2014 January- June

June 30

Paid Parking


June 23

Brunswick Heads- Plans of Management


June 18

Chicken Factory Closure


June 16

Rail Trail


June 13

Creative Industries


June 12

West Byron


June 10

West Byron


World Environment Day


June 2

Clarkes beach event


May 23

West Byron


May 22

 West Byron



May 21

West Byron


May 7

Holiday Letting


May 6



March 20

Cape Byron Marine Park


March 10

Use of Rail Corridor


March 3

Ocean Shores Roundhouse


Feb 16

Brunswick Heads Foreshore and Holiday Parks


Feb 10

Brunswick Heads Foreshore and Holiday Parks


Feb 7

Brunswick Heads Foreshore and Holiday Parks


Feb 6

Brunswick Heads Foreshore and Holiday Parks

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 9.15.49 am

Jan 25

Alcohol Issues


Jan 22

Azzura Development- Jonson St

azzura press clipping

Jan 17

Park and Ride


Jan 14

Coastal Erosion


Jan 13

Azzura Development- Jonson St

13 January, 2014 11:11AM AEDT

Mixed reactions to $18million Byron Bay shopping plaza proposal

A two-storey indoor shopping mall could be built in Byron Bay’s Jonson Street, making it one of the largest developments in the town’s history.

Shopping mall proposal for Jonson Street, Byron Bay,An artist’s impression of the shopping mall proposed for Jonson Street, Byron Bay. (Azzura Holdings)
Current siteThe current Jonson Street site which could be redeveloped into a two-storey shopping plaza with an underground car park. (ABC Local: Margaret Burin)

A large glass atrium encloses its entrance.

Lifts and a ramp take shoppers up to a second level, filled with shops and restaurants.

An underground level facilitates 160 car parks.

This is what Gold Coast developer Global Centres Australia Pty Ltd has planned for Byron Bay’s town centre.

The $18million development encompasses the existing Woolworths car park and cinema building on Jonson Street.

David, who owns a shop across the road, says it would be a good improvement for that part of Byron.

“A tidy up on this end of town is well overdue, there’s been way too many empty shops, it’s going to bring more foot traffic and certainly tidy the parking up,” he says.

Yet some locals and travellers say it doesn’t fit in with the feel of Byron Bay.

“We came here with the expectation of seeing hippies and beaches and [a] more relaxed [environment], and it looks really like city life,” German traveller Pia says.

“It does look incredibly ugly,” John from Suffolk Park says.

The developer was not available for an interview at the time this story was published.

Byron Mayor Simon Richardson says while he believes a redevelopment is needed, he’s not impressed with the proposed design.

He says council hopes to negotiate with developers and go back to the drawing board.

“Clearly we need a shopping centre upgrade in that area but we need one which is more sympathetic and reflective of Byron,” he says.

“I think if they’d gone down the road of natural timbers and sustainable design… that might have added to our street, whereas right now this development’s going to absolutely compete with everything in the street else in the street because it’s so dominating in its scale and visual appearance.”

Under the Development Control Plan, the character of a development can be grounds for council refusal; such as whether is in the public interest and whether it fits in with the existing streetscape.

Shop owners and locals have expressed some concern about fast food chains and liquor outlets opening in the centre.

Proposals for a Dan Murphy’s store and KFC outlet on Jonson Street have both been knocked back in the past two years.

Mayor Richardson says it is not clear what stores would open in the plaza.

If the council approves the change of use for the site, which would allow the shopping centre to go ahead, it would not have a say in the shops that open.

“I guess that will all come out when, or if, it develops further and there’s only so much council can do about that.

“The devil’s in the detail, so to speak.”

“As far as council’s ability to reject a shop simply because of the produce it sells, particularly New South Wales where we’ve got very little State Government support of local government, that is very hard to do really.”

The DA is open for public submissions until January 17.

Radio National: Why Byron Bay is proud to be a ‘community of black sheep’

Monday 13 January 2014 8:34AM

Byron Bay mayor Simon Richardson chats with Jonathan Green about the challenges of maintaining a balance between development and community in his coastal NSW town. He explains how this ‘community of black sheep’ has been able to withstand Schoolies Week, McDonald’s and Dan Murphy’s.

Give us a snapshot of Byron Bay shire

It’s about an hour or so below the border [of Queensland and NSW]. We’ve got some of the most amazing beaches, which have drawn people for decades, and we’ve also got a wonderful hinterland where there are waterfalls and beautiful cafes and galleries.

It’s a place that attracts people for its beauty, but importantly it also attracts people for the integrity of the community and the type of communities that live here.

The ocean is just exquisite at the moment. In fact, the rocks just off our coast are one of the best scuba diving areas in Australia as well, so it really is a Mecca for anyone who is interested in beautiful beaches and beautiful oceans.

We occasionally get blue bottles when the current is going a certain way, but it’s never a particular issue, it lasts a couple of days and then everybody gets back into the water.

Is there a certain consciousness specific to your part of the world?

Absolutely, I guess we’ve had it pretty much since the ’70s and early ’80s. We’ve just had people who wanted to live a life where the community was perhaps number one, the economy came number two, and the economy worked for the people rather than the people for the economy.

In a sense we’ve always had a real ethos and culture of trying to live in a way where we’re not bombarded with the same commercial pressures that others have.

We’re all perhaps potentially able and willing to earn a little bit less so that as a community we can have a whole lot more, and as a result we are a point of difference [compared to] most other coastal places around the country.

The town has been successful in keeping many major chain stores like McDonald’s and Dan Murphy’s outhow have you managed that?

We’re not perfect, and we’re certainly no nirvana, but I guess one point of difference is that we keep trying. The vast majority of our community don’t want some of the really famous chain stores.

For us it’s about supporting locals, it’s about being that place of difference, so when visitors come they can actually feel that they are in a different community and they interact and enjoy that and we know by surveys that that’s what visitors love about us.

How do you balance Byron’s dependence on tourism with its sense of community?

That’s my challenge, and a challenge for other community leaders up here, to get that balance right.

It’s not a question of just saying no constantly, it’s about saying no to inappropriate development, but yes to innovative, sustainable, world-class development.

We do want to be a place where we can help set the scene of what’s possible, and by doing that we need to have faith in a lot of our community that they will bring the right type of development for us, and so I think that certainly over the last few years we’ve begun to change that ethos again within Byron.

We are a community that will welcome innovative, sustainable, best practice development with open arms, but we still maintain that right to resist development which is there more to exploit us rather than to add to us.

How does the community deal with Schoolies Week?

Schoolies is a bit of a vexed issue. On the one hand they can run a bit amok in some of the suburban areas where they stay in holiday letting situations, but on the flipside they are actually a group of wonderful 18-year-olds.

As a collective group they’re generally pretty good, they’re also really appreciative of Byron and what we as a community do for them.

Quite often they come and get married here, or live here or come and visit with probably a little bit more money in their pocket over the following years.

We have a responsibility to make sure that we still keep ourselves open for visitors to have those same experiences that we’ve had but, but just try and balance it so it so it’s done in a way that doesn’t affect the community who live here.

Someone once said that Byron’s a place where every family’s black sheep has come to congregate, and we’re a community of black sheep.

I actually see that as a real positive because what it means is that it’s filled with people who think for themselves and are prepared to take a different slant of what life offers and collectively therefore we’re an interesting, exciting, creative community.

Jan 1




The Falls


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