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Byron Shire
June 15, 2024

Centrelink system is working: Tudge

Latest News

Housing waiting lists jump over 100 per cent for Northern Rivers

Crisis response needed from NSW state government as listings for priority housing increase over 100 per cent in multiple Northern Rivers regions.

Other News

New Australian Marbles Champion

After a five-year hiatus the battle for the title of Australian Marbles Champion again took place as part of the Old & Gold Festival held in Brunswick Heads last Saturday.

Tweed council call for young tree-huggers

The Tweed Shire Council is inviting high school students in the local government area to participate in the national Speaking 4 the Planet competition on the theme: Trees: the guardians of life. 

Interview with Nicki Parrott

After three decades of touring and performing in the US, Europe and Japan, acclaimed jazz musician Nicki Parrott is making a triumphant return to her homeland, bringing with her a new album Feelin’ Groovy – that pays homage to the iconic sounds of the sixties and draws inspiration from the carefree lifestyle of her new home in the Byron Shire.

AI’s invisible bystanders

In her Echo column last week, Mandy Nolan recommended literature for her daughter, including classics like Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. 

Indonesian street food at the Mullum Farmers Market

Rini and Ewan – should they ever find the time – don’t need to add new items to their regular menu.

Help save the Big Scrub rainforest with science

There is only one per cent of the Big Scrub rainforest in Northern New South Wales remaining. This has left what were once mighty rainforests now critically endangered and facing the threat of extinction because of a serious lack of genetic diversity.

centrelinkThe federal government is standing by its controversial Centrelink debt recovery system despite widespread criticism.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge insists the automated process is not flawed, saying more than $300 million worth of overpayments has been recouped.

‘The system is working and we will continue with that system,’ he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

The system has produced about 170,000 debt notices since July based on data from the tax office and that given to Centrelink.

But there have been numerous reports from welfare recipients that they’ve been mistakenly targeted, causing distress.

It’s led to calls from Labor and the Greens to scrap the scheme, which is being investigated by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Mr Tudge, however, said he wasn’t aware of anyone who was completely convinced they don’t owe money but have been given a debt notice.

‘There are three opportunities for individuals to update their records if a discrepancy is identified,’ he said.

He denied reports a man had to call Centrelink 350 time to try resolve his matter, but acknowledged wait times can be long on occasions.

‘Yes, sometimes people do have to wait longer than what they would like to wait. We simply ask them to be patient, that they will get through or they can go into a Centrelink office.’

Mr Tudge reiterated that if someone has deliberately defrauded the welfare system, they would be tracked down and could face jail time.


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Editorial – Should Mullum’s water remain locally sourced?

The push by members of Council’s Water and Sewer Advisory Committee (WSAC) to retain Mullum’s local water supply is heating up...

Relocalising to find the life we all dream of

Everywhere we look we see signs of economic downturn, environmental destruction and social breakdown. It’s easy to wonder how we can ever improve our lives and those of our kids.

Mullet fishers destroy dunes and native plants at Gawandii Beach, Shaws Bay

Locals and Tuckombil Landcare have expressed concerns over damage to the dunes at Gawandii Beach at Shaws Bay by fisher people who are accessing the beach for the mullet harvesting season. 

Flood-prone land subdivision DA on exhibition

A proposal by developer Callum Sked to subdivide flood-prone land near the Mullumbimby Showground is now on public exhibition on Council’s website until June 25.