Byron looks to the future

BYRON Bay had its own 2020 summit at the weekend with hundreds of residents, community leaders and business people taking part in a three-day forum and workshop to find ways to make the town better.

Not that it isn't great now, they said, but rather than leave the future of the town to government bureaucracy, the community decided to get together to find out what people want and how to tell policymakers their wishes for their town.

Heading up the forum was Byron Bay Youth Activities Centre director Paul Spooner, who said hundreds of ideas were workshopped into 18 wishes for the town.

Some of these included a greater understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous people; developing community core values for Byron Bay and surrounding areas; more water tanks in public places; creation of a local water treaty; establishing an evening arts market; a rough camping area for homeless people; employing a community worker at the Byron Bay Community Centre; establishing a co-operative housing group to help groups of people own or build their own homes; establish a group of volunteers to clean-up Railway Park; regular social forums.

Mr Spooner said the idea for the forum was born during discussions with other community leaders six months ago.

"It's timely to discuss what is going on in the region and look at what we want to see in the future," he said.

"The forum has drawn people from the community, not-for-profit organisations and business people who are really passionate about what they want to see happen in the region rather than leave it to others.

"We want to ensure that we have a sustainable and a better future for all of us."

Mr Spooner said forum leaders would continue meeting each week from Monday, June 23, to summarise and document the outcome of the forum to begin the process of bringing the 18 points to reality.


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