News

'Bring back the bong': protest

Bringabong manager Dionne May (front) with the Bringabong Babes during a dress rehearsal before this weekend’s Nimbin MardiGrass law reform rally.
Bringabong manager Dionne May (front) with the Bringabong Babes during a dress rehearsal before this weekend’s Nimbin MardiGrass law reform rally. David Nielsen

BRINGABONG’S thriving bong shop on Nimbin’s main street has called in the heavy artillery to protest against new State legislation banning the public display of all tobacco and smoking accessories.

For a business specialising in bongs, hookahs and smoking paraphernalia that employs 12 people, that pretty much means the end of business as they know it.

In the well-trodden tradition of Nimbin’s eclectic Ganga Faeries, the 20 lycra-spangled Bringabong Babes will be out in force during MardiGrass to bedazzle bystanders and raise support for their besieged business.

With their red and yellow super hero threads, created by Nimbin fashion designer Christine Chester, the girls bring yet another colour to the saturated rainbow smorgasbord on offer over the three-day festival advocating for cannabis law reform.

The Bringabong Babes are the brainchild of shop manager Dionne May.

“Ask any backpacker – Australians are known around the world as the biggest bong smokers,” she said.

Store owner David Hyett, who’s thriving five-year-old business has since expanded to two shopfronts, said the Bringabong Babes’ mission was simply to ‘bring back the bong’.

“Up until now the hookah was excluded from bong bans because of its cultural significance, but we consider the bong a cultural item – in fact, it is an Australian icon,” he declared.

On a slightly more serious note he warned the new legislation, which comes into force on July 1, would threaten garden accessories around Australia.

“We’re warning Australians to lock up their garden hoses and take out shares in Orchy before it’s too late,” he said.

“The way it’s going, soon you’ll need a licence to sell tobacco, which will give the big corporations the opportunity to control the market.

“By clamping down on smaller specialist suppliers, this patronising government is pandering to the beerbarons and pharmaceutical companies to supply the population’s need for stimulation, which puts more power in the hands of corporations.”

For a business that prides itself on providing 236 different types of cigarette papers – the biggest range available in Australia – Mr Hyett concedes he will have to make some changes.

“We’ll have to consider bringing in other drugs like coffee,” he said.

Meanwhile, across the street at the MardiGrass nerve centre, the Nimbin Hemp Embassy, volunteers were as busy as accountants at tax time untangling the glitches in the MardiGrass matrix.

“All these modern regulations and requirements like DAs have really got us organised,” said embassy president Michael Balderstone.

“I think every business and community group will benefit financially this year.”



Whale watching season is on in earnest

Humpback whales are being spotted off the Coffs Coast as they continue their migration north.

Number of migrating whales heading past Coffs Coast is increasing.

Suns get the 'W' in an overtime thriller

Jah Soloai scores two of his 36 points for the Coffs Harbour Suns against the Norths Bears

Poor shooting almost proved costly for the Suns.

Snappers win ugly in local derby

Coffs Snappers winger Riley Davis collects a high ball ahead of Hugh Churchwell of the SCU Marlins. MNC Rugby Union 27 May 2017 University Oval Photo: Brad Greenshields/Coffs Coast Advocate

Snappers coaches call for improvemnet after win over SCU Marlins.

Local Partners

National Sorry Day: Reflecting on testing times

CRANES acknowledged National Sorry Day at the Saraton Theatre on Friday with a film and talk by Paul Dutton, who was taken away from his family as a child


What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Petula Clark delighted to sing live for Australian fans

STILL TOURING: English singer Petula Clark is coming to Queensland.

English star Petula Clark still puts on a great show, even at 84.

Do you really know your road rules?

Cars travel around the roundabout at Villiers and Fitzroy Street. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

List of the top 10 most misunderstood road rules in NSW.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

BEN Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day in a joint announcement.

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Bello Winter Music warms up

Husky.

Cracking line-up secured for Bello Winter Music Festival

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Jetty views don't come any better than this

Property Camperdown St

The Real Estate Property Guide is online now

Kids will love living in this new Coffs Harbour estate

FAMILY FRIENDLY: This children's playground is the latest family-friendly feature of the Elements@Coffs estate.

Local land estate unveils newest family friendly feature

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

UPDATE: Details revealed on rural land rezoning

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into residential living

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!