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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Tallow Creek changes

Latest News

Michael Lyon elected as Byron Mayor

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Other News

Tweed residents facing rate rise in 2021/2022 financial year

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NewsCorp announces August revival of regional news print in QLD

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‘Endless land releases’ not the solution for Byron’s housing crisis, says Labor mayor hopeful

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 12

Check out what's on going the Byron Shire and surrounding area this week

Any questions?

‘This is a great chance for foodies to ask me anything they want’, says local chef Darren Robertson, who...

Leon Norman, Suffolk Park

As a resident adjoining the Arakwal National Park, I have been able to observe the changes to the Tallows Creek floodplain.

We experienced two, three month floods right up to the permitted 2.200 metre maximum level, in the past year alone. I am told this is a record.

No wonder so many non-paperbark rainforest trees have drowned.

These include mature blueberry ashes, tuckeroos, 50-year-old Bangalow forests and some large Coolamon trees.

In large areas, reeds, carpets of ferns, climbing maidenhair ferns, and 100mm thick vines have rotted away.

Many mangroves near the Tallows bridge have recently died which is a mystery to me.

In the past, floods seldom lasted more than a few weeks at a time.

Before Suffolk Park was extended and landfilled, trickles of freshwater used to flow across the area.

This allowed for a healthy and diverse environment.

The flow is now cut off and the flooding of the forest gets stagnant.

With little wind in the forest and the longer the water sits, the water becomes increasingly anaerobic.

No fish or any water creatures can survive in these dead backwaters.

After a three-month-long high flood, when water is suddenly released, massive fish kills occur as they are left floundering in oxygen-depleted water.

Most fish can restock in 3 to 5 years.

50-year-old trees will not grow back in my lifetime. Parts of the paperbark forest are now a sterile sulphurous and birdless environment.

No berries, grasses or ferns remain for the poor swamp wallabies.

The National Parks and Byron Council are allowing an ecological disaster to occur, with their shared phobia of potential fish kills, which leads to total inaction.

Their approach suffocates rational scientific observation and debate.

Changed environmental and climatic conditions with drought and a gradual silting up of the creek has allowed for more frequent and longer floods, as the sand dune dam at the beach is seldom broken open by heavy rain.

The flood policy needs to be urgently redrawn and immediate action taken.

Allowing high floods of short durations with a gentle and controlled release could prevent forest and fish kills.

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