11.7 C
Byron Shire
July 5, 2022

Be part of the solution

Latest News

After two-year delay Byron Shire gets to host the NSW junior golf championships

Ann Jang will be ready to defend her title this week. For the first time in almost 20 years, the...

Other News

It’s plastic free July!

Did you know that plastic packaging and single-use plastic items make up 60 per cent of all litter in NSW?

Trees Not Bombs gone but not forgotten

On Friday evening the space that was home for the Trees Not Bombs recovery café stood empty of its tent, pots and pans, makeshift kitchen sink and cups of tea and cake, but the most noticeable absence was the smiles and support of the volunteers.

Two confirmed cases of diphtheria in northern NSW

On Saturday evening the North Coast Public Health Unit confirmed that there was a case of diphtheria in a two-year-old child in Northern NSW.

Flood-prone land in Murwillumbah swapped for flood-free land 

It has been five years in the making but the innovative land swap of flood-prone land for flood-free land in Murwillumbah is underway with a second round of ‘expressions of interest’ about to open. 

Sport and gender

Olympic golden girl Cate Campbell claims to have wrestled long and hard with herself before passionately promoting a ban...

Australian-first Surf Series and workshops ends in Lennox Head on Sunday

It might be cold outside but that's not stopping women who love to surf and over 100 women and girls will participate in the first female event series in Australia on Sunday at Lennox Head.

While I totally support the good people marching against CSG mining, and am very appreciative of their efforts on behalf of us all, I also feel that it’s yet another campaign that isn’t addressing the core issues that our community, country and planet faces.

There have been many good people over the years who have protested for, well I was going to say ‘change’, but most of the time it’s a protest for basic sanity. It has been going on for as long as I can remember, and if it’s not one thing, it’s another: nuclear waste, war, chopping down old-growth forests, bailing out criminal bankers, uranium mining etc, and now it’s CSG.

With all of the struggle and effort in focusing on these peripheral issues, we sometimes see small victories here and there, but we don’t see any real lasting change, and most of the protests are largely ignored by government. The whole idea of government being elected for our collective best interest has been, and is repeatedly being, challenged, when governments have shown themselves to basically ignore the will of the people over and over again – with CSG and the Iraq war (where literally millions of people marched around the globe) just a couple of examples that come to mind.

Whilst I acknowledge that every bit helps, generally as a collective we have been constantly expending our precious energy on begging for mediocrity. ‘Please don’t allow our water to be poisoned’, ‘please don’t allow them to chop down ancient, oxygen-giving trees to make people’s gardens look pretty’, ‘please don’t go to war for oil on behalf of the US’, ‘please reduce the interest rate by 0.25 per cent so I can put petrol in the car this week’, ‘please reduce taxes so I have an extra $20 in my pocket per week’… and the list goes on.

The government have shown us that they are not here for the people; they are there to protect the interests of those who fund them, and to deliver the ‘infinite growth’ model that they are measured on, and while we give them our power and energy, they’ll keep abusing it, and ignoring us.

Its difficult to find any rationale to suggest that we live in an evolved society when ‘our leaders’ spend most of their time bickering amongst themselves like primary-school children, calling each other names etc, and yet these are the very souls who currently affect our daily lives with each decision made, and who currently hold our future and that of our beautiful community, country and planet, in their hands.

This is not a shot at any one person or people within the government, or at any particular political party or otherwise; I’m talking about marching for a system change and putting our collective energy into creating a new system that places human health and wellbeing at the top of the list. We deserve that, don’t we?

We live on an abundant planet; we should all be thriving, and spending our energy on helping and loving one another, making sure that everyone is looked after in mind, body and soul, creating an evolved and just society and then looking to the stars for exploration, rather than fighting ‘tooth and nail’ just to maintain clean drinking water, for example. For the majority, it’s a silent daily fight to keep ‘heads above water’, and that’s not even mentioning the billions in less fortunate countries that don’t even have enough food to eat each day, but that’s a whole other letter.

So, what does a human being need to survive and therefore create the conditions to then thrive? Clean water, clean healthy food, adequate shelter and love, all as a baseline. If the resources on our abundant planet were managed efficiently and shared equally, everyone would have this, without the need to be a ‘9–5 slave’, and then (on top of that) beg for our basic rights to be upheld. There would be a much healthier life/family/work balance for all. Almost every issue one can think of on our planet is directly or indirectly related to the fact that basic human needs are not being delivered, even though there are enough resources to achieve that (but our current system of competition with each other and of manufactured scarcity would have one believe otherwise).

As the world is waking up, and our collective consciousness increases, most of the governments of the world are steadfast in maintaining the old paradigm of ‘infinite growth’ at the expense of the planet and therefore the masses, and supporting an unsustainable system that is destined to collapse. I feel it is time for real change, and to address the core issues. I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t march against CSG mining, but I’d also love to see the awesome energy and enthusiasm of all of those good people who march and protest harnessed into creating a new system.

Do I hear you say, ‘Okay then smarty pants, so what’s the alternative?’ Well I don’t know for sure, but two documentaries come to mind that provide logical, well thought-out alternatives to the system we currently operate under, alternatives that place human health and wellbeing first, maintains a high standard of living for everyone on the planet, and nurtures our Mother Earth. Google: ‘Zeitgeist-Moving Forward’ and ‘Thrive’. There is also a ‘Thrive movement’ that provides a structure and tools to support people to come together in local communities around the globe to work towards real change: www.thrivemovement.com.

World peace, abundance and prosperity for all is not a privilege, it is our birthright, and is achievable if the riches of our abundant planet were equally distributed, and managed by wise and evolved leaders. I’d like to see us come together and march for that, as the rest of our peripheral issues, like CSG mining, I feel would magically disappear. Thank you for your time. All the best on your journey, and enjoy being exactly you.

 Andrew Forbes Smith,
Suffolk Park

Previous articleQueer and fruity film fare
Next articleCrystal Castle

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Well said! Thank you for writing about some basic truths some of us are aware of.
    I have watched Thrive and yes they have put a lot of energy in it. It’s frustrating that all we have is hope when the real power is in our hands.

  2. Yes Andrew, there are many more important issues that will greatly affect the planet and humanity, unfortunately the Zeitgeist and Thrive movies are full of unproven conspiracy theories and don’t offer many real, factual solutions (see the Thrive review on the main Transition Towns website)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Locals take points in first all-female surf event

Ross Kendall The Le-Ba Ladybirds won the final event of the inaugural, and Australian first, All Women’s Surf Series held at Lennox Head over the...

Community members needed for health advisory groups

Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) is seeking expressions of interest from community members to join health advisory groups.

Two whales simultaneously entangled in shark nets off SEQ coast today

Two whales have been entangled in shark nets on Queensland's coast today, one at Kirra Beach on the Gold Coast and the other at Marcoola Beach on the Sunshine Coast, Humane Society International says.

Will Byron become the Malibu of the antipodes?

Here’s another reason for millennials to be marching on the street. We found out last week that on census day 2021, 15 per cent of the dwellings in the Byron Shire were unoccupied (2,348 places to be precise). That figure was 30 per cent in Byron Bay itself, three times the national average.