• Byron Bay locals have told an upcoming "docusoap" about influencers in the area to "Netflick off". (Netflix/ Facebook: Mandy Nolan)Source: Netflix/ Facebook: Mandy Nolan
The Arakwal say the upcoming Netflix production 'Byron Baes' doesn't respect their community, cultural practices and values.
Keira Jenkins

11 Jun 2021 - 10:09 PM  UPDATED 11 Jun 2021 - 10:28 PM

The Bundjalung of Byron Bay Aboriginal Corporation (Arakwal) has rejected a donation from Netflix, following controversy over its upcoming reality television show Byron Baes.

The corporation said they don't agree with the nature of the series and the board of directors unanimously decided not to accept the funds being offered by the steaming giants and Eureka Productions.

"We were not consulted prior to the filming of Season 1 of Byron Baes or consulted before the production was announced," a statement from the corporation read.

"... We are not in agreement with the nature of the series concept as it does not respect our community, cultural practices and values."

'Respecting Country and Culture'

The Byron Baes reality series has been heavily criticised with local protests and a petition to deny filming permits attracting almost 10,000 signatures.

The petition calls for all levels of government to support the communities of Byron, Ballina, Tweed and Lismore, where the series is set to be filmed, to address issues like housing affordability, unemployment, environmental concerns and domestic violence.

"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 out local environment and community." it read.

The Byron Shire Council has also noted its disapproval of the production, passing a motion expressing "the possible reputational and social damage" the filming of Byron Baes in the region may have.

The Arakwal Corporation said they support the wider community in their opposition of the production and want to focus their work on protecting Country.

"Respecting Country and Culture, working together, caring for Country, strengthening our Culture and valuing our people," they said.

"Building trust and growing understanding for our people's story and cultural values is our priority.

"...Our focus is on the work we do every day in looking after our lands, our waters and our significant sites.

"We would like to be able to focus on this important work."

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