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Byron Shire
August 11, 2022

Something in the air – and not in a good way

Latest News

Tweed Council refuse aged care facility Tweed Heads

The proposed aged care facility at Caloola Drive Tweed Heads (DA20/0712) was refused at the Tweed Shire Council meeting last Thursday.

Other News

Evans Head, Iron Gates DA public planning meeting coming

The current development application (DA) for the flood and bushfire-prone site of the Evans Head, Iron Gates development will go before the Northern Rivers Planning Panel (NRPP) on 30 August.

Bruns underground car park reconsidered 

Byron Council’s decision to approve a controversial mixed-use development in Brunswick Heads that would include the town’s first underground car park could be overturned at this week’s meeting, with a group of councillors moving a rescission motion.

Neanderthal vs. modern humans: Slow and steady wins the brain game

Our closest human relatives are Neanderthals and their Asian relatives the Denisovans. The differences between Homo sapiens and these other groups are encoded in changes to the amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins in our cells and tissues.

Beekeepers can get a permit to move hives away from flood water

With so many challenges currently surrounding the bee industry, it comes as a relief to many that NSW Department of Primary Industries will issue a special group permit for beekeepers in flood warning areas to move their hives to higher ground.

Tragedy of the commons

The tragedy of the commons refers to a situation in which individuals with access to a public resource (also...

Good news for the Sepik people

The proposed Frieda mine Papua New Guinea with its huge tailings dam, would be built on the Frieda River at the headwaters of the Sepik River – an earthquake-prone area – creating the risk of repeating one of the worst environmental disasters.

Anthea Amore, Byron Bay.

On Thursday July 28 my husband and I were walking on Brunswick Heads beach around 8.30am at low tide from the surf life saving club. The beach was busy with many beach walkers and dogs on such a beautiful sunny winter’s morning.

About 20 minutes into our walk, going south towards Byron, my we detected a chemical smell in the air. It was quite strong and distinctive. My husband (who happens to be a chemical free bush regenerator) said that it smelled like glyphosate.

We continued to walk for 15 minutes and eventually turned around and, as we reached the same spot, the smell returned.  We got back to our car and took a sip of our filtered water and my husband said, ‘what’s wrong with the water?’ It was bitter and tasted like chemicals.

As we drove home the penny dropped and we realised we’d been poisoned by the large plume of chemical spray drift. I began to notice my lips were burnt, like I’d been wind burnt (I hadn’t been in the bright sun or wind for weeks). This burnt lips sensation and redness lasted all day. My eyes were sore and itchy and my breathing felt slightly laboured and heavy. Our skin tasted like a very bitter, acrid, chemical and it was all over our face, feet, hair and clothes.

A very pregnant woman and school children were on the beach in the time the spraying occurred. There must have been close to 100 people using the beach in the 1hour 15 minutes we were there.

I rang council when I got home and they suggested that National Parks and Wildlife Service(NPWS) were currently spraying the Tyagrah reserve. I rang the local NPWS to find out if they were spraying and of course they were. I spoke to them of my experience and lodged a complaint and I wanted to warn them how far their spraying was drifting.

There were no signs of warning on the Brunswick beach but I was told by Nigel Stewart (one of the local rangers I spoke to) that they would now start to use signs on Brunswick beach. I do hope this happens as I was informed that this spraying would last months! I wanted to let the community know about this so people could avoid the beach for the next couple of months (or hopefully when the signs are put out on display).

Today they were spraying Metsulfuon. (Metsulfuron-methyl is an organic compound classified as a sulfonylurea herbicide, which kills broadleaf weeds and some annual grasses. It is a systemic compound with foliar and soil activity, that inhibits cell division in shoots and roots).

To find out more and when the National Parks and Wildlife are spraying call 02 66 20 93 00. I suggest all who are interested call them.

 


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1 COMMENT

  1. Good to see you raising concerns about the herbicide with Council. I am though curious that you sip filtered water. When my father, who was president of the Rous County Council at the time, brought reticulated drinking water in 1953 to Byron Bay and other places in the area, to give confidence to residents of the Bay he checked the water quality daily (he was a chemist). We always drank the water from the tap as did everyone else in the Bay. Are you aware that the quality of the water has declined since 1953, what is polluting it that you need to filter it, and have you raised this with RousWater. Surely it is their responsibility to filter the water rather than every individual having to do so? . ?

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Evans Head, Iron Gates DA public planning meeting coming

The current development application (DA) for the flood and bushfire-prone site of the Evans Head, Iron Gates development will go before the Northern Rivers Planning Panel (NRPP) on 30 August.

Council acknowledges desire for house relocations, buybacks and land swaps

Last night Lismore Council looked at House Relocations, Land swaps and Buy Backs when Councillor Adam Guise’s moved a motion that “Council acknowledges flood impacted ratepayers' desire for house relocations, buybacks and land swaps."

Bruns underground car park reconsidered 

Byron Council’s decision to approve a controversial mixed-use development in Brunswick Heads that would include the town’s first underground car park could be overturned at this week’s meeting, with a group of councillors moving a rescission motion.

Good news for the Sepik people

The proposed Frieda mine Papua New Guinea with its huge tailings dam, would be built on the Frieda River at the headwaters of the Sepik River – an earthquake-prone area – creating the risk of repeating one of the worst environmental disasters.