News and updates on everything thats happening with Byron Bay property, real estate, council and gossip: 2016 census; koala study; celebrity visits; Elements and Habitat; Rail Trail; New Democracy movement.
The results from the 2016 census gives some insight into the changing face of Byron Bay property. The population is now 31,790 in 15,646 dwellings. This is up from 30,664 in 2010. The top three industries are retail, accommodation and food, health care and social services. (When I first came here in the 80s it was dope growing and the dole). 26% of the population rents and the average weekly rent is $414 pw. This is $136 more than the NSW regional average, even though Byron Shire has one of the lowest median incomes. There has been a marked rise in couples without children with a corresponding drop in single parents. If you want to delve deeper into the stats go to: Profile.id.com.au/Byron
Please go to the site at northcoastkoala.net if you like koalas. This study is being conducted by Sydney, Queensland and Southern Cross Universities and they are interested in your observations and thoughts on koalas. They are collecting information about sightings of koalas as well as attitudes toward koalas. If helping our furry friends is not enough there is also the chance to win prizes including a weekend at Byron at Byron Resort. The survey is a little bit clunky but stick with it.
As well as hosting Mr Claus and a few elves – would be hot in that red suit – Byron also hosted the usual assortment of celebrities last month. Chris Hemsworth, his brother Liam, made the most of the quite end of Seven Mile Beach. Liam’s girlfriend, Miley Cyrus, and Chris’s wife, Elsa Pataky, went clothes shopping at Spell and the Gypsy Collective.
Naomi Watts was visiting her mum, the author Myfanwy, as well as hanging out with Simon (The Mentalist) Baker who also has property here. Matt Damon flew into Brisbane and hired a chopper to attend New Year’s Eve festivities at Falls Festival. Singer, actor and TV personality, Natalie Imbruglia returned for another visit with rumours she will be settling here soon. Channel 9 TV breakfast host, Karl Stefanovic, and new girlfriend Yasmine Yarbrough, had their second trip here within a few months. Maybe they have the Byron Bug as well.
Elementary, Dear Byron
Elements of Byron at the beach end of Bayshore Drive, is a success and is proving very popular with a high occupancy rate. Word is out they are about to start construction on the next stage of two bedroom villas that were part of their approval. The new villas will be $650 per night.
Some residents of Sunrise Beach are still opposing the solar train operated by the resort. The two kilometre trip to town operates on the hour for resort guests and locals wanting to park and ride. Lets hope that council can find a way to provide a proper car park one day. Opposing residents have found an environmental zoning technicality prohibiting using the bridge. The train is allowed to continue in use as it winds its way through court.
Habitat gets going
Also making a mark in Byron Bay property is the new Habitat development on Bayshore Drive, Arts and Industry Estate. This live/work Creative Industry Hub concept is proving popular. It had a launch/opening in December was bigger than Ben Hur. The main venue there is called The Barrio and getting good revues. Friday night is being promoted as “Locals Nite” for those who find locals nite at The Rails not flash enough.
Rail Trail Gets support
The Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek section of the Rail Trail have now been promised $6.5M from the Fed as well as $6.5M from the NSW state coffers. This amount is enough to commence the transformation of the 24 km of disused rail line into a bike and walking track to be used by the whole community. As well as ensuring the land will remain in community ownership in perpetuity. It will be amusing if the rail trail is up an running either side of Byron Shire while we will be waiting in perpetuity for the old rattlers to come back.
Byron Council Needs Your Help
Byron Council is attempting something called New Democracy (nDF). It wants to pick 28 local people at random to form the Byron Shire Community Solutions Panel – something like a jury. The panel will be given overview and expert research, meet four times in March and assist council to come to a decision on some of its more pressing problems. Registration closes on the 18th of February, participants will be paid $300 for their trouble. If interested go to newdemocracy.com.au/rsvp or call 0467 066185. From the look of the nDF website it is not a dodgy overnite wannabe and has the supporter of some heavy hitters.