News

Still spreading the love, it seems

BARE ESSENTIALS: The annual world naked bike ride is on this Sunday in Byron Bay.
BARE ESSENTIALS: The annual world naked bike ride is on this Sunday in Byron Bay. Jacklyn Wagner

SURVIVORS of the hippie era who moan that Byron is not the free-lovin' paradise it used to be should check out the San Francisco Chronicle's take on the town after a recent visit.

SF, remember, is where it all began, so the Chronicle's writer should know when he reports on "counterculture Australia, 1973".

Noting "a young woman in a flower-printed granny dress offering cranial sacral massages, a didgeridoo player in the wool felt hobbit hat, a dreadlocked dad with his baby in a tie-dyed sling leading a drum circle and a white-haired couple with the beatific expressions of long-time meditators sitting behind baskets overflowing with organic passionfruit", the writer feels he's been transported back in time.

Yoga classes, a kayak ride with dolphins, a visit to the Lighthouse, with its "worn Oriental carpets and perfectly retro kitchen appliances", confirm his view.

"Perhaps the explanation is Australia's geographic isolation, which has turned it into an environmental time capsule that's kept species like the platypus alive ... or maybe it's just plain magic," the gullible Yank hypothesises.

He goes on: "1973 was the year of 10-day Aquarius Festival in the nearby town of Nimbin and somehow, everybody seems to have managed to hang on to those 1973 ideals without being infected with one ounce of irony".

A quick shufti at Nimbin today may have disillusioned the innocent abroad very rapidly.

THE true state of Centrelink's Byron services has been brought to The Scout's attention.

A visit to the office in Byron St revealed a desolate and cavernous space, with a couple of lost souls standing around looking bewildered. And that was just the staff members - a grand total of two that day.

A few "clients" were visible, tapping at computer keyboards or waiting on the phone for a "customer service officer" in some far-off realm to pick up and speak to them.

Face-to-face contact, which the Department of Human Services swore would not suffer from the replacement of people with computers in January, is non-existent, according to an informant.

Having failed with his home computer to inform the department of income changes, this very tech-savvy person went in person to set the record straight.

He was guided to a phone, through which he enjoyed classical music for 15 minutes before asking staff how long he might have to wait.

"Twenty to 25 minutes," replied a complacent official.

At which our friend heard a small popping noise in his temples and said he had understood he might be able to speak to a human being - viz the spin poured out at the changeover.

"You can," he was blandly assured. "Through the telephone or the internet."

THE Scout hears last Thursday's council meeting was particularly animated, with plenty of argy bargy between councillors and some lively interjections from the gallery. Perhaps it had something to do with the councillors' new supply of coffee from their you-beaut new Lavazza coffee machine - which itself became a source of contention between the mayor and some of the council's senior staff.

At the morning tea break, Cr Barham made it known to anyone within earshot that she thought the new machine was excessive, and out of step with council's recently adopted corporate sustainability policy. "I would have been happy with a plunger and a bag of local coffee," she said.

NOTHING on this weekend? How about a cycle around Byron in your birthday suit? It really is a matter of bums on seats for the annual world naked bike ride, which is on again this Sunday. Bring bike, body paint, helmet and a sense of humour to the old Byron Bay railway station for a 2pm start.

Toodle pip!


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Future bright for hemp

BREAKTHROUGH: Paul Benhaim is thrilled to have several new large-scale hemp farmers on board.

New plant to process organic hemp seeds, hemp flour, hemp seed oil.

Shark nets have 'failed', public has been 'misled'

A report into the by-catch of North Coast shark nets has been released today.

Australian Seabird Rescue "disappointed" by first report on by-catch

Teen 'drug king' supported by dad at Lismore court

Flynn Tully Brown, 18, attends Lismore Court charged with 13 counts of supply prohibited drugs.

Byron Bay man teenager is facing 13 drug charges

Local Partners

Guard 'heard screaming', saw Byron woman next to dead cop

AN Indonesian security guard has said that he heard screaming coming from the scene where a policeman was killed, before he saw a Byron woman grabbing a man.

Become a 'picker' at Byron with vintage fair

Who knows what you could find at this weekend's vintage fair?

THOUSANDS of collectors and sellers will converge on Byron Bay

The Waifs announce special 25th anniversary tour

ARIA award winning band The Waifs.

And they're releasing their fourteen track studio album

6 unmissable shows on Northern Rivers in the next 90 days

COMING SOON: Singer songwriter Xavier Rudd.

Comedy and music to get 2017 on its way

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!