Glass shards on beach
This week three Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club members have had their feet cut on broken bottles left by schoolies on Main Beach, leading to calls from frustrated parents, police and Byron Shire Council for the schoolies to clean up their act.
“There has been glass everywhere on the sand and in the grass outside the surf club,” Byron Bay Junior Surf Life Saving secretary Joanne Kay said.
“They light fires on the beach at night and smash bottles into them.”
Ms Kay’s five-year-old son Alby was cut by a piece of glass yesterday outside the clubhouse while the club’s volunteers have spent hours this week helping council workers comb the beach to pick up broken beer andalco-pop bottles.
“It would be best to prevent it from happening to start with,” Ms Kay said. “On the Gold Coast they have flood-lights on the beach at night so it is makes them more visible for police. I would also like the council to use a grader tractor to scrape the sand every morning to remove the glass.”
Byron Bay police are also calling for action.
“It shouldn’t be the responsibility of police to babysit up to 2000 young people on a Friday and Saturday night,” Inspector Owen King of Byron Bay police said.
“The business community promotes the town as a destination for schoolies, but the police are the only organisation that has done anything to look after them,” he said.
Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham also called on the tourism industry to take responsibility for schoolies. The council was keeping a tab on the cost of hosting schoolies in the town.
“The industry promoting Schoolies in Byron Bay needs to be coming to council with ideas to manage them,” Cr Barham said. “They need to put money on the table and then the council could collaborate.
Council can’t afford to keep subsidising schoolies so the holiday-let industry profits.”