23.2 C
Byron Shire
February 3, 2023

Trend bucked, again

Latest News

Tributes for songstress Sara Tindley

Hundreds gathered at a small rural property at Lindendale last week to say their final farewells to Sara Tindley, a very much loved personality from the Northern Rivers. 

Other News

Elanora woman murdered – police seek sightings of Ford Laser

Detectives investigating the murder of 61-year-old Wendy Sleeman are appealing to anyone who may have seen or captured vision...

Letters – 1 February 2023

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Family and domestic violence leave comes into force tomorrow

New laws to provide 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave will come into force tomorrow for workers...

Oil spill on M1 near Byron, traffic backed up to Brunswick Heads exit

An accident on the M1 has brought southbound traffic to a standstill from the Brunswick Heads exit at Gulgan Road and Tweed Street.

Byron Bay SLSC takes fourth place at NSW country championships

South coast club Warillanhas overturned five years of Cudgen Headland dominace to win this year’s NSW Country Surf Lifesaving...

Only nine weeks to Bluesfest and 18 new artists announced

Easter is on its way and that means Bluesfest is only nine weeks away. 

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.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

It’s not the fossils, it’s the fools 

Humans have been muddling along in cities for around twelve thousand years, says Wikipedia, although if you count using an alphabet of some kind as the criterion of civilisation, the time span drops to a mere fifty centuries.

Swivel flop-flop

Not sure what Cr Swivel is doing. But while he appears to be providing support for both sides of the community/business coin, his support...


Warren Kennedy wrote an excellent letter last week (28 January) pointing out the deficiencies of capitalism as it exists today in the US and...

Lismore trial of recycled crushed glass in concrete

A trial to use recycled crushed glass in concrete as a replacement for sand will be taking place in Lismore at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre.