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Byron Shire
November 28, 2021

Here & Now #35

Latest News

COVID update: a new Byron case, Aquarius and Community Support Accommodation

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there was one new case of COVID-19 was reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 25. This case is located in the Byron Local Government Area, a traveller from outside the region and e is not associated with the Aquarius Backpackers.

Other News

The inner game of truthmanship

A few weeks back 3AW’s Neil Mitchell asked our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, whether he’d ever told a lie in his public life, who incredibly (and seemingly incredulously) answered ‘I don’t believe I have, no’. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Coming out of the Cave

It was 2018, and in this crisis we witnessed the best that the world can be. We all watched in nervous anticipation as cave diving hobbyists from around the world became experts in a rescue never before attempted. It showed the power of collaboration for a higher purpose. It showed true courage; of the men who risked their lives in the complex underground maze of caves, of the boys who maintained the most incredible calm, and of the parents who never gave up hope.

Nesting boxes help keep wildlife safe

While many locals are being driven out of their homes by increasing rents and a shrinking housing supply, the dwindling forests of the region have created the need to increase Wildbnb – that is, nest boxes for the struggling wildlife.

Stop logging core koala habitat at Cherry Tree State Forest 

If it was private land it would be considered core koala habitat so why are the NSW government allowing Cherry Tree State Forest to be logged?

Tweed Council Greens ticket is seeking to build on the current strengths

Dr Nola Firth has taken the helm of The Greens ticket for the Tweed Shire Council elections on 4...

Keeping children out of prison the focus for Red Cross

How young is too young for a child to be imprisoned? The Red Cross says 10 is too young and wants to see the age raised to 14.

herenow35S Sorrensen

Golden Beach, Caloundra, Qld. Tuesday, 12.20pm

The beach is awful.

Okay, I don’t mind having a quick refreshing dip in the water. I don’t mind a slow vodka and tonic under a shaded verandah, watching the waves roll in. I don’t mind an evening walk with a lover, feeling sand between my toes. I don’t mind the smell of salt mixed with rotting seaweed. But sitting here, in the hottest part of the day, frying like a salted rasher of Not Bacon, is Not Pleasant.

New Year resolution: Stay out of the sun.

The children play in the water leaving sunscreen trails rainbowing on its surface. A jetski races past, noisy, pissing into the air, creating waves that the kids bob in.

It was not my idea to come to the beach in the middle of the day. I am but a humble visiting grandparent at the mercy of the decisions of the young. (Maybe it’s payback time.) I just go with the flow and hope there’s shade.

There’s no shade here. Well, there is, under a small casuarina, but another family group has claimed it with an esky and a huge beach ball. The man (who looks like he has just eaten a huge beach ball), the woman and the child sit in the sun, while the esky and an uneaten beach ball are nicely protected from melanoma. Wish I were an esky…

Across the water lies the northern tip of Bribie Island, which narrows to a spit. The spit comes very close to the mainland as Pumicestone Passage narrows to meet the sea. Two blokes stand in the water casting their fishing lines deep into the channel. One drinks beer from a can; one smokes a cigarette.

The Gubbi Gubbi people lived on Bribie. Some still do. The sea gave them all they needed. They made rafts and nets for fishing and some people reckon they even trained dolphins to herd the fish into the nets. For thousands of years they had a sustainable relationship with the sea.

And the sea was generous in its bounty. When Europeans came to Bribie they found giant shell middens which were special areas for the tribal people. So the Europeans, being Europeans, shipped the larger middens to Brisbane where they were processed for the lime and used as mortar in that town’s public buildings. Then they replaced the middens with Queensland’s first Aboriginal reserve.

Now, the dugongs are gone, the mackerel runs are history and radiation rides the ocean currents. The sea is becoming as empty as a politician’s promise.

New Year resolution: Do not swim in the sea (or trust a pollie promise).

I should put my shirt on, but I can’t stand the idea of putting a shirt on my salty, burning back. Oh dear. Wish it would rain.

Watching my children playing with their children in this aquatic playground should make me feel happy. And I am. (Except for the sun, salt and sand thing.) But an ominous feeling passes over me like a shadow. (Shade? I wish.)

A Hobie catamaran races towards us on a beam reach. The three on board with brand new lifejackets and wetsuits execute a smooth tack and race back towards Bribie.

The year has ended. Twerking became a word and decency disappeared from language as virtual distractions took up even more of our lives while governments forfeited governance to fat corporations gleefully gouging resources from land and sea like a toddler with a spade in wet sand.

Estuaries dredged, reefs silted, fish stocks gone and Fukushima cannot be stopped.

I feel awful.

Discarding my former resolutions, I run to the water and dive-bomb my grandchildren, frightening them.

New New Year resolution: Prepare the children.

 


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