Mandy Nolan is a Byron-based comedian.
Mandy Nolan is a Byron-based comedian.

Backlash over Mandy Nolan's 'dear tourist' letter

Update Friday 12.15pm: READERS have reacted to Mandy Nolan's outpouring of grief over tourists and they don't all agree.

When the Byron Bay-based comedian posted an open letter to tourists asking them to leave, she received a mixture of comments on The Northern Star Facebook page.

"Hi Mandy,...I do hope you remember this letter and your inclusive 'words of wisdom' when you wish to travel to any other town around the globe," DB D Charles posted.

"What a typical entitled attitude. Owns a block of land, wants exclusive rights to the whole area. Many families can't afford to live in Byron, but they can go an enjoy it," Simon J Evans said.

"Oh ok you go around and tell all the local small business owners you don't want tourists there anymore. If it doesn't affect your financial situation it doesn't matter right?," Karyn Anna Jane wrote.

Mandy also had her supporters that agreed with what she wrote.

"Well done I'm thinking the same thing with all the flu and sicknesses we are having thoughts coming from people who have traveled overseas so if your sick don't come to Oz," Aiesha Mc Ram posted.

"I agree with her entirely. As someone who was born in Byron, the place sucks now," Dove Rengger-thorpe wrote.

Finally, Mar Mill suggested perhaps Mandy needs a holiday.


Thursday 1.30pm: TENSIONS between Byron Bay locals and tourists have reached boiling point as a prominent resident has penned an explosive open letter to the town's millions of visitors on social media.

Byron Bay based comedian Mandy Nolan wrote:

So dear tourist, I don't want to be rude, but we need a break. So would you mind going somewhere else this year?

Dear Tourist,

You're killing us.

You may not know me, but we know you.

In fact we've known you now for well over 20 years.

You've impacted on our life. A lot.

For better at times, but these days mostly for worse.

When you are having the best two weeks of your year, I can guarantee that we are having our worst.

You can tell who we are. Have a look around.

See that person trying to get a park outside the post office, the one who had their indicator on but you crossed double lanes and nabbed the space?

The one who has gone bright red and is giving you the finger and seems to be calling you unpleasant things?

That person lives here. They were planning on sending a letter. Probably a cry for help.

Strangely you barely know we exist. Yet we live here. We aren't on holidays.

We are trying to get on with our daily lives.

Most of us don't really benefit that much from you being here. Only an elite few.

I don't know if anyone has ever told you that.

There are people in Byron who live here, work here, shop here, send their kids to school here who find your presence rather upsetting.

It's not that you're not welcome. You are. In fact, we all know that we need you.

Just not so many of you. Could you perhaps ring each other before you turn up and work out some sort of roster? Could you not bring so many cars?

Some people are having highways diverted through their backyards and while it makes things better for you it kind of impacts on our local people's quality of life. And the environment. What's left of it.

You may have seen the environment. It's that thing along the coastline that you all want to see.

Because you all come here with your cars now we can't park in our villages and now we have to pay for parking.

If one of our children has an accident and we have to rush them to hospital it can take three times as long to get there. On hot days we don't go to the beach because we know that you will be there and it will be so crowded people will be fighting in the carpark. And on the waves.

Our surfers know that hundreds of you will be paddling out on your brand new boards on our favourite breaks mowing down our children in the shallows.

So they go somewhere else too. We call it the Pass for a reason.

At the height of Summer if someone asks if I want to go to the beach I say 'Pass'. Wategoes is Wategone.

We pay huge rates to service the infrastructure needed to keep you in Byron Bay.

If you live in a country town in the shire outside of Byron you're lucky to see a cent spent on any public infrastructure in your area.

You must think that you coming here means that we have lots of money to spend on public works.

It's actually a game of Monopoly.

That money goes to the people who hold the best property and the rest of us idiots are left paying for public works. Our rates go to maintainining your holiday playground.

We don't get to use it much. And to top it off, there's not enough of us to keep it to the standard that it should be.

So we have to pay more. That makes us not like you very much.

No one has ever properly supported a bed tax which might have helped.

You probably wouldn't even mind paying $1 a day to stop us giving you the evil eye but for some mysterious reason people in power would rather the most disempowered people pay.

That's how the tax system works I guess.

The more money you have the more money you have to spend on avoiding spending money.

There's barely a public toilet in the region any of us can use.

Except those ugly metal ones that are look like space garbage from an intergalactic prison.

If you take longer than 10 minutes to do your business you will have an audience.

Which is ok for me because I'm a comedian and I still love a good poo joke.

With the number of you people here you'd think our public parks would be state of the art. They're filthy. Overcrowded. And not somewhere you'd take your kid.

Unless you didn't mind them chewing on broken glass and ciggie butts.

Anyway most of our parks are where our homeless have to live.

Because see those houses you are staying in? Most of them were supposed to be our homes.

And because you will pay so much to have a holiday in them our residential market is so competitive that over 100 people might turn up for a rental inspection on a run down three bedroom suburban house being leased for $1k per week.

We have people living in their cars. On couches. In tents. In the dunes.

So dear tourist, I don't want to be rude, but we need a break. So would you mind going somewhere else this year? 


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