Displaying items by tag: Brunswick Picture House

News Around the Traps


Are You Living in a Heritage Home?

Many people in the shire do not know they may be living in a heritage-listed property. All of Bangalow and Mullumbimby central is a heritage area. In  Mullum, if you live west of the railway line, south or east of the river, or north of Saltwater Creek, your house may have restrictions or even a full conservation order on it.

Bangalow residents are more aware of the town’s heritage listing as most residents are obviously committed to maintaining it’s rustic charm. This is ironic as in the early 70’s, the shire council wanted to eradicate all the overhead verandas throughout the shire as they were dangerous and kept in bad repair. At the time Bangalow was so broke it could not afford to remove them so just refused to do it. That’s the only reason why Bangalow was lucky enough to maintain the charming pioneer style residents and tourists appreciate so much today.

Byron Shire Council is offering a “Free Heritage Advice” session on 18 August. If you have any questions or want to understand more about your property, contact Noreen Scott on 6626 7062 and make an appointment.

Masterplan Progress

Look out for the pop-up chat rooms in Byron, Mullum or Bangalow. Each of these towns are at different stages of a masterplan development and council is giving an overview and asking for community feedback. Please don’t be one of these annoying people who do not participate when community consultation is offered and then have nothing but bile when the proposals are presented.

Farming Out The Farm

The good people at The Farm are currently under pressure. It may be they have been too successful for some neighbours and competing businesses. As you can see from the car park driving by it is almost always full. They wish to enable the restaurant Three Blue Ducks, plus Flowers at The Farm, The Produce Store, Farm Kids and Farm Tours and all the organic food growing to continue to operate as they do currently.

They are asking for people to write to council to support their DA. Address it to Byron Shire Council, PO Box 219, Mullumbimby, NSW 2482 and tell them why you appreciate all the work The Farm is doing. Especially the community and charity work. Or write an email and send it to community at thefarmbyronbay.com.au.

Brunswick Fish Co-op

There is some controversy around with whats going to happen to the Brunswick Fish Co-op. The police has been shut down unexpectedly and staff have been let go. Maybe it could be handled better but this building and business could probably do with a makeover. Many of the old fish co-ops up and down the coast of been reinvented and they often turn out to be excellent establishments - still catering to a mum and dad fish and chip shop, while still providing a full compliment of restaurants and shops. Lets hope they do it well in the end.

Sustainable House Day

Applications are now open for the annual Sustainable House Day Expo. These are very popular events and highlight our local area’s creativity and expertise in sustainable house building and design. This year it will be held in Tweed Heads on September 16. If you want to enter a design or concept you can find the application form google it at sustainablehousedaynr. Or just turn up and see for yourself.

Discussions on Alternative Housing Options

Thursday 10th of August at the Brunswick Picture House there will be a discussion on all of the shire's alternative housing projects. It is being put on by the Green Institute which is a national progressive think tank promoting community cohesion. It is $20 at the door which will include a meat or veto meal, drinks will be available, but bring your own alcohol. Tickets at the door. 

Then on Wednesday 16th of August there will be the second meeting for Social Habitat Housing. This is for the people interested in becoming residents at the proposed Tiny House/Land Lease Community starting in Mullumbimby. It will be at the Mullumbimby RSL 5 - 6.30 PM. For more information on this, go to the website at shh.socialhabitat.com.au. 

Heritage Train to Start

The 2 km train trip from Elements Resort to Byron CBD is progressing and will be up and running by December. The Byron Bay Railroad Company, and Elements of Byron, is owned and operated by coal baron Brian Flannery of White Energy. When the project began it was to be a heritage, two carriage diesel train but has now converted to solar power and is the first solar powered train in the world. There are solar trains in India but they only power the lights and fans.

Mr Flannery is not the only coal baron putting an eco gloss on their activity in the shire. In a valley near Federal, the ex co-owner of Whitehaven Coal (remember the Nathan Tinkler debacle), has been attempting to recreate the big scrub by regenerating over 600 acres of degraded grazing land. 

How They Do It In China

Resident action groups in Byron Shire are often active and successful in protecting the shire from rampant development. They should consider the plight of Chinese homeowners, residents and community groups opposing plans for new works. Lack of democracy in China certainly makes it easier for local government to get things done as this example shows.

The city of Chongqing, which has a population of 8.2 million, recently installed a two-lane road running across the rooftop of a five-storey, mixed-use building. But if you thought that might be noisy, spare a thought for the residents of another building, which has a light railway running through its 6th-8th floors – pictured here.

 Byron Bay Writers Festival

The BBWF starts is on this weekend and for anyone who has not participated you are missing out. It is the biggest and best literary festival in regional Australia and well worth the time and effort. Get lost in good conversation and interesting discussions. Kids day is on Sunday and they love it. Google the website and get a ticket.


Hot Property for September

Hot Property for September
Business News:

Whenever First National agent Tara Torkkola enters East Mullumbimby, the resident’s eyes go “Kaching! Kaching!” Tara’s recent auction efforts have gone off like fireworks. She first had a hand in her own property sale at #12 New City Road, which sold for $758K – well above the mid 600s expected range. Then last month, #24 went under the hammer achieving a remarkable $900,000 with a price guide of $785,000. Admittedly, this home had a studio with dual access, but still a massive price in what I believe is not the best area of Mullum.

