Former NSW Premier and Foreign Minister of Australia Bob Carr. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)
Former NSW Premier and Foreign Minister of Australia Bob Carr. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Bob Carr celebrates 100 years of Byron Bay Labor Party

The Byron Bay Branch of the Labor Party will be celebrating its century this weekend after the anniversary festivities were postponed due to COVID-19.

Bob Carr, NSW’s longest serving Premier, will be in Byron Bay to help celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the branch.

Labor spokesman Asren Pugh said 2020 was officially the anniversary year but celebrations had to be delayed due to COVID restrictions.

He said the branch, which was established in 1920 – 24 years after Byron Bay was officially declared a town – had seen the changes in the town from a farming community, through its industrial, working class peak after the Second World War and the 1970 Aquarius revolution to the town it is today.

“We are particularly proud of the environmental protections, National Parks and reserves that successive Labor Governments have created in our community,” Mr Pugh said.

“Our branch has an amazing history in Byron Bay.

“It is a pleasure to be able to celebrate this milestone with Premier Carr.

“It is a reminder of the importance of delivering real change for our community and protecting our environment, something our branch has long been committed to.

“We will continue the fight into the future.”

Mr Pugh said both Mr Carr and former Labor Premier Neville Wran worked hard to protect the Byron environment.

“Following years of hard-fought campaigns by community members to save our bush from development and the struggle for land rights by the local Arawkwal Elders, Labor Premiers Neville Wran and Bob Carr delivered for our community,” he said.

“Neville Wran saved Tyagrah Nature Reserve and the southern end of Broken Head, as well as the reserves on the north side of the Brunswick River.

“As part of a long list of forest protections on the North Coast, Bob Carr’s Government protected Cumbebin Swamp Nature Reserve, the Cape Byron Marine Park, Brunswick Head Nature Reserve, all the reserves in and surrounding Ocean Shores and Jinangong Nature Reserve west of Ocean Shores.

“Most important of all Carr signed the first indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA 1) with the Arawkwal people, leading to the creation of the Arawkwal National Park, a historic joint management agreement for the Cape Byron Headland and the return of land at Ironbark Ave and a site for an Arawkwal Cultural Centre.

“It was also Bob Carr’s Government that protected Paterson Hill from encroaching development.”

The branch will host a tour of Arakwal National Park and Paterson Hill with Awarkwal Native Title Holders from 9am on Saturday, March 6 at the Arawkwal homes, Ironbark Ave Byron Bay.