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Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

Water woes

Latest News

Seapeace: the late Tony Maxwell’s wetland legacy

Many curious minds have pondered the purpose of the rice paddy-like waterbodies that scallop the contour lines out into the Ewingsdale coastal plain that can be viewed from St Helena Road.

Other News

No more MOs for Tweed Shire

In a move that may have surprised some council watchers, it was the conservative councillors who voted in favour of keeping multiple occupancies (MO) in Tweed Shire.

Missing teen – Tweed Heads

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a boy reported missing from Tweed Heads.

Government modelling fails to reflect women’s interrupted careers

New research to be released this week analyses two decades of Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey to estimate the actual labour force experience of women over their life and accounts for working when super is not paid.

Interview with Claire Atkins from SHIT

I saw SHIT last year and I was blown away. Incredible script. Incredible acting.

Police operation Billinudgel Nature Reserve

Gary Opit, Brunswick Heads On 22 February residents on Jones Road noticed a major police operation with officers from eight police...

PM forced

Narelle Rendalls, Ballina With reference to the recent serious sexual assault allegations in Canberra, our Prime Minister has a lot to...

Duncan Dey, Main Arm

Ben Franklin is the National Party candidate asking electors of this area to vote Nationals in the state election in March this year. This is so that he can add a seat to the Liberal/National coalition currently governing NSW.

His weak and dismissive party hack response on the crisis in the Darling River (Echo January 16) and on most other waterways of our once-healthy landscape is pathetic. Blaming the crisis on the weather is both wrong and insulting, to our rivers and to us voters.

State-owned and -operated dams (like Copeton on the Gwydir River, Keepit on the Namoi, Burrendong on the Macquarie, Hume on the Murray) capture inland NSW water that should make the many-months-long journey to South Australia.

For over a century the NSW government has sold river and ground water to anyone who asked (at almost no cost). The inland dams were built last century to expand that supply, but without recognising the impacts of modifying (mostly reducing) river flows. Now 50 years later, we watch on in horror.

About 2000 the new Water Act in NSW unlinked the water licences from land ownership, creating an active market for water extraction from rivers and from the groundwater basins connected to them. Many ‘sleeper’ licences became active.

Also in about 2000, the NSW government tried to determine ‘environmental flows’ that should be left in the rivers. There is no confidence, however, that these flow allocations are adequate and pressure continues, especially from corporations such as those producing cotton (a thirsty crop) in dry regions.

What’s worse, state licensing officers were exposed in 2018 for colluding with extractors to find ways of taking more water than the licence system allowed.

Governments of both persuasions continue the licensing system. Blaming the environment for its own woes is a joke. The Greens have published water policy on how to restore river health. We invite the other parties to do the same – they are currently both mute on the matter.

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Caravan park to pay $2.3mil plus to consumers

The NSW Court of Appeal has upheld the Supreme Court’s decision arising from the sale of the movable dwellings located on waterfront sites along the Tweed River.

Government modelling fails to reflect women’s interrupted careers

New research to be released this week analyses two decades of Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey to estimate the actual labour force experience of women over their life and accounts for working when super is not paid.

Ballina cleans up!

Clean Up Australia Day was a great success in Ballina, with the beach clean up event organised by Ballina Coastcare yesterday attracting twenty volunteers.

Lismore future councillor information sessions

With the delayed Local Government elections being held in September, several councils, including Lismore City Council, are holding information sessions for community members who are thinking about running for Council.