The NSW Government’s easing of restrictions means that travel is now permitted across the State.
“This is a huge mental shift for us all but a welcome one and it will be a great relief to see Byron Shire’s businesses re-opening their doors after such challenging months,” Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said.
“Never before has it been so important to support local businesses both in the Byron Shire and across the Northern Rivers region.
“I think it’s a unique opportunity for Byron Shire to welcome visitors from our neighbouring Shires and from across NSW and Victoria – many of whom will be looking for a well-deserved break after the stresses of these recent months.
“The rules around practising good hygiene, social distancing and following public health advice will be as strong as ever and we will be putting the onus on our visitors to be responsible and keep the Byron Shire community safe,” the Mayor said.
The easing of restrictions is expected to assist Byron Shire in restarting its economy. In 2019, tourism contributed $927m to the Byron Shire economy and is the Shire’s largest employer with around 4,400 jobs.
Byron Shire Council’s new long-term tourism management plan, the Sustainable Visitation Strategy (SVS), was due to go on public exhibition in March following an 18 month consultation with industry and the wider community, but finalisation of the draft plan was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Council is updating the strategy to reflect the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole of the Byron Shire community, including the tourism industry, and to highlight the changing and uncertain landscape ahead, as well as the importance of being adaptive and building resilience.
The SVS will then go on formal public exhibition from August and feedback will be sought from the community as part of the public exhibition process.