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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Chainsaw massacre

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Dr Matt Landos, East Ballina There is the real news and then there is the fake news. The radio news announced...

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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.

Da mountain

Gisela Stieglitz, Wooyung There is a perfectly good bitumen road going up a rainforest gully; it doesn’t even have potholes!...

‘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.

Ballina sludge a mixture of blue-green algae species

A reader has sent Echonetdaily some photos of what he described as 'something nasty and green coming down the Richmond River'.

Diane Hart, Mullumbimby

Council’s tree preservation orders are toothless tigers.

Witness this week’s scene: distraught, angry, frustrated and crying residents seeing a 20m, healthy Tallowood tree being brought down with crane and chainsaws in a neighbour’s backyard.

While Council states that no healthy, non-weed tree over 3m tall and/or 30cm in girth can be removed without permission they can’t actually stop this rampant land clearing.

Why? In 2013, in response to a spate of bushfires, a hastily cobbled together piece of legislation was brought in in NSW called the RFS (Rural Fire Service) 10/50 law. This states that anyone in a bushfire prone area (anyone outside of the city centre) can cut down ANY tree within 10m of a building and ANY shrub within 50m.

This law allowed this resident to remove this tree – home to black cockatoos, koalas, possums, gliders – a carbon-sinking, oxygen-pumping beautiful tree.

They may have had the legal right to do this, but not the moral or ethical right.

Surely our laws should reflect that we are important custodians of the living world around us. Guilt should be weighing heavily on this resident, the developer and Council staff who allowed this subdivision in the first place.


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