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Byron Shire
December 9, 2021

Trend bucked, again

Latest News

More COVID cases Byron and Tweed Shires

ight new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Northern NSW Health District (NNSWHD) in the 24 hours to 8pm 7 December with Woody’s Surf Shack Night Club and Mullumbimby High School both known recent COVID venues.

Other News

Pedalling towards better health

A new study estimates that millions of lives could be extended if people rode bicycles rather than driving cars.

And just like that the border opens (next Monday)

In a Ministerial press release, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced Queensland borders will re-open to domestic hotspots from 1am, Monday December 13.

Helping Benny help Marsha’s battle with cancer

If you live on the Far North Coast and you don’t know who Benny Zable is, then you haven’t ‘lived’ on the Far North Coast.

Pineapples from Bangalow

Bangalow Farm is located just outside the Bangalow township and has the typical red volcanic soil that makes farming...

Dad’s army called to arms as hospitality staffing crisis worsens

So dire has the shortage of hospitality staff in Northern NSW become, that the local chapter of the NSW business chamber is calling on retired workers to dust off their aprons and help out.

Barrio in Good Food Guide

Congratulations to our local favourite restaurant Barrio Eatery & Bar, who has just been named as ‘one of Byron’s...

Hans Lovejoy, editor

Congratulations Rupert Murdoch, Alan Jones, Gina Rinehart and their army of developers, bureaucrats and sycophants who were re-elected to rule over NSW last Saturday.

The seat of Ballina (Byron and Ballina Shires) was an exception however – Greens MP Tamara Smith was re-elected, with a slight majority.

Booth by booth, many towns and country halls in the Ballina electorate bucked the trend of most of NSW.

After preferences, the Nationals claimed around 40 per cent while the combined Greens and Labor vote (along with minor parties) claimed 60 per cent.

And unlike many other regions, the Ballina electorate did not have the choice to vote for a One Nation or hard right wing candidate.

The Greens candidate had the advantage of being an incumbent MP – familiarity is everything.

Ms Smith’s re-election also sends a signal to Byron councillors, who are led by the ‘progressive’ Greens block under acting mayor Michael Lyon. 

Ms Smith and councillors have been at odds over the way development is being carried out in Byron Bay.

During the election campaign, Ms Smith was the only major candidate calling for a halt to major developments, especially the bypass and bus interchange. The bus interchange is slated for the rail corridor and comes without any community consultation. Affected residents are now calling for an inquiry into the process that led to it, which is understandable given how questionable it has been.  And moving two markets at the Butler Street to a yet-to-be found location until the road works are completed is poor planning and policy on the run.  

Other issues that may have helped her over the line for Byron Shire voters include a total opposition to the contentious West Byron urban development, which is slated to be opposite the Arts and Industry Estate on Ewingsdale Road. While Nationals candidate Ben Franklin made noises of concern, it was clear that his party is supportive of ruining a sensitive wetland and estuary – essentially the lungs of Byron – to appease a handful of wealthy speculating developers.

Holiday letting probably played a part in the win, as did spiralling energy costs and lack of renewables projects under this government. In the end, Franklin failed to cut through with the message that he’s a good guy in a terrible government.

Remarkably, the huge amount of cash he lobbed at the electorate at the last minute failed to materialise into winning votes. In most places, it would. But this is a highly active politically aware region and its inhabitants aren’t fooled by political spin, platitudes and a trunkful of cash. In other words, policy matters, and the electorate (60/40) would prefer a government that looked after its citizens and planet rather than its donors.

In that regard, this electorate is becoming more ideologically distant from much of regional NSW, Sydney and Australia.

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  1. Congrats to all the mice and men on the tick tock of the clock and Rupert Murdoch, Alan Jones, Gina Rinehart and their army of rats and developers, bureaucratic cats and other cats and sycophants who were re-elected to rule over this merciless bloody land of NSW last Saturday.

  2. Yes, Hans we must be all more conservative, be more politically correct, be more stuffy and upper class and AVERAGE and right-wing and carry guns to shoot people and be a tree-hater and chop them down and love concrete and be more of a dill and then we would be just like a right wing conservative moron … and be more politically connected to Sydney.


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Vote counting still underway for Tweed Shire Council elections

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COVID case sends Mullum High teachers and students into isolation

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