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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Bigger than Franklin

Latest News

Charges laid after police pursuit at Murwillumbah

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District have been investigating several incidents of stolen motor vehicles from within the Kingscliff area over the past month.

Other News

Speeding traffic

In Suffolk Park there are a number of problems including getting out of Clifford Street onto Broken Head Road...

Bio-energy vs biodiversity

I thank The Echo for so clearly informing the readers of the ongoing concerns of Byron Bird Buddies and...

Cartoon of the week – 20 October, 2021

The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.

Reclaim Our Future koalas pay a visit to Federal MP

Today Extinction Rebellion Lismore will make sure the federal member for Page hasn’t forgotten about the black summer bushfires and their devastating impact on NSW’s koala population.

Teacher vax

Dear teachers and community members. I have recently received an email from within my school community that asks me...

Locals gathering to object to burning forests, plastic, foils, and tyres for energy at Condong sugar mill

A public protest is taking place this Friday meet near the Condong sugar mill, north of Murwillumbah, at the big fig tree on Tweed Valley Way on Friday, 22 October at 10am to object to the burning of trees and ‘forest waste’ by Cape Byron Power to generate electricity at the Condong sugar mill.

The Franklin River blockade. Photo www.wilderness.org.au
The Franklin River blockade. Photo www.wilderness.org.au

I was living in Tasmania at the time of the Franklin River Blockade in 1982 against the proposal by the hydroelectric commission to build a dam across the wild river. While I was not one of the brave souls out on the river in a flimsy rubber dinghy – the river itself was scary enough in flood – I supported the Wilderness Society, along with many others, in efforts to stop the ill-thought-out plan.

The conservation movement was well organised and many saw its activism as pivotal in bringing down the Fraser government at the 1983 election after Bob Hawke promised to stop the dam. There may be parallels with today in the fight to stop the monstrous Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, though this time Labor has thrown its support behind this atavistic anomaly.

In a wide-ranging article by Joshua Robertson in The Guardian last Saturday Galilee Blockade campaigner Ben Pennings is quoted as saying, ‘This is going to dwarf the Franklin blockade.’  The campaign may well do so, given the obvious folly of investing in fossil fuels in the age of climate change and its attendant sense of urgency, and the number of different fronts on which a well-rehearsed activist movement will come together.

As Robertson details, professionals such as lawyers will be supporting the new blockade, the burgeoning grey radical movement, exemplified locally by Knitting Nannas Against Gas, will manifest as Grandparents for the Galilee, and the proposed mine is on the traditional land of the Wangan and Jagalingou people – wanganjagalingou.com.au – who have been trying to stop the development through the courts. Not only Adani itself but the companies subcontracted to it will be subjected to lobbying and protest.

What’s there to like about the Adani proposal, apart from the mythical number of jobs quoted by Labor in its attempt to hang on to some of the Queensland electorate? It threatens environmental damage to some 400 square kilometres of inland Queensland and to the already at-risk iconic Great Barrier Reef. Its end-product will add a further burden to the planet in the form of global warming, and Adani’s record of pollution and corruption in India hardly bodes well for its activities here.

And at a time when India and China are throwing billions into solar and wind projects, it seems a special kind of folly for our federal government to be flicking a billion dollars Adani’s way. Economic reality, anyone?

The Galilee Blockade begins its digital activism at galileeblockade.net and also on Facebook. Local seasoned campaigners against fracking and the logging of northern rivers rainforest will be joining in. Anyone with a concern for the viability of Earth will most likely consider it a campaign bound to be bigger than the Franklin Blockade.

– Michael McDonald

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#BigBadBiomass – protesters reject burning trees for energy

North East Forest Alliance (NEFA) and the NSW Forest Defenders have thrown their support behind the protests against the burning of Biomass to generate electricity across Australia ahead of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP) 26.

Call to reject Evans Head Iron Gates DA over failure to recognise Indigenous heritage

Evans Head locals call for rejection of Iron Gates DA and recognition of the national significance of the site and its incorporation into the Broadwater National Park.

Chainsaw accident Ewingsdale

A 44-year-old arborist suffered a serious lower leg injury following a chainsaw accident at a Ewingsdale property yesterday.

New COVID cases in Ballina and Clarence Valley

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