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Byron Shire
May 25, 2022

Off road

Latest News

Comment – National Party encumbrance a problem for Liberals in NSW too

There is no shortage of NSW Liberal MPs out in the media warning they could be next to fall in the push from independent candidates that saw a massive shake up of politics in Australia last weekend. 

Other News

Recognising 50 years of police service

When John 'Jack' Keough moved to Byron Bay police station in 1982 there was still a station sheep that kept the grass down and goats still roamed Cape Byron. Sargent Keough began his career in policing in 1972 when he walked into the Redfern Academy to join the police force. 

Suspicious house fire in Casino ends in charges

NSW Police say that man has been charged following a suspicious house fire.

Our sitting member

The sitting member for Richmond, Labor’s Justine Elliott, is aptly named because, as far as I have seen, that’s...

Lismore community

First let me say how incredibly proud, inspired and supported I feel as part of the Lismore and Northern...

The floods are leaving people homeless and families split

There was a housing crisis on the Northern Rivers, then we had the floods of 2022 and the issue has left increasing numbers of people homeless and struggling to find alternative accommodation.

More traffic disruption for Lennox Head

The traffic and parking woes of Lennox are going to get worse before they get better (maybe) with temporary diversions announced by Ballina Shire Council, which will be in place from Tuesday until December.

At Ballina Council’s February meeting I moved for an urgent report that would outline the current state of Ballina’s road network and explore funding options for increasing our road resealing program. Sad to report, this timely proposal was not supported by a single councillor.

Yet Council’s own engineering staff (April 2011) have reported that funding for the resealing program is insufficient. If road resealing is not done in time it results in the need for costly road reconstructions

One thing is clear: unless Ballina dramatically increases its road resealing program, and discontinues the practice of ‘contracting out’ its crew and equipment to complete private roadworks, our road network will continue to deteriorate.

The good news is that the NSW government has a mechanism for councils to borrow money at concessional interest rates for this specific purpose. Given that road reconstruction raises the costs to a shire ten- to twelvefold (up to 1200 per cent) we have to ask why this council isn’t exploring all the options to reduce this future cost burden?

Don Page, minister for local government, in a recent a press release highlighted the NSW government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme. He pointed out how it will ‘pay the first four per cent of the interest on loans that NSW councils take out specifically to pay for the maintenance of infrastructure projects such as roads’

Don also explained that ‘the Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme is a key aspect of the NSW government’s local infrastructure backlog policy’ and how it will ‘help NSW councils get on with the task of reducing the vast backlog of infrastructure projects in their communities’.

Ballina Council is currently not adequately funding and maintaining our existing infrastructure. Instead I believe it is diverting much-needed funds into speculative commercial property investments that are providing the community will a very low return on the funds invested. A much higher return is possible if these assets are sold, and used to attract grant funding for infrastructure programs. Present activities are deferring substantial costs for a future council and Ballina ratepayers.

Jeff Johnson, Ballina councillor

 


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Up to five times the average rainfall during 2022 in some areas says BOM

The formal record of the extreme rainfall and flooding was released today by the Bureau of Meteorology with some areas of south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales having five times their monthly average of rain. 

Recognising 50 years of police service

When John 'Jack' Keough moved to Byron Bay police station in 1982 there was still a station sheep that kept the grass down and goats still roamed Cape Byron. Sargent Keough began his career in policing in 1972 when he walked into the Redfern Academy to join the police force. 

The postal vote that never arrived

At 91, there are many things that you can no longer do, but one of the things you still can do is have your voice heard in an election – but not for at least one Byron Shire resident.

Vale big Jez, Mullum troubadour

The Mullumbimby community lost one of the founding fathers of its counter culture last Thursday, when Graham Chambers, better known as Jerry De Munga, passed away at his home with the love and care of wife Chrissy, family and close friends.