Apparently there is an undersupply of alcohol for Byron Bay, and Dan Murphy’s – owned by Woolworths – have sought to fix the problem by establishing a megastore a stone’s throw from a school, church and another competitor.
One of the cornerstones of Byron’s identity is up for competition: the supply of booze. Some councillors have said that this is inevitable, and unfortunately they are right. There is no law that prohibits more alcohol outlets in the town, and it’s just a matter of time before they check the right boxes to be approved.
Woolies will no doubt gain financially from entering a market dominated by longtime local operators. Unlike them, they have access to large national buying power.
However, unless you work for them directly, Woolies care very little for the people who live and work in the places they inhabit.
This has been demonstrated by their appalling conduct in Mullumbimby while constructing their supermarket monstrosity.
How will flooding the market with even cheaper booze help Byron Bay? It won’t. Our over-stretched police and hospitals deal mainly with alcohol-related crimes and accidents, and Woolies will clearly add to that pressure.
The greatest number of meth labs in NSW this year was found around Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Tweed Heads, according to police this week. As with our tourist destination status, it appears we are tops in this field too. With nearly 100 meth labs discovered in NSW alone, police say it indicates an increase of almost 40 per cent on previous years.
Meth – or Crystal Methamphetamine – is highly dangerous to manufacture, and leaves a toxic residue that needs chemical hazard materials experts (HazMat) to clean up. The dangers are amusingly portrayed in the US TV series Breaking Bad and the film Spun, along with the gradual brain meltdown experienced by users.
It’s also called ‘Ice’, and can be highly addictive – it activates the psychological reward system by triggering dopamine and norepinephrine production in the brain. It can also cause psychotic aggro behaviour, which in turn makes the job of an ambo, medic or police officer just that bit harder.
Apart from that, meth can also cause ‘meth mouth’, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, tension headache, muscle breakdown, kidney damage or failure, stroke, cardiac arrest and death.
There is little good that can be said of those who cook meth for profit; this drug is about as destructive as you can get.
Unlike other drugs such as MDMA, meth has no benefits whatsoever and turns users into zombies.
You can acquire a fact sheet on meth from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre www.med.unsw.edu.au/NDARCWeb.nsf.w