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Byron Shire
May 19, 2024

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Latest News

Brunswick 30 has been delivered to Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour

Following successful sea trials at Yamba the Brunswick 30 was delivered to Brunswick Heads Boat Harbour on Wednesday, May 15. 

Other News

Main Arm roads

Dear Tamara, I was at the meeting last night where we heard of Byron Council’s frustrations with the NSW...

National Service

I have to say that having been conscripted into the army in 1970 I couldn’t disagree more with Peter...

What’s on the Byron Council agenda for May 16?

Items before Council’s meeting on May 16 include a push by two Greens councillors to make Byron Shire beaches accessible to people with disabilities.

Domestic violence

It has occurred to me that as many women who experience domestic violence are forced to flee their homes,...

Coexistence

Thank you to all in the community from both sides of the conflict that have thanked me for my...

New Tweed Valley Hospital opens today

The controversial new Tweed Valley Hospital opened to patients at 8am this morning.

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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Editorial – Just another unjust moment in history

Justice has been served and it’s a shit sandwich: whistleblower David McBride is now the first person to be sentenced to jail in Australia for reporting war crimes.

What do young people want and what do they think needs to change?

The ‘Your Voice, Our Future’ survey has been launched and is asking young people to put forward their views on what is important to them. 

Conciliation meeting over Broadwater floodplain development terminated

Richmond Valley Council refused a development application for a 60-lot residential development on flood-prone land on Rileys Hill Road, Broadwater, close to the Richmond River in October 2023. 

Pickleball takes Alstonville by storm as new courts open

Alstonville now boasts tournament-standard pickleball courts that opened to an enthusiastic crowd and players last Saturday despite the rain.