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Byron Shire
February 3, 2023

Labor examines party’s history on environment

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A scene from David Bradbury’s film Loggerheads. Photo Frontline Films

How can community movements work with progressive governments to achieve real outcomes for the environment?

That’s the question former Carr government environment minister Bob Debus and long-time North Coast activist Dailan Pugh will debate in an event being presented by the Labor Environment Action Network and Ballina candidate Asren Pugh on Friday evening (November 16).

The pair will appear ‘in conversation’ at Byron Community Centre following a screening of Loggerheads, by local filmmaker David Bradbury, about the local struggle for our forests.

Dailan Pugh, who was recently inducted into the Nature Conservation Council’s Hall of Fame, is a local environmentalist best known for being a founding member of the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA).

NEFA was formed in 1989 to bring together community groups and individuals with the aim of protecting rainforest, old-growth, wilderness and threatened species. Throughout the 1990s NEFA ran a campaign of forest blockades, rallies, court cases, submissions, lobbying and negotiations to achieve their aim of protecting the forests of North East NSW.

It was not until the Carr Labor government was elected in 1995 that there was significant progress in permanently protecting some of these precious forests.

Bob Debus was NSW environment minister between 1999 and 2007. He held a front row seat, as a member of cabinet and ministerial decision maker, as the public fights and negotiations continued in the efforts to protect the forests of north east NSW.

Dailan and Bob worked in very different roles to bring about the current forest protections we enjoy.

How did NEFA balance working with and sometimes against a progressive government to achieve tis outcomes?

And what do we need to do today to ensure that if a Labor government is elected in NSW it will continue to protect our environment?

If you want to find out the answers to these and other questions, don’t miss this panel discussion and screening of the film Loggerheads.

Where: Cavanbah Room, Byron Community Centre.

When: 6:30pm Friday November, 16.

Tickets: $20 at the door.


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