Christmas spirit alive in Byron

Byron Bay’s Christmas tree will go up this year, but it could well be the last time.

The high cost of erecting the tree will probably see Byron United looking for a cheaper way of bringing the Christmas spirit into the CBD next year.

The business group has been battling to raise the money from members and suffered a setback last week with Byron Council rejecting a request for a $10,000 donation to help cover the erection costs.

But despite that, Byron United’s executive officer, Diana Ricketts, said the tree was definitely ‘going up’ on November 27.

But she said it could be the last time unless there was stronger support from the business community.

“It’s a very expensive exercise and we will need to look at other options unless the support is forthcoming,” she said.

Byron Mayor Cr Jan Barham said the request for $10,000 was a ‘pretty big ask’ given the number of requests from the community for donations.

“We only have limited funds,” she said.

 “$10,000 a year to erect a tree for a short time is a big call.”

Cr Barham said the council had not been consulted about ongoing costs when Byron United bought the Christmas tree.

She said a better alternative would have been a piece of permanent public art by a local artist that represented a Christmas tree and that could have been decorated each year.

The Byron United Christmas tree that was first erected two years ago will stay in place near the clock tower on the corner of Jonson and Byron Streets until January 11.

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