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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Climate fight begins at home

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As Byron Shire’s mayor jaunts off to Paris, France, for a climate change forum we might want to consider climatic issues closer to home.

For a council with the highest natural biodiversity in the state and approximately 75 natural reserves on council estate to look after, we have three staff bush regenerators on council to manage these sites with a variety of management issues. Basically they’re chasing their tails to keep up to weeds etc.

The council’s environment team leader position has been downgraded!

On these very important global, climate issues it’s maybe a time to ‘think globally, act locally’.

Mark Evans, Upper Burringbar


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  1. Couldn’t agree more. There is a lot of passive community effort that is not being utilised and with the small number of people who get out and remove weeds with-out herbicides ( see WHOs latest findings on Round-up ) there is very little vocal and public support from our so called leaders.

  2. This is shocking and sad and a betrayal of the community. Biodiversity protection and enhancement has been identified as a community priority of the Byron Shire for decades and we should all feel very proud of the work that has been done in the past and support the work that needs to be done in the future. In 2004 council adopted the national award winning Biodiversity Conservation Strategy that identified the long term plans for implementation of the commitment to be leaders in the biodiversity management. To do this, it was recognised that professional staff were essential to guide this process and provide support to community to be partners in making it a reality. Staff also have the professional role of informing all other plans and developments within the shire. To downgrade and or eliminate the crucial role of Environment team leader and the priority objective of biodiversity protection will undermine a defined community priority. The BCS was a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the ecological values of our precious shire and acknowledged that the task was a long term commitment, that had been identified through ongoing community consultation and support. I urge the community to question elected representatives and the general manager about any move to downgrade or eliminate the role of professional staff who implement our commitment and responsibility to being leaders in biodiversity protection. Perhaps they don’t get that you need professional staff to undertake such a vital role, that the years of study and experience that is required to fulfil such a significant position to enable the implementation of a community priority is crucial. Come on Byron, this is serious and it is within our capacity to continue our commitment to such an important objective. I cannot find any public reference to the councillors or the community being advised or consulted on this downgrading of our stated commitment. This downgrading of a staff position would not be tolerated for other professional areas such as engineering or management, it shouldn’t happen in this situation. If it does, we will see the failure of our long held commitment to be at the forefront of biodiversity management. Please don’t let this happen, don’t let this be done without the outrage that it deserves and then wonder why we continue to see the shire destroyed, it’s too important.

  3. we have an award winnng Bio Diversity conservation strategy which in term has won awards for its implimentation.Councils natural area team has repeatedly ,successfully , won large funding to protect the multitude of natural reserves it works dilegently to protect , My only beef with the natural resources dept is they don’t blow their own trumpet loud enough …but then they are probably to busy getting the essential work done to be brainstorming publicity. Many people probably do not know the extent of their responsibilies and their success in repairing damaged vegetation communities including helping volunteer dune care groups who also have large areas to manage. The feet on the ground management of our bio diverity ,as Mark Evans observes, is the very local part of thinking globally while the gestures and postures on the larger stage get the publicity the dedicated work in our greater backyard has been downgraded by being deemed unworthy of leadership. In a shire that trades as “Byron naturally’ with stunning natural assets , this is an outrage ….yes who the hell decided on our behalf that our local reserves were unworthy of an overseer?


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