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Byron Shire
April 10, 2021

Council honours locals on World Environment Day

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Local World Environment Day award winner Jeanette Martin in the Mullumbimby Community Garden where she volunteers up to 60 hours a week. Photo Eve Jeffery.

Eve Jeffery

The United Nations’ World Environment Day was held last Thursday across the globe. The event is intended to encourage worldwide awareness of, and action for, the environment.

The theme for the 2014 World Environment Day was ‘Raise Your Voice Not The Sea Level’, with the focus on small islands and the effect climate change will have on them.

Byron Shire Council took the opportunity to celebrate the efforts of local people who help to sustain our environment.

Eleven organisations and individuals were presented with awards over five categories, out of a total of 21 nominations.

Award winners  included Santos Organics, Jeanette Martin (Mullumbimby Community Garden), Brunswick Valley Landcare, Friends of the Koala, Jeanette and Volker Krohn (environmental caretakers), Ocean Shores Country Club, Bytes of Byron Dentist, Dieter Horstmann (Byron Eco Park), North Byron Parklands, Dr Arne Rubinstein (Rite of Passage) and Byron Regional Community College.

At the ceremony mayor Simon Richardson said that World Environment Day is an opportunity to stop and think about how we live, our actions and the changes we can make.

‘Change is a collective effort and all of us can have a role to play. It’s the everyday little things that amount to behavioural and environmental change.’

Jeanette Martin – Photo Eve Jeffery.

Award winner Jeanette Martin says she volunteers about 40–60 hours a week as the principal coordinator of the Mullumbimby Community Garden. ‘My job is to keep everybody talking to each other’, says Jeannette.

‘It’s my life. I love seeing people come together and working together to create.’

Jeanette says that people who are involved in the garden not only develop their own skills, they also learn and teach each other. Fresh food is a bonus.

‘Making salads straight from the garden for people who have only eaten supermarket lettuce, that’s the mind-blowing experience.’

Find out more about the winners on Council’s website at http://bit.ly/WEDwinners.

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  1. The value of the World Environment Day awards is significantly diminished when one notes the award to North Byron Parklands (Yelgun festival site). Many years after purchasing the site [there is still a compliance issue for the current owners regarding] a court order that they took on from the previous owner to rehabilitate the riparian vegetation along Yelgun Creek within the property. Similarly the festival organisers appear unable to control the noise levels or properly study the effects of the festivals on the environment. Planting numerous trees with the assistance of many volunteers and government funding does not negate the environmental degradation that is inevitable. The site is a biological hotspot within the northern river area which is itself a biological hot area. Sorry but I can’t equate environmental awards going to a development group that places 25,000 people into a state recognised wildlife corridor linking the caldera World Heritage areas with the coast!


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