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Byron Shire
October 8, 2022

Could the Northern Rivers be the next Dengue hotspot?

Latest News

It’s Ageism Awareness Day

It’s Ageism Awareness Day and the peak body for older Australians, the Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia, say we must all take action to address the scourge of ageism –  stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.

Other News

How to weave yarns and community this weekend

Beginner and advanced basket weavers have a chance to develop their skills under master tutelage this weekend in Ballina with thanks to the Northern Rivers Community Gallery.

$700,000 on offer to Northern Rivers charities

With the key focus areas of health, young people and social wellbeing Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has $700,000 available to not-for-profit and community groups.

Oliver’s happy hens

‘If you can look after fifty chickens’, Oliver tells me, ‘you might as well look after 500.’ In between...

Lismore at the HART of helping transport needs

It is challenging enough when you need to get around to medical appointments let alone if you don’t have access to transport. 

Flood-affected youth film screening tomorrow

Flickerfest and One Vision Productions have joined forces to facilitate a workshop and free film screening that has brought flood-affected youth together to tell their stories.

The Tweed Artisan Food Festival is almost here

The sixth Tweed Artisan Food Festival will be held at the end of the month – the festival runs for 10 days with 20 curated events showcasing the people, the place and the produce of the Tweed.

Dr Cameron Webb (second from left) and Tweed Shire Council Environmental Health Officer, Kelly Piazza, talk to Pottsville homeowners Bernie Petry and Di Ridoutt about the importance of removing containers and other items that can hold water, to stop the spread of mosquitoes. Photo TSC

As climate change gathers pace, the Northern Rivers could be at a high-risk for invasion by the exotic mosquitoes responsible for Dengue fever due to our proximity to Queensland.

While there are no Dengue mosquitoes in NSW yet, there is potential they could arrive as adults, larvae or eggs from overseas or far north Queensland, where they spread Dengue and other serious diseases.

While there are few ways of stopping the spread of these potentially lethal creatures, there are steps we can all take to prevent mozzies could be breeding in our backyards, courtyards and balconies.

An inspection of 300 backyards in Pottsville and Tweed Heads West in December last year found at least 94 per cent of properties had a least one water-holding container.

Tweed Shire Council Environmental Health Officer Kelly Piazza said habitat inspections revealed that there are abundant opportunities container-inhabiting mosquitoes in the region.

‘Pot plants, buckets and bromeliads were the top three actual and potential container-inhabiting mosquito habitats,’ Ms Piazza said.

‘Even an upturned soft drink bottle lid can contain enough water for mosquitoes to breed – mosquitoes that could be carrying serious diseases.’

Citizen scientists

A new online survey is asking Northern Rivers residents to become ‘citizen scientists’ by counting the number of water-holding containers in their backyards to provide valuable information on breeding habitat in our region.

Dr Cameron Webb from NSW Health Pathology and University of Sydney spent today inspecting local backyards and setting up mosquito traps as part of the project.

‘The important thing about this project is building capacity among the local authorities to be able to better respond to increased mosquito risk and at the same time educate the community to be mindful that it’s not just mosquitoes in the nearby swamps that are the problem, it’s the ones in suburbs and backyards as well,’ Dr Webb said.

‘Everyone can play a part by looking around their backyards and being aware of where mosquitoes might be breeding and take the opportunity to tip them out, cover them up or throw them out.’

If you live in the Northern Rivers, complete the quick survey online and you could win an iPad valued at $425. Check it out at as well as further information on Tweed Council’s website. The survey closes on 23 March 2018.

The data collected through the project will help local government to plan for and prevent the establishment of exotic invasive mosquitoes in the future and the development of Northern Rivers Mosquito Control Plan for the region.

The plan is as part of a $58,400 grant for building resilience to climate change received by Tweed Shire Council from the NSW Government and supported by Local Government NSW. Participating councils include Tweed, Ballina, Byron, Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley, along with the North Coast Public Health Unit and NSW Health.


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Norco set for rebuild but what about other businesses?

While the community digests Tuesday’s news of Norco’s Lismore ice cream factory’s rebuild, Norco Chief Executive, Michael Hampson wants to stress the importance of the plight of all flood-affected Lismore businesses including small and medium size ventures.

Flood-affected youth film screening tomorrow

Flickerfest and One Vision Productions have joined forces to facilitate a workshop and free film screening that has brought flood-affected youth together to tell their stories.

Eco Festival bringing Tweed residents together to get climate-ready

The Eco Festival, to be held in Murwillumbah, aims to bring Tweed residents together for a fun, free event with practical tips to help residents prepare to be climate-ready and environmentally friendly.

More pieces added to New Italy’s history

Dr Pol Dalmau, will visit the New Italy Museum on Sunday to talk about the Spanish archives with information about the Italian families who settled in the town from 1882.