from visitors accused of trashing it and engaging in violent and anti-social behaviour.

"A bogan trash can" is how youth worker Deb Pearse describes her home town of 26 years at the moment.

Retailer Jason Adamek from The Big Fish said he had had "quality" visitors in his store who vowed they would not be returning.

Rory O'Halloran spearheaded a committee that organised entertainment and crowd management strategies in the wake of the 1993 riot, and he said it may be time to re-visit some of them like setting up road blocks into town on New Year's Eve.

"It could happen again and it will take another two years to rebuild Byron's reputation as a safe town," Mr O'Halloran said.



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