Byron's business boss plays down damage
THE president of Byron Bay's leading business group, Byron United, says claims of the damage done by badly behaving tourists in the town had been exaggerated.
Paul Waters said other areas like Sydney suffered similar damage from big New Year's Eve crowds, but Byron Shire Council had fewer workers to clean up the mess.
He said complainants were being over-precious.
Byron Shire acting general manager Phil Warner said this year the post-New Year's Eve rubbish was far wider spread, to the extent that staff needed to bring in a backhoe to help clean up the beaches from Main Beach through to Belongil.
Staff and contractors picked up more than 15.5 tonnes of bottles, rubbish and human feces over two days, Mr Warner said.
During the festive period six rangers issued almost 650 fines with more than half of them relating to street camping.
"Rangers also woke up occupants of an additional 100 cars on New Year's Day, however the occupants were too intoxicated and could not be moved on."
He said next year council may need to consider additional funding and staff resourcing to manage the clean-up.