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Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

Seeing Australia’s real shame

Latest News

Local start-up brings you breakfast in bed

Breakfast is now a whole lot more luxurious with the recent launch of Le Petit Brekkie in the Byron Shire. Changing how we enjoy breakfast, Emma and Kevin, the team behind the business, curate fresh, locally sourced breakfast boxes to be delivered directly to their clients’ doors. With the tagline ‘breakfast in bed, delivered’, Le Petit Brekkie hopes to make the indulgence of a lazy lie-in even more tempting.

Other News

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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The New Resilience

Resilience is dead. The word has been overused. Some may say the word is no longer resilient. We broke it. It’s unfortunate because it was a really good word.

Policy not ‘housekeeping’

Heather Martin, Mullumbimby According to a report in The Echo (24 March), the planning staff’s proposed amendments to LEP 2014...

Sick to my stomach

Gabi Giacomin, Ocean Shores I cannot believe it! We have voted for a Green MP, a Green Council, we have...

Armed robberies in Northern Rivers

Police have been investigating two armed robberies this week, one in Byron Bay and one in Lismore.

Bayside, The Corso

Annie Radermacher, Brunswick Heads A clear description of the proposed development as presented to the public was of 37 boarding...

Last week Fairfax Media linked my 1999 pro-East Timor Parliament House graffiti, for which I paid $16,350 in criminal damages, to the Abbott government’s new anti-terror laws which, if made retrospective, could result in the loss of Australian citizenship for my children and me. (‘Citizenship could be stripped for wide range of offences under terror laws’, Sydney Morning Herald, June 25.)

To its great credit, The Echo published many letters and articles in support of the struggle for an independent East Timor against the tide of political opinion which was firmly on the side of Indonesia. In 1999 I joined 400 District Electoral Officer volunteers as part of UNAMET and was posted to Makadiki, Viqueque province. Outside the Catholic church Father Joseph translated our assurance that the UN would remain in East Timor whatever the outcome of the Popular Consultation.

I embraced a man who shouted: ‘Do we have to die again?’ as a token of good faith that the UN would keep its word, but on August 30 the police ordered us on board a helicopter because ‘there was going to be a bloodbath’. I am ashamed to say I obeyed.

After the UN left, the slaughter began, with flashing machettes cutting down villagers amid burning huts while the world stood by doing nothing. I drafted a petition from the Darwin RAAF base, calling on the UN secretary-general Kofi Annan and the prime ministers of New Zealand and Australia to urgently press for a UN peacekeeping force to be sent to Timor. This was signed by about 300 UN colleagues. There were no UN, ministerial or media responses.

Four colleagues and I reiterated the call for UN peacekeepers from the roof of Parliament House and I sprayed ‘Shame Australia Shame’ on the white marble wall in desperate hope that such an outrageous act would draw a positive response and at least express solidarity with the Timorese and show that they were not forgotten.

It is interesting to note that while Fairfax locked onto me as a possible victim of these fascist laws they could, instead, have focused on the 12 Australian Wheat Board executives who bribed the Saddam Hussein regime and were indicted by the 2005 Royal Commission which called for criminal charges to be laid against them. So far the Australian Federal Police have not acted!

Gareth W R Smith, Palestine Liberation Centre, Byron Bay

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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The New Resilience

Resilience is dead. The word has been overused. Some may say the word is no longer resilient. We broke it. It’s unfortunate because it was a really good word.

A man dead after boat capsizes on Ballina Bar

Police have confirmed that a man has died after a boat capsized at Ballina earlier today.

HuskeeSwap launches in Lennox

An exciting initiative to keep coffee cups out of landfill launched in Lennox Head yesterday. Ballina Shire Council is backing the HuskeeSwap program with free coffees at different cafes in Lennox this week, for coffeeholics keen to try a new solution to a growing problem.

Getting the right stuff in your bins in the Tweed

Tweed Council is asking residents to be more careful with what waste they put in which bin – a surprising amount of the area's refuse, both recycling and landfill, ends up in the wrong receptacle.