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Byron Shire
March 22, 2023


Latest News

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Vape Culture

Tobacco companies are in your home and in your school. They are quite possibly in your kid’s school bag. They have their sights set on your children; your precious kids are their future. They need to groom your babies into addiction so that their shareholders can continue to suck in their grubby toxic profits. The lips of the tobacco industry are on the soft fleshy cheeks of your babies and they are sucking hard. They are vaping the life out of your kids.

Other News

A bonanza for developers and land bankers?

The NSW Planning Rezoning Pathways Program will service the current agendas of developers and land bankers throughout Tweed Shire, particularly the State Significant Farmlands of Cudgen Plateau.

Labor’s Craig Elliot commits to SSF and keeping old Tweed Hospital site open

Talking state significant farmland (SSF) and the Tweed Hospitals Labor’s Craig Elliot has committed to preserving SSF, free parking at the new Tweed Valley Hospital (TVH) and keeping the old Tweed Hospital in public hands. 

Saffin MP’s community election commitments

Sitting Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin, has announced election commitments aimed at what she says is making local communities safer, keeping public schools open, protecting our natural environment, and removing a costly regulation from one local government area.

NSW Greens MP defends Nats smear

NSW MP Tamara Smith (Greens) has defended a political post on Facebook by Nationals candidate Josh Booyens. Booyens claims Smith...

Lismore candidate Alex Rubin

With just a few days until we head to the polls, The Echo asked the candidates for the seat of Lismore one last bunch of questions.

AJP’s Susie Hearder

Animal Justice Party (AJP) candidate Susie Hearder responds to The Echo’s questions on building on State Significant Farmland (SSF),...

Water course

Richmond Valley Council (RVC) also gets some of its water supply from Rous with supplements from the Richmond River and a bore near Woodburn, a fact not mentioned in Phil Silver’s comment on water supply for the region (No Dunoon Dam: Water Chief 3 Nov).

Sadly Richmond Valley Council, like other councils in the region, does not harvest water from its sewage treatment plants (STP), even though it promised to do so and the technology’s available.

The Woodburn-Evans Head Golf Club spent heaps of grant money on a system for dual reticulation of water from the Evans Head STP on a council promise that it would put in dual pipeline while connecting up Woodburn to the Evans Head plant.

But RVC failed to lay the pipe, without public explanation, even though it would have been a cheap and sensible option and a big help to deal with the perennial effluent disposal problem that has plagued Evans Head for years.

Council is planning to dump the effluent into the Evans River instead, a ‘no-no’ in terms of its impact on the river and the surfing beach, an impact demonstrated by the local community’s water group years ago.

This is the same council that dumped partially treated effluent containing tonnes of nitrogen and phosphorus (read: fertiliser) into Salty Lakes in Broadwater National Park, and still continues to do so with terrible consequences for the lake system.

The Environment Pollution Authority, sorry Protection Authority, sits on its hands and goes along with ridiculous proposals put to it by Council when there are obvious community-supported and scientifically-based proposals begging to be implemented.  Time for the EPA to lead rather than follow.

The millions of dollars Council’s spent fluffing around with outrageous deep-well injection, irrigation of effluent on our aerodrome with damaging consequences for the local environment and heritage infrastructure, and ocean outfall proposals could have been spent on effective dual reticulation and water harvesting.

Council might claim a ‘yuk factor’ in all of this but it’s drawing water from the river at Casino which contains effluent from Kyogle, so clearly there’s no problem.  The public just doesn’t know.

Despite the clearly demonstrated benefits of ‘demand management’ there comes a point where you can cut no more.   Before we get there we need to ask hard questions about the ‘carrying capacity’ of the land and look at limits to unfettered growth.  Do we have too many sheep on the paddock already? Earlier planning documentation A region of villages shows we are past the carrying capacity of the land on the Far North Coast.  The Rous and public narrative regarding water needs to shift to this bigger picture question.

Yours sincerely

Dr Richard Gates


Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Committee Inc

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