30,000 see in New Year

It may not have been big, but the New Year?s Eve parade, which made a comeback, was colourful.
It may not have been big, but the New Year?s Eve parade, which made a comeback, was colourful.

Big crowds, big mess, major traffic snarls - but no major dramas.

That was Byron Bay on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Byron Bay police duty officer, Inspector Owen King, described crowd behaviour on New Year's Eve as "reasonable".

Inspector King estimated the crowd in the town at about 30,000, down on the previous year.

He said 10 people were arrested, and were charged with offences ranging from assault, trespass, offensive conduct and drug related matters.

All were bailed and will face Byron Bay Local Court on February 4.

Inspector King said police enforced the alcohol free zone "where we could" with revellers asked to empty alcoholic drinks, but with so many people it was hard to police.

Spokesman for the New Year's Eve Safety Committee, John Brophy, said the mostly young crowd was "quite well behaved".

Mr Brophy said he believed the street parade, which made a comeback, probably needed to be held later next New Year's Eve.

He said many people missed the parade because of its early start.

Entertainment was provided on stages at the beachfront and in Jonson Street near Railway Park and a dance party in Lawson Street attracted about 6000 people.

Byron Council workers were on the job early on New Year's Day cleaning up the mess left behind.

- Gary Chigwidden

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