“We, the community of Byron, Ballina, Tweed, and Lismore Shires are not the perfect backdrop for this series,” a GetUp petition written by local member Tess Hall said. “We are a community experiencing significant challenges driven by influencer culture and rapidly shifting demographics of residents.”
“We do not want to be cast as the perfect backdrop and magnet for social media influencers. We do not want to appear in Byron Baes.”
The petition, which, as of publishing, has been signed by nearly four thousand people, continues, noting that the planned show could continue to shed a light on the artificial image of Byron Bay and not represent the real issues affecting the community.
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“Rather than using our region as a reality show punchline, we want our Local, State and Federal government representatives and relevant regulatory authorities to focus on supporting our community to address systemic issues of housing affordability, coastal erosion, increasing unemployment, traffic management challenges, low high school completion rates and high levels of gendered and domestic violence," the petition stated.
“We want our voice to be heard and we do not want to deal with the fallout of being showcased on a global stage in a way that can only harm our local environment and community.”
And, it isn’t just everyday people that are upset about Netflix’s Byron Baes. Mandy Nolan, Greens candidate for Richmond, described the show as “immoral and unjust.”
“To have a show about the fabulous Byron Bay, the influencers and the amazing lifestyle but to not address some really significant issues around housing feels immoral and unjust,” she wrote on Facebook.
“There’s this shadow of poverty of people with no influence and no voice in the community who are being pushed to the side despite having lived here for a long time.”
Neither Netflix ANZ nor Byron Baes production team have yet to respond to the petition or the concerns raised in it. If you’d like to learn more about it, you can read or sign it here.