26.1 C
Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Could Optus tower near nature reserve impact birdlife?

Latest News

‘Hollywood’ drug squads over the top

I guess we have to thank Hollywood for the enduring myth that a black-clad squad of elite 'blokes', preferably with cool helicopters, from the capital are needed to crack down on really serious crime in hick parts of the country like Mullumbimby.

Other News

Archibald has knock-on effect in Murwillumbah

The Tweed Regional Gallery is hosting the Archibald Prize and local business people say the event is giving the town of Murwillumbah a significant economic boost.

Will Ballina Council live up to its promise?

A motion from Cr Jeff Johnson to be tabled at Ballina Shire Council's meeting this week will ask the council to live up to its promise to act on the climate emergency, and divest from fossil fuel investments.

Cult Covid

John Scrivener, Main Arm A careful analysis of Cult Covid must clearly distinguish between four separate and distinct yet interconnected...

Cartoon of the week – 24 February, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Police confirm Main Arm drug operation

NSW Police have finally confirmed what pretty much every one in Main Arm already knows – they are conducting drug operations in the north of the Shire.

Wonderful Council

Raphael Lee Cass, Byron Bay I went for a swim at Belongil Beach the other day and was shocked to...

Gary Opit and Carmel Daoud, Wooyung.

After reading Fast Buck’s letter (Echo 11 April) entitled Denying public voice, that stated, ‘Staff are currently proposing changes to public access,’ we found ourselves in need of addressing Council at the 19 April Ordinary Meeting.

Concerned after reading the Statement of Environmental Effects for a proposed Optus telecommunications facility at 2 Jones Road, Wooyung, dated August 2017, we found no assessment of potential impacts from emissions of electromagnetic radiation on dozens of threatened and migratory faunas recorded using the Jones Road wildlife corridor and listed in the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the EPBC Act 1999. An additional report dated November 2017 did include a passing reference to electromagnetic radiation which stated; ‘With the construction of the telecommunications tower some potential for emissions of electromagnetic radiation may result during the operational phase.’

We grew further concerned when we read the Byron Shire Council Staff Reports – Sustainable Environment and Economy 13.14, stating that it raised no significant issues and recommended it for approval. After our five-minute address alerted Councillors to these facts they voted to defer the DA until the situation is examined more closely by Council ecologists. Dozens of scientific studies examining electromagnetic phone tower radiation effects on wildlife show disruption to bird and insect orientation and migration and direct increases in wildlife mortality causing serious declines of fauna populations. This research has huge implications for the natural world, now exposed to high microwave radiation levels from a multitude of phone towers. The situation is rapidly escalating as we go from 3G to 4G and 5G increases of electro-magnetic radiation.

With 99.7% of warm moist lowland forests gone and pitiful remnants of 0.3% still left intact, this last wildlife corridor is of critical importance. It allows essential migration during the winter months when food resources at high elevations are minimal in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Mt Warning Caldera rainforests. The corridor was Byron Shire’s main Koala stronghold and this iconic species 5 years later is now declared almost extinct by Council ecologists throughout the nature reserves all the way to the Brunswick River. The wallabies, bandicoots, possums, gliders, most species of birds, reptiles and frogs have also declined rapidly over recent years.

Whether phone towers effect wildlife is difficult to know, perhaps their impacts are minimal. Deputy Mayor Basil Cameron questioned when these minimal effects from all the developments in and adjacent the last wildlife corridor combine to produce major effects. Are these parts of the reason why visitors to Byron Shire’s national parks and nature reserves hear only eerie silence, where not long ago they were delighted to hear orchestras of bird song music?

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Could Embark wind farms impact birdlife? We know they do because of the vortices. Environmentalists are good at beginnings and bad at endings. And if you think Embark is some cosy little local community group then look them up.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Local fisherfolk caught in the parking fine net

FIsherfolk have been caught in the net of parking fines designed to stop travellers parking up for the night on the Tweed Coast Road and they are seeking help to access their beaches at night without fines.

Family Court scrapped

Despite overwhelming opposition from Australia’s family law specialists and advocates, the federal Liberal-Nationals government and cross benchers scrapped the Family Law Court and subsumed it into the circuit courts last week.

Cavanbah centre gets a taste of 3×3 basketball

The Byron Beez basketball team in collaboration with the U League hosted a 3x3 tournament at the Cavanbah centre at the end of January that attracted 30 teams.

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault acquitted

Magistrate Michael Dakin has ordered a common assault charge against a former Byron-based policeman be dropped after an altercation involving a naked youth in Byron Bay three years ago.