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Byron Shire
March 27, 2023

Wonderful Wondai

Latest News

Janelle Saffin holds the seat of Lismore

Janelle Saffin is in the lead for the seat of Lismore after yesterday's state election. Although preroll and postal votes are yet to be counted, it’s hard to imagine Saffin’s position changing.

Other News

Janelle’s four year road to the 2023 vote

Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of Janelle Saffin's win in the seat of Lismore and with not a minute to celebrate, Saffin spoke to The Echo about the 2023 campaign.

‘After Disaster’ film and live concert, March 27 

Working with kids from both The Pocket Primary and Upper Main Arm Primary in the aftermath of the 2022 floods, Janet Swain saw a need to support these kids, many of whom had experienced the full force of the floods and landslips, not once, but twice. 

Tamara Smith returned to Ballina’s Greens seat

Last night a packed Suffolk Park Hotel exploded with cheers at around 8pm when the ABC broadcast computer popped up a Green result for Ballina and the return of Tamara Smith to the seat she has held for the last eight years.

Election 2023: Crystal ball gazing and hot tips

In a tight election, with many predicting a hung parliament, all eyes are on Sydney seats to see if any Teals can wrest seats from Liberals – and can Labor regain an inner Sydney seat from the Greens?

Lismore incumbent – Janelle Saffin MP

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.

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.

Mandy Nolan has ruffled a few feathers in our local town! Wondai is not dead, nor is it close to dying! There is always a hive of activity that to someone who has lived in the city/coast area might not seem as busy, but the underlying dynamics are just as strong!

At Wondai everyone is friendly, willing to help out a fellow local or a complete stranger just passing through. We may not be the largest town in the shire and we may not have grown the way Kingaroy has, but ask anyone that lives there and we are thankful about that! Who wants every town to be a city!

I know for some it is a matter of convenience to have everything they need within a 5-minute drive, but the local IGA is open seven days a week, there is a 24-hour self-serve fuel stop and as for the pool closing for lunch… well who wants to swim in the middle of the day when it is at its hottest and the UV rating is high? As well as this we have fantastic health services and P–10 school, among other facilities.

Some of the old shops may have closed, but as it is with life, when something dies another is reborn, and we have a number of new businesses in the town.

I was born in Wondai, lived there for my primary school years, moved away for a while, but came back and am living 25 minutes from town. My parents still live in our family home and my children went to the Wondai kindergarten. There are a number of community groups running, along with the timber museum, art gallery and local sporting and interest clubs.

It is a beautiful town that is well maintained by the local council. The streets are always clean and the gardens lovely (though at times a little dry, but when water restrictions are imposed everyone must comply).

I urge anyone who has not visited our town to do so as it is not desolate and dying, but buzzing with life and friendly faces ready to welcome you in. And yes we will have some wildlife around, but I have not often heard of them planning attacks on our visitors or locals. We are in the country after all!

As for the author of this piece… I hope that you may return when you are in a happier frame of mind. Maybe then you will see the roses blooming and not just the thorns.

Thank you for reading.

Natalie Thomas (nee Biltoft)

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Will Provest win the Tweed seat over Elliot?

It appears that Tweed MP Geoff Provest will retain the seat of Tweed but there are still plenty of votes to be counted.

Tamara Smith returned to Ballina’s Greens seat

Last night a packed Suffolk Park Hotel exploded with cheers at around 8pm when the ABC broadcast computer popped up a Green result for Ballina and the return of Tamara Smith to the seat she has held for the last eight years.

Rosebank’s Rainbow Temple referred to the Land & Environment Court

Lismore City Council say they have referred the Rainbow Temple in Rosebank to the Land & Environment Court after the owner repeatedly declined to submit a Development Application and associated documentation for the development.  

Solé’s on a mission to help local dingoes

A local advocate wants to tear down the myths about dingoes, and stop their treatment as wild dogs, which she says they are not.