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Byron Shire
March 30, 2023

River health – or lack of it

Latest News

Is polluting a lake in a national park to support new housing ok?

From Byron Bay to Evans Head to Casino the questions about how we deal with what is politely termed ‘effluent’, and how that may or may not destroy our local environment, demand real and urgent answers.

Other News

Dumb and dumber

Now that our elected representatives have jointly signed up to a project with the UK and US of $368...

Ronald McDonald supports SSF and the Tweed Hospitals

Sustainable Australia Party (SAP) Ronald McDonald clarifies his position on State Significant Farmland and the Tweed Valley Hospital. However, President...

$200k in grants available for local not-for-profits

The inGrained Foundation has announced a $200,000 funding pool for the 2023 Northern Rivers Large Grants Program, opening this April.

Ballina council contractor debt waived after company goes bust

The Ballina Shire Council has voted to write off debt owed by a failed private company initially hired to develop six industrial lots six years ago.

Share flood stories at Mullum Farmers Market

To mark the anniversary of the 28 February 2022 flooding of Mullumbimby, which was followed by continued flooding throughout...

Tamara Smith returned to Ballina’s Greens seat

Last night a packed Suffolk Park Hotel exploded with cheers at around 8pm when the ABC broadcast computer popped up a Green result for Ballina and the return of Tamara Smith to the seat she has held for the last eight years.

Laurence Axtens, Lismore.

How long has it been since you felt like it was safe to swim in the river or eat fish out of it?

When I was growing up we would often eat flathead, catfish and even eel out the Richmond and Wilsons’ River.

I wouldn’t now – who would?

The Richmond River and its tributaries have been designated the most degraded on the East Coast of Australia. Seventy percent of the fish habitat has been destroyed, and the river’s quality rating has plummeted to D (presumably for dead).

Meanwhile the Liberal National State government have responded to this environmental tragedy by commissioning yet another risk management strategy.

We know what’s wrong! We don’t need a media release and a million on more hot air and crocodile tears.

Urban and farm pollution have turned this artery of life into a sewer of death.

As recently as September of this year 13 cows were pulled dead from the Richmond and its tributaries and the State and local governments couldn’t even work out whose responsibility it was to clean up the mess, let alone who was going to prosecute the owners of the cattle for polluting our water supply.

People need to be held accountable for how they treat the river! We need to have covenants, and river wardens in place to ensure the river has a chance to recover and we need to incentivise river rehabilitation.

That’s what the Greens have committed to do and its about time the other parties came on board. This shouldn’t be a party-political thing – rivers are far too important to become pieces in a political voting game. The Richmond needs a commitment in the order of $100 million, it’s what the experts say it needs and it’s past time that every candidate for the next election agreed to the same.


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