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Byron Shire
March 1, 2024

Something in the air – and not in a good way

Latest News

Investment fraud charges – Gold Coast

Detectives from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group have arrested and charged five people in relation to an alleged ‘boiler room’ investment fraud operating on the Gold Coast.

Other News

Appeal following attempted abduction – Tweed Heads

Investigators are appealing for public assistance as investigations continue into an attempted abduction in Tweed Heads at the weekend.

Doing it for Dunkley

The eyes of Australia turn this week to the electorate of Dunkley in Victoria, historically the site of the Frankston riot and just down the road from where Harold Holt disappeared. Now it's the location of an all important federal by-election.

Marching in with a bang!

Get your party pants on as Nudge Nudge Wink Wink marches in with a bang this Saturday. Arrive early and leave late! Two incredible guest DJs join the Cunning Stunts residents in the Shed.

4,000 failed

I attended the flood forum held at the Ballina RSL last Monday and was aghast to hear some of...

Clothing-optional at Tyagarah Beach

I am writing to object to Byron Shire Council’s intention to revoke the clothing-optional status of Tyagarah Beach. I grew...


Council’s excuse for letting the bulldozers into the Wallum site is that it will lose in court and waste...

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. 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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