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Byron Shire
August 17, 2022

Aid agency misconduct claims may not stand up

Latest News

NSW Flood Inquiry released today

The NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet was in Lismore at Southern Cross University this morning at 11am releasing the NSW Independent Flood Inquiry where he accepted every recommendation put forward.

Other News

A little lift

After the loss of our public road during the February 28 deluge, some isolated residents have had to rely...

Bruns playground?

I have been fortunate to travel from Cape York Qld to Cockle Creek Tassie and as a grandparent always...

Mullum locals protest flood-prone pod site

Around 40–50 locals gathered outside the Byron Shire Council chambers this morning to highlight the risks of, and lack of due process around, the selection of the flood accommodation pod site in Mullumbimby.

Cabarita DA refused on character grounds

Tweed Shire Councillors refused a DA for a four-storey block of flats at 2-6 Tweed Coast Road, Cabarita Beach, despite the staff recommendation of approval.

Lismore Council votes against supporting Assange

At Tuesday's Council meeting Councillor Guise proposed a motion that Council writes to the Federal Government, Prime Minister and relevant Ministers denouncing the extradition of Julian Assange from the UK and urging the Prime Minister to make a public statement denouncing the extradition.

Old man shouts at cloud #3

At a beachside town a couple of years ago I saw a young couple dressed as Goths. Not as cathedrals in that style of architecture, or as members of an axe-wielding Germanic tribe, or as characters in an Emily Bronte novel (though that’s fairly close), but as the black-clothed, black eyelinered Emo youth of the 1980s and ‘90s.

Promotional photograph of Wilson Security staff (not Lee Mitchell).
Promotional photograph of Wilson Security staff (not Lee Mitchell).

Doubt has been cast on evidence used by the immigration department to kick nine aid agency staff working with asylum seekers out of Nauru.

A report from a government-commissioned inquiry into sexual abuse claims at the detention centre on the Pacific island nation is expected to be released soon.

It will also examine separate allegations Save the Children workers had fabricated abuse stories and coached asylum seekers to self harm.

The accusations against Save the Children staff were based on an intelligence report to the immigration department compiled by Lee Mitchell from Wilson Security.

It claimed workers had engaged in a broader campaign with external refugee advocates to cast doubt about Abbott government border protection policies.

In testimony leaked to the ABC, Mr Mitchell told the inquiry evidence in the intelligence report may not survive a court test.

He could not provide specific evidence asylum seekers were being coached to self harm but was 75 per cent sure the practice went on.

Mr Mitchell revealed the immigration department had approached him in the lead-up to the inquiry’s announcement saying “we’re interested in anything you’ve got on Save the Children”.

Allegations Save the Children staff had misused official information have also been referred to the Australian Federal Police.

A spokesman said police were still considering the matter.


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Lismore Councillors to collectively decide on new GM

The recent history of general managers in the Lismore Council has been nothing if not chequered. With a very politically divided council, the question of whether all interested councillors, or just a select few, should choose the new GM proved contentious last night in the Goonellabah chambers.

Byron’s Fletcher St welcomes new members

Fletcher Street Cottage has welcomed the arrival of three new community support workers to help the growing number of locals facing the challenges of homelessness.

Byron’s Mayor Lyon defends Mullum pod fiasco

Byron Shire Council Mayor Michael Lyon has defended Council’s handling of the ongoing Mullum pod accommodation debacle, telling The Echo that councillors requested, through a Council resolution, that Resilience NSW conduct consultation with neighbouring residents regarding the rail corridor works on Prince Street. 

Mullum, flooding and pods

In this region we are all, except for a few, living on floodplains or areas prone to further landslips. And as far as I...