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.