S Haslam and A Shand
A terrifying press release is still on the loose in Byron Bay after escaping from the computers of Council candidate Rhett Holt and Cr Alan Hunter. âIt’s awful to wake up at three in the morning to a man dripping blood with a backpack full of knives using his shower,â he said. [sic] says liberation. Not content with savagely trampling on expensive grammatical standards, he then threatened to “put a secure barbed wire fence around.” [a] entire block ‘in central Byron, before launching a series of frenzied attacks on real estate values ââin the Butler St.
The authors of the press release appear to have extensive knowledge of the state’s penitentiaries and drug culture.
He first taunted the police and locals, saying, âFor years the Byron Bay reservations at Butler Street have been known in prison as ‘safe places’ to hide when on parole. The few local residents who remain on Butler Street know it as the “shooting gallery” because of the thousands of discarded syringes left in the brush. “
As Butler Street vendors and horrified local estate agents scrambled to cover the eyes and ears of impressionable interstate buyers, the post continued unabashedly: “A supposed nature reserve and conservation area, avoided by the Council and state government, is
best described as a hub for prostitution, shooting, a place for kids to drink and a great
halfway house for criminals near the beach. ‘
In one last sickening twist of the blade, the relentless release ended: “Now this is also an escape route for criminals armed with knives.”
Many crimes have a distressing history, and Hunter’s release led to Echo journalists at a flash mob YouTube video from October 2020, promoting Rhett Holt, Mermaid Beach candidate for the Queensland Watchdog party.
A statement on Holt’s LinkedIn profile reads: “Politics is like a clock, not a line: far left and far right become the same through different paths.”
But the trigger for the recent wave of hyperbole seems to have been the admittedly disturbing crimes of property theft and failure to properly maintain fences, committed right in the heart of Byron itself.
This is the break-in at the campsite store in Byron Bay in the early hours of yesterday morning (Thursday July 29). The statement explained that “the hooded gloved man … escaped through the infamous land owned by Transport Sydney Trains, the notorious’ Butler Street Preserve ” due to the government’s failure to maintain the fences. ‘
The crime sparked a backlash in the statement, with headlines including “Criminal with hunting knives on the loose in Byron Bay” and “Byron Bay local wakes up to bloody man in shower.”
According to local Rhett Holt (who is also listed as the Alan Hunter team’s media contact in the release), âIt’s awful to wake up at three in the morning with a man’s blood dripping with a satchel. back full of knives using your shower. ” He further states that âMy neighbors have small children. The guy only had one house left and it could have ended a lot worse.
Councilor Hunter’s team press release then highlights the “thousands” the council has spent on unsuccessful court cases and “unsupportable train rebuilds.”
Mr Holt and Mr Hunter’s release has a period of lucidity, during which it raises a few valid points, including the impact of Short Term Vacation Rentals (STHL) leaving mostly empty quarters, before to conclude that this makes it “a perfect place for bad people to hide. It would change if Short Term Accommodation Rentals (STAR) were to have caretakers,” he says.
Finally, the statement singles out a single woman on the board, apparently changes tactics, and criticizes (independent) Councilor Cate Coorey for her upcoming Notice of Motion (NoM) at the next Byron Shire board meeting that would ban barbed wire.
‘Cr Coorey is quoted [in the council papers] as stating âThe Australian Wildlife Hospital (AWH) has treated over 80 different species found caught on barbed wire fences over the past three years. Of more than 800 individual animals, half were immediately euthanized and more than half were flying foxes, of which about 80 percent died, âthe press release said.
“Mr Holt would like to install a secure barbed wire fence around the entire block,” the statement said (apparently referring to the snail habitat protection area next to the new ring road), before continuing: “Asked about this, Mr Holt replied. “The danger to wildlife is unfortunate. It’s horrible. But I have a 6 foot fence around my house. This criminal climbed three to get in and out, the wire barbed wire is cheap and efficient, how are we supposed to protect ourselves against this?
Following receipt of this terrifying press release Echo contacted local Byron Bay police to confirm details of the robbery and criminal getaway.
âI can inform you that the police responded to a break and enter in Jonson Street, Byron Bay around 3 am this morning (Thursday July 29). Property was stolen from this location, including camping equipment and cash. It included knives and other items, âChief Detective Inspector Matt Kehoe said.
Police also visited a property on Butler Street shortly thereafter and spoke to a resident who reported a suspicious man in the front yard of his property.
âPolice have retained a number of items for forensic examination and it is believed the offender may have cut his leg.
âThe offender is described as being between 20 and 25 years old wearing black khaki chinos, a gray hoodie and a large backpack. The police investigation is ongoing and we ask anyone with information to contact Byron Bay Police or Crime Stoppers, ” he said.
“Regarding the other issues raised in the ‘press release’, the police do not support any of these claims,” ââhe said. Echo.