Welcome to Byron Bay. What visitors see when they enter the Byron Bay CBD from Shirley Street.
Welcome to Byron Bay. What visitors see when they enter the Byron Bay CBD from Shirley Street.

Attack on 'neglect'

Byron Council will be asked to mount an all-out attack on cleaning up a ‘neglected’ and ‘run-down’ Byron Bay.

 At today’s Byron Council meeting, Cr Patrick Morrisey will seek support for a basic maintenance program to be carried out in the town, including trialling daily removal of graffiti from amenity blocks.

Cr Morrisey also wants plans drawn up to screen a row of rubbish skips behind shops in the Lawson Street North car park.

His plan has the backing of the town’s peak business group, Byron United, whose president, Ed Ahern, in relaunching the Beautiful Byron campaign, said it was time to get serious about graffiti and the state of the town.

Mr Ahern said after recent meetings with Crs Morrissey, Tony Heeson and Diane Woods, Byron United had decided it was time to step up and eradicate tagging and graffiti vandalism in the Byron Shire.

“We have had some really productive discussions with councillors and we want to support Cr Woods in her efforts to remove tagging throughout the shire,” he said.

 “This needs to be a combined effort between business and council and we would like to see all on-ground council staff with scrapers, paint, brushes and removers.

“Tagging should be removed as soon as it is seen and we urge all business owners to do the same.”

Mr Ahern said Byron United’s initiative had the support of local police.

He said previous security audits had indicated the detrimental affect graffiti had on safety in the town. Police policy urged the reporting of tagging and vandalism and then its removal.

Mr Ahern said Byron United representatives had walked around the town with councillors, pointing out the ‘pitiful state’ of public toilets, dead and non-existent garden beds and the entrance to the town which had graffiti, and rubbish receptacles on council-controlled land.

“We were most concerned to learn that for every council staff member working on the ground outside, there are two sitting back in offices in Mullumbimby,” Mr Ahern said.

“This explains much of the sorry state of our town and we need to restore the pride back in Byron Bay.

“We are past calling for new infrastructure. At this point we would be happy to see what is there properly maintained and we are hopeful that in supporting councillors’ clean-up motions that something effective will be done.”

Mr Ahern said that for whatever reason, Byron Bay and the shire had been neglected and it was now time for some serious action.

Anyone who is interesting in setting up a graffiti crew to remove stickers and tagging off community property is asked to contact Paul Prior (0418 324 297), who heads the Beautiful Byron taskforce.

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