WHO’S CREATIVE? WE ARE.
New research from the Regional Australia Institute has shown that Byron Bay is the most creative region in Australia outside of the capital cities. Duh! I hope they didn’t pay a heap of consultants lots of money to find out the obvious.
The overall top five regional hotspots, based on the percentage of professionals employed in creative industries in 2016 were: the Byron Shire in far northern New South Wales, Hobart in Tasmania, Anangu Pitjantjatjara in South Australia, Victoria’s Surf Coast and Queensland’s Gold Coast.
The institute also rated creative hubs in six subcategories: advertising and marketing, architecture, design and visual arts, film, TV and radio, music and performing arts, publishing, software and digital content.
Speaking of a creative region. There are two opportunities for creative people to get involved in the look of public spaces in our shire. Council decided not to get off-the-shelf bus shelters. Instead of spending $10,000 each on eleven fairly bland shelters, it is starting a design competition for local designers to enter and bid for the job.
Also, the Mullumbimby Sculpture Walk is calling for community members and groups with artistic leanings to submit ideas. The Mullum Sculpture Festival (MSF) is to be held in November on the site of the Mullum Sculpture Walk (MSW), Palm Park and Brunswick Terrace, Mullumbimby. The project is a combined effort of Creative Mullumbimby and the Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce. The Mullum Music Festival is also a partner and the MSF will be held at the same time: November 15 -18. Go to www.mullumsculpturewalk.com.au for more info.
Mark Bouris is the head of Yellow Brick Road, a national mortgage broking, and financial advisory firm. It was interesting to see he came out encouraging long-term rental leases in Australia. He contends that places like Sydney and Melbourne will, in time, become more like Paris and New York. If real estate values remain so high and out of reach then renting needs to be reimagined. Long-term leases reward good tenancies with security and leasing needs to give more of the power to leaseholder – and less to landlords.
“I have a view on real estate ownership, nobody actually owns real estate. You can’t lay down and hug it on the ground, you don’t own it, OK? What you have is the right to occupy against everybody else,” Bouris said. “Now whether it’s for life, or the rest of your life, or for forever … it might be a 90-year lease or the next 25 years, it’s all the same, we’ve just got the right to occupy. And all we are is minding that bit of real estate, looking after it for the next 20 or 30 years or for the rest of my life, until the day I die. So the concept of ‘do I own, do I rent?’ I think it’s nonsense,” Bouris said.
The Victorian government announced last year that tenants in the state would be allowed the option of 10-year leases as part of a standard tenancy agreement. Bouris said despite Australia’s obsession with buying houses, long-term renting is seen as completely normal in other major cities, “especially in Paris”. “And you can transfer the lease [in Paris],” he said. “I buy the lease from you, I get the lease, it’s a good deal, it might have another 20 years on it.” The businessman described it as “an Australian thing” to be caught up in the labels of buying versus renting.
BYRON WRITERS FESTIVAL
I was lucky enough to get one of the early bird tickets to the writer’s fest this year. You had to be quick. I think they only lasted a day or two. Three-day passes are now just under $300 but still worth it. Anyone new to the area who has not yet enjoyed this festival should try it out. It is highly enjoyable for both panelists and attendees. The venue at Elements of Byron gets better and better. Nothing can be better than sitting in the winter sun and hearing intelligent people communicate. Not enough of it these days. The BWF is on from August 3 – 5th.
BYRON LINE ON THE TRACKS
It also looks like there will, hopefully, be more ways to get in and out of town to the Writers Fest. The council is now working with Elements of Byron and other stakeholders to get the walking and bike track adjacent to the existing rail line completed. BSC is proceeding with submissions to make this happen. Let us hope that is up and running by this time next year.