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Byron Shire
February 8, 2023

Biodiversity loss and our new government

Latest News

Iron Gates development in Evans Head land owners go into administration – again

The Iron Gates development, that is on flood- and fire-prone land near Evans Head, has been fought by the community for over 30 years. The current company that owns the site, Goldcoral Pty Ltd whose director is Graeme Ingles, has now been placed into administration.

Other News

The elusive ‘Drop of the Desert’ cocktail

Simon Haslam What does it take to produce the winning cocktail in a competition held in Byron in the middle...

New Lismore refugee support group starting up

A local group from the Lismore area, the Lismore Region Refugee Settlement (LRRS), have come together to support refugees settling in the area. 

A big month in the House

Back by popular demand is the Moontide Ensemble in their farewell show before heading overseas. The Moontide Ensemble returns to the Brunswick Picture House to perform their highly regarded audiovisual show. 

It’s not the fossils, it’s the fools 

Humans have been muddling along in cities for around twelve thousand years, says Wikipedia, although if you count using an alphabet of some kind as the criterion of civilisation, the time span drops to a mere fifty centuries.

A smorgasbord of flicks

This year’s smorgasbord of over 40 incredible short films are handpicked from a record 3,200 entries received for Flickerfest’s Academy® and BAFTA Qualifying short-film festival screened recently in Bondi, and Northern Rivers audiences are the first in Australia to experience the best of Flickerfest on tour. Highlights enjoying their Northern Rivers premiere include recent Academy® nominees and much-loved festival award winners alongside exciting, fresh, local talent.

Only nine weeks to Bluesfest and 18 new artists announced

Easter is on its way and that means Bluesfest is only nine weeks away. 

Recent research on biodiversity loss reveals that climate change is a ‘wild card’ a new challenge to Earth’s eco-systems according to the journal Science.

Global mapping reveals ‘unsafe levels’  of biodiversity across 58 per cent of Earth’s surface. Biodiversity loss is substantial enough to question the ability of many eco-systems to support human societies.

Key points addressed note that ‘safe limits are exceeded if less than 90 per cent abundance of original species or 80 per cent  of those species is retained.  The analysis found  average local abundance of species across the world was 84.6 per cent.

In all, experts say the study is a warning. As such this information is vital to all communities dealing with the threat of government policies dictating the felling of biodiversity. The health of all living organisms on Earth requires balanced biodiversity that are supportive of Earth’s eco-systems.

Habitat destruction has reduced the variety of plants and animals to the point that ecological systems could become unable to function properly with risks for agriculture and human health.

The unchecked loss of biodiversity is akin to playing ‘ecological roulette’ and will set back efforts to bring people out of poverty, scientists have warned.

Analysing 1.8 million records from 39.125 sites across earth, the international study found that a measure of the intactness of biodiversity sites had fallen below a safety limit across 58.1 per cent of the world’s land.

A site losing more than 10 per cent of its biodiversity is considered to have passed a precautionary threshold, beyond which the ecosystems ability to function could be compromised.

‘Until and unless we can bring biodiversity back up we are playing ‘cological roulette.’ (Prof. Andy Purvis, National History Museum and author.)

‘We are entering a zone of uncertainty’, Dr Tim Newbold, University College of London.

As we have noted the Turnball government has shamefully slashed CSIRO funding directly attacking the Australian scientific community.

Indeed, he has installed ‘Mr Coal – Josh Frydenberg as Environment Minister and Mat Canavan (‘science on climate change is less certain’ Minister for Resources.

Their conservative cousin, NSW premier Mike Baird, has attacked and weakened environmentally protective laws, thus aiding development and agribusiness and, of course into the mix in the north coast, we will read the world view of  the aged future eater and media tycoon, a guy named Rupert Murdoch, who drip feeds South Australian peoples with a very mind-numbing journal, The Advertiser.

Is it any wonder that social movements will continue to grow and rise up against climate deniers, mind numbing media tycoons and those creatures driven only by the profit motive?

Have hope always.

Jo Faith, Newtown

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  1. Aware people see Climate Change. We have an unaware planet of people who don’t see the changes that are happening all around us. Coast beaches are eroding, unusual warm winters appearing, and even warmer summers with shifting rain patterns. Human life is getting stronger and more numerous and animal and bird life weaker and less numerous. Tree numbers are dwindling and therefore less oxygen is in the air as they give off oxygen and store carbon dioxide as wood fibre.
    And we do nothing but cut down trees.

  2. There are more trees in Australia than when Cook arrived. Different trees certainly but more none the less. The entire world is greening (God help us, oh different greens, sorry), crop production is up thanks to Co2 levels which is now at 400 ppm , way short of the danger level at 5000 ppm. Look at your own Hinterland. The Tweed was largely weed free when Farming was the main occupation but now the area is overun over by millions of Camphor Laurels. No Len, Trees are not declining, the O2 levels are the same and Co2 wobbles as it has always done for the same reasons. Certainly Human numbers need cutting back. Maybe a “Soylent Green” solution. The Bird life getting fewer is certainly true. The Ivanpah Solar Energy Plant in the USA fries midflight 28,000 birds per year. Look in the sky, what is it, a bird, a plane. Nah, just another “streamer” as they call it.


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Far North Coast branch of NSW Farmers launches

The new NSW Farmers Far North Coast Branch, that will be representing farmers from the Tweed and Byron Shires, launched yesterday.

New Lismore refugee support group starting up

A local group from the Lismore area, the Lismore Region Refugee Settlement (LRRS), have come together to support refugees settling in the area. 

A tribute for Richard Moloney

Byron Shire has lost another of its colourful characters, the irrepressible Richard Moloney, who died suddenly but peacefully in his home at the end of January.

Flood rebuilds hampered by ‘like-for-like’ insurance clause

Attempts by flood-affected homeowners to retrofit their homes with flood-resilient materials are being cruelled by insurance companies and builders, a local resident says.