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.

Seniors expo and more in Mullum

SENIOR FUN: The Ukueles play each Tuesday at the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre and will be performing at the Seniors Expo.

Seniors week kicks of tomorrow across the shire.

Byron Public is chalking up a major milestone

PARTY PLANNER: Byron Bay Public School principal Linda Trigg is putting the call out for the community to assist with the school's 125th anniversary celebrations.

Who is Byron Bay Public School's oldest living graduate

Boardriders battle but just miss out

MANAGEMENT: Boardriders team manager Danny Wills with Skins surfer Soli Bailey  in Newcastle.

Byron battle hard in Newcastle competition

Local Partners

Are your rates going up by over 33%?

TWO Northern Rivers councils were named with eight councils across the state that applied for rate rises to fund a host of improvements across the shires.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Oscars to be politically charged

Oscars 2017: Live Coverage of the 89th Academy Awards.

Married At First Sight couple flouts the rules

Sean and Susan in a scene from Married At First Sight.

ONE couple is openly flouting the rules of Married At First Sight.

The one film that could beat La La Land

Mahershala Ali and Alex R Hibbert in a scene from the movie Moonlight.

OSCARS 2017 predictions: Who will win on the big night?

Actor Bill Paxton has died aged 61

Bill Paxton at the premiere of "Captain Phillips".

American actor and director Bill Paxton has died at 61 due

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films most likely to win at Oscars.

Can rightful winner Moonlight take out Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Mining downturn hitting mum and dad investors

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!