There have been a number of excessive sales in Mullum of late. Many locals are concerned about losing that special, distinctive vibe Mullum has managed to cultivate over the years. There is understandable concern these prices are starting to mimic the craziness of Byron and will change the nature of the town. If it is any consolation, nearly all of the people I help to settle here are trying to add to the vibe, not change it. But yes, it is getting richer and we will be forcing out long term residents that cannot afford the rents. Anyone with a workable idea on how to fix this, please send in your plan (then we will send you to the Middle East to fix that as well).

Renovations in Town

Beach – Byron Bay

The humble Beach Café on Clarks beach has seen a number of transformations over my time here. It is now called “Beach – Byron Bay” and this latest renovation comes after the successful beachside business was partly purchased by Sydney arts couple, Leon and Margaret Fink. Menu prices have also had a major face-lift as well. But the location and view is still priceless.

Margaret Fink is a successful Film and TV producer (My Brilliant Career, Candy). Leon Fink, who turns 80 this year, is a developer, entertainment entrepreneur, restaurateur and philanthropist. This should be viewed as a stamp of approval for local owner Ben Kirkwood. The Fink Group has a history of only partnering with Australia’s leading chefs and restaurants, like Tetsuya Wakuda, Tony Bilson, Peter Kuruvita and Guillaume Brahimi.

Byron Bay Brewery and Buddha Bar

Also under renovation is the Buddha Bar and Brewery at the old Arts Factory site in Gordon St., Byron Bay. The Byron Bay Brewery was recently purchased by multinational, Lion Nathan and the premises housing the brewery and Buddha Bar are being revamped. The spa and cinema are a separate business.

The Byron Bay Brewery was under pressure a few years ago for licensing its Pale Ale to Carlton United without a public disclosure. The local brewery has wanted to sell for some time after failing to get expansion plans through council. This story brings up a few interesting issues. How do we as a community when "Byron Bay” is being used for branding, especially if the product is not actually manufactured in Byron Bay? Also, a main reason they had to sell up was because they were not able to expand their business because of compliance regulations and the council generally being anti development. I know of a few businesses in this predicament. How do we balance limiting development while still wanting to provide room to grow to those businesses capable of giving full employment to more than a few?

More Beer - Stone and Wood

Another local brewing business is Stone and Wood. They managed to side step the expansion issue by opening a bigger brewery in Murwillumbah but have decided to stay local as much as possible. They are very much part of the community and are big supporters of local events, charities and community organisations. They run a funky brew house and small retail outlet at Boronia Place in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate.  Try their Pacific Ale as its excellent.

Spell and the Gypsy Collective

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Wow! Since I am talking up local Byron businesses. How about this small independent local fashion label scooping the Telstra Business of the Year prize? Sisters Elisabeth Abegg and Isabella Pennefather employ 50 women in Byron Bay, have over 800,000 website followers, sell online to over 130 countries and have the likes of Katy Perry, Mylie Cyrus as fans. They run a small retail showroom at the Browning Street roundabout at the south side of town, opposite the Green Garage. Check it out!

Brunswick Picture House

Something that is not to be celebrated is the sudden closure of the Brunswick Picture House. A few issues ago, I lauded the resurrection of this derelict building and was thrilled to see it was resurrected into an arts and cabaret venue able to support the many talented local performers. Seems like there has been a complaint from a neighbour, and coupled with a not completely kosher "existing rights" zoning approval, council have forced it to close. Please google "change.org save Brunswick Picture House" and sign the petition to support this unique and worthy asset to our local venues. 

Wategos Beach stunner

Screen Shot 2016 08 30 at 2.21.30 PM

Janis Perkins from Real Estate Of Distinction agency secured the sale of “Wattai” 4 Palm Valley Way, Wategos Beach for $5.6M. The property was owned and renovated by architect Peter Maddison who is the presenter of Grand Designs Australia. He purchased the property in 2004 for $3.7M and now has sold it to Melbournian, Alan Sinclair.

2 X Byron Bay development sites

There is a block of land in Byron going to auction soon on the south side of Byron. It is just over 2000 M2 and can be subdivided into 4 X 500 blocks. If the agent estimate for $1.8 – 1.9M is accurate this could be a good buy considering how much half blocks are selling for now in Byron. Council contributions will still need to be paid as well.

Large block in Byron 

This double block on Paterson Hill is one of the last ones left. It has ocean views north west to the bay as well as north east to the lighthouse. Original house is in OK condition but will need some work. The back block is in a great quite street and only a hop and skip to Clarkes Beach. All be like for mid to high 2s.

Ocean Shores

As I have predicted in previous newsletters, Ocean Shores is now getting a lot more buyer attention. There are still some entry level properties coming on the market - under $600,000 but do not stay listed for long. I have been helping clients lately offer full price to good properties and have it taken off the market. Entry level buyers may soon be left behind I am afraid. I can understand the desire of wanting to limit any further development in our beautiful shire. Opposing all development while still supporting affordable housing, helping struggling renters and young couples getting their first home - this is conflicted thinking. 



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