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Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

Byron needs more like Tom, especially now

Latest News

Fatal crash near Coffs

Three people have been involved in a horrifying crash today, leaving two dead and one in critical condition, police said. 

Other News

Rally in Byron against Gaza war

Locals are being called to join in a rally at Byron Bay this Saturday at 2pm calling on the Australian government to take action against the deaths of Palestinians in the invasion of Gaza by Israel. 

Embarking on adventure

The 2024 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to Brunswick Heads and the Picture House is calling all adventurers, thrill-seekers, and lovers of the great outdoors. With only two screenings scheduled for 23 and 24 May, tickets are selling fast.

Local Labor MP supports Future Gas Strategy

Climate research scientist, Joelle Gergis, has joined other scientists, academics, think tanks and economists in condemning federal Labor’s Future Gas Strategy, which was released last week.

Byron Rebels continue strong run in local rugby union

The Byron Shire Rebels put on 83 unanswered points against Lismore Rugby Club last weekend at Shultz Oval, capping...

Fastest billycart clocked at over 40km/h at Bangalow Billycart Derby

Sunday saw around 5,000 people head to Bangalow to enjoy the Bangalow Billycart Derby with Greg Nash, Bangalow Lions Club President, telling The Echo that it was a ‘glorious autumn day'.

He’s off, has been for years! And what’s a conspiracy amongst friends?

After ten years in Mullum I’ve relocated to the middle of an extinct volcano in Murwillumbah.

With former councillor and Byron Greens founding member Tom Tabart leaving the shire and moving to back to Victoria there will be a huge gap in the knowledge base of local issues, the functioning of council and local and state political history.

Tom was a Greens candidate for many state and federal elections and spent eight years as a Byron Shire councillor.

But many know of him through his prolific letter writing over the last quarter of a century.

When I asked him how many letters published, he guesstimated 300. A  great achievement!

For the many who encountered Tom, they know he was a fierce advocate for community rights and a fierce opponent of the wrongdoings of power.

What is often misunderstood about Tom’s public musings is that were usually the last resort, not the first. Over the years, some people have been annoyed and or frustrated at his intense focus and his sometimes acerbic style but I know that this emerged after his attempts to deal with matters away from the public gaze.

Having known him since 1993 I’ve been amazed at his boundless energy and political skills. Tom read Rachel Carson’s ’Silent Spring’ in 1970 and was inspired to study science.  As a scientist, an activist and a Green, he applied himself to every issue with an acute focus on achieving the best possible outcome with a precautionary principle approach.

His work as a councillor was detailed and determined, with many hours spent as a committee member focussing on sewerage, waste, transport, finances and governance issues, including code of conduct. He was responsible for many substantial outcomes. As a Brunswick resident he took a keen interest in the caravan parks and crown land, hence the recent disappointment with current circumstances.

As a Green candidate he focussed attention on the Pacific Highway upgrade and the unnecessary destruction of irreplaceable biodiversity, the trashing of our public forests and the madness of burning forest and sugar cane ’waste’ as green energy.

For me personally he was a loyal friend and confidant and I will miss him enormously. For shire residents, you will miss him too, even if you don’t realise, but he always had your back and Byron needs people like Tom, now more than ever.


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