Byron’s billion-dollar brand is on the line, says mayor
A planned reality television program based on Byron's influencer culture has been raised at a council meeting.
While it has no power to exactly stop the production of the show, Byron Shire Council has made it clear it does not welcome it.
Netflix has announced its plans for Byron Baes, a reality program to the produced by Eureka Productions.
Thousands of people have signed a petition asking Netflix to scrap the show, a paddle-out was held at Byron's Main Beach this week and mayor Simon Richardson was quick to join the voices opposing the planned program.
However, Byron Bay Boardriders president Neil Cameron has explained why his club didn't support Tuesday's protest opposing the show and Netflix has said they chose Byron because it's "a melting pot of entrepreneurialism, lifestyle and health practices".
The petition creator, Tess Hall, addressed Byron Shire Council at the ordinary meeting on Thursday.
Her petition, asking Byron Shire Council and neighbouring LGAs to not support any filming permits relating to Byron Baes, has attracted more than 8700 names.
"Exceptional circumstances exist in relation to the series Byron Baes being filmed in Byron," Ms Hall said.
Ms Hall said she had tabled a document to the council "in support of the community and mayor's previously stated sentiment regarding the production".
She said this included suggestions for "practical steps that council could take now".
Cr Richardson further raised the matter in his mayoral minute.
"We aren't a community afraid of sharing who we are," Cr Richardson said.
"(We are) justifiably resistant of those outside of where we are defining us."
Cr Richardson said he'd previously met with a group wanting to make a "Bondi Rescue-type show", which he welcomed until they confirmed they'd also be filming paramedics and police in the town.
"All of a sudden (we'd be) seeing … drunk idiots punching on … getting as much traction as some lifesavers saving tourists.
"The brand of Byron is a billion-dollar brand that is known globally.
"The community didn't spend money to create it, it spent 30 years living it.
"Brands can be … very quickly tarnished and destroyed.
"There is so little for us to gain from this show and there is an immeasurable amount for us to lose."
Councillor Sarah Ndiaye said opposing Byron Baes wasn't about opposing any local television production.
"If Netflix had come to us with a great show everyone would be responding a bit differently," she said.
"I think we have the highest number of film professionals outside Sydney and Melbourne. We're open for business (but) we don't want this cr**."
Cr Paul Spooner said he was convinced Netflix had "locked it in now given the interest that's been generated".
"I'd suggest people slow down, chill out and happily ignore the Netflix drama while they're still living in a paradise," Cr Spooner said.
"Really we should just be laughing at it and move on."
Most councillors, except Cr Spooner and Cr Alan Hunter, supported the mayor's call to tell Netflix they do not support the program.
Originally published as Byron's billion-dollar brand is on the line, says mayor