23.9 C
Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Time to rearrange our priorities

Latest News

‘Hollywood’ drug squads over the top

I guess we have to thank Hollywood for the enduring myth that a black-clad squad of elite 'blokes', preferably with cool helicopters, from the capital are needed to crack down on really serious crime in hick parts of the country like Mullumbimby.

Other News

Letting the love light SHINE in Lismore

A discovery focused light festival in August hopes to attract locals and visitors to Lismore.

Cartoon of the week – 24 February, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Byron police assault trial could attract human rights law analysis

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault to continue facing trial.

Facebook fails

Adrian Gattenhof, Mullumbimby American spoilt brat Zuckerberg may have done adults around the world a great favour with his screamy...

Lennox Head thrash Ballina at cricket

A century by Jacob Fulwood helped Lennox Head second grade cricket team to a strong win over the Ballina Bears in the Coastal League last Saturday.

Last minute water park unsuccessful as Jack Evans Boat Harbour PoM approved

A last minute attempt by Councillor Warren Polglase (conservative) to introduce a water park as part of the Jack Evans Boat Harbour Plan of Management (PoM)at last nights Tweed Shire Council saw yet another ‘workshop’ set up for councillors to discuss the implications.

 Ilka Nelson, Ocean Shores.

In the past week we’ve seen major headlines about the fate of the environment – the World Bank warning of a 4C temperature rise and Tim Flannery reporting an increased rate in species extinction. Regardless of your political-socio-economic slant, whether you live on the land or in a flat by the seaside, we’re in this together. A globally sick environment will impact on all aspects of society, economy and culture 

The planning and zoning issues currently facing the shire are not unique to this bubble of paradise, from Perth in the west to Taranaki in the east, many communities are having to ask the same difficult questions: questions that are fuelled by a growing population, a thirst for development and an increasingly stressed environment

We’ve moved out of an era when we could answer these questions in isolation. While we still need to be responsive to local issues and experiences, we now also need to consider a bigger network of ecological, economic and social systems. Interestingly, the communities that are faring best are the ones that have harnessed this shift in thinking, in terms of opportunities.

For example, the recent debate over accepting multistorey development in heritage Mullumbimby is the same debate occurring in Perth: do we build up and change the character of our town or do we build out and develop more land – as the population swells this question will be revisited many times in the shire. Professor Richard Weller conducted a two-year research into the boomtown issue; his findings change the polarised debate into an opportunity for creatively re-organising our communities ‘to suit the challenges of the 21st Century’.

Across the Pacific Ocean, the Taranaki community recently signed an historic Biodiversity Accord. They approached their zoning issues as an opportunity to: share information between diverse interests; build partnerships between agencies, community groups and local people; and ‘establish a collaborative framework to better work together and identify opportunities for obtaining the best results from finite resources’. In the process, not only has Taranaki strengthened their community, they have actively future-proofed water sources and habitats for plants, animals and themselves!

At this time in history, a healthy future requires us to prioritise biodiversity and water systems over all other individual and collective interests. It is a big perspective shift for many and that’s understandable. If we see our situation in terms of systems thinking, the environmental crisis is an opportunity for strengthening our connection to each other and this beautiful part of the world!



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Local fisherfolk caught in the parking fine net

FIsherfolk have been caught in the net of parking fines designed to stop travellers parking up for the night on the Tweed Coast Road and they are seeking help to access their beaches at night without fines.

Family Court scrapped

Despite overwhelming opposition from Australia’s family law specialists and advocates, the federal Liberal-Nationals government and cross benchers scrapped the Family Law Court and subsumed it into the circuit courts last week.

Cavanbah centre gets a taste of 3×3 basketball

The Byron Beez basketball team in collaboration with the U League hosted a 3x3 tournament at the Cavanbah centre at the end of January that attracted 30 teams.

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault acquitted

Magistrate Michael Dakin has ordered a common assault charge against a former Byron-based policeman be dropped after an altercation involving a naked youth in Byron Bay three years ago.