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Byron Shire
March 27, 2023

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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

‘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. 

Ballina independent booed over domestic violence survivor-blaming

The independent candidate for the seat of Ballina has attracted condemnation for comments he made over domestic violence at a public forum last week.

New rugby joint venture rearing to go

The newly-formed joint venture that combines Bangalow and Byron Bay rugby teams is already paying dividends with big training...

Not a ‘bonanza for developers and land bankers’ as local councils lose planning controls?

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment were quick to respond to the article ‘A bonanza for developers and land bankers?’ published on 21 March 2023 on The Echo online ‘to correct the inaccuracies contained in your article’.

Harmony Week – Global Beats

On Saturday 25 March 2023, Byron Multicultural will celebrate Harmony Week 2023 with Global Beats Byron Bay – World Music Lantern Parade; a stellar lineup of music, dance and rhythms.

Swimmers take plunge for mental health

Swimmers took to Byron Bay pool and swam over 2000 laps to raise money to help improve services to...

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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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.