Dan Murphy's bid condemned
THE Citizen of the Year for Byron Shire has slammed the Bay’s image as a party town, and condemned plans for a massive new liquor outlet in its CBD.
However, Nicqui Yazdi says tourism and slack parenting practices, not just alcohol, are the causes of violence on the coast.
“We are really missing the point when talking about alcohol-fuelled violence, and then how best to promote Byron Bay as a tourist destination,” Ms Yazdi said.
“All you hear from the business community is tourism, tourism, tourism. Meanwhile our kids drown in a lack of attention and lack of services.”
It was stupid behaviour that led to these problems – and behaviours are something we learn from a very young age and primarily at home, she said.
Ms Yazdi, team leader of the Byron Underage Drinking and Drug Initiative, also said alcohol had been such a big a part of Australian culture since white settlement that it was now an ingrained problem.
“The fact is young people today see drinking alcohol as their right. Unfortunately, the largest consumers and abusers of alcohol in our country are under the age of 18, not even legally allowed to drink,” she said.
Allowing multinational liquor superstores such as Dan Murphy’s into town would only add fuel to the fire.
“The availability of cheap alcohol is the number one reason behind alcohol-fuelled violence and every other crime associated with alcohol. It is also one of the main reasons that young people take up drinking, besides boredom.
“We need to stop Dan Murphy’s coming to town and we need to stop being so complacent as parents and adults and start to educate them and ourselves about the real dangers of drinking alcohol to a teenager’s brain,” Ms Yazdi said.
Woolworths-owned Dan Murphy’s last week confirmed its interest in opening a 1090sq/m outlet at Byron Bay under Dendy Cinemas.
A DA for the $650,000 conversion is before the Byron Shire Council.
Woolworths media relations manager Benedict Brook said Dan Murphy’s took its responsibility to the community very seriously.
“Our track record on this is second to none,” Mr Brook said.
ARE PARENTS TO BLAME FOR ALCHOL-FUELLED VIOLENCE IN BYRON?