Jo Faith, Newtown
Your last edition of The Echo raised many concerns for the Byron population to consider.
I refer to culturally appropriate emergency services addressing climate change and human security as storm surges of fire and flooding are predicted in the Region. With the ongoing onslaught of gentrification, development and preference for business models over residential rights several imperative questions need to be addressed most urgently.
If we address the structural and systemic results of the above we can view growing homelessness, and a breakdown and diminishment of communities in the Region.
We witness the banishment of the homeless from Railway Park creating the impression of tidy gentrification for the immediate township. Already we are aware of mobile Tent cities on the fringes of Byron; these are the homes of the homeless.
We also lament the loss of community and the healthy caring relationships they once created and fostered for folk. Sociologically, the above factors result in social isolation and alienation for large parts of the remaining community as poverty becomes criminalised.
Should fire or floods create a risk for the town and its surrounds what is the emergency evacuation model for the Byron Shire?
Will these services create a preference for large tourist developments over the rights of residents and the homeless?
What is the emergency communication plan for the Byron area? Has a cap on Tourists been considered as water diminishes from the area?
Will the hospitals be staffed for urgent services? How will traffic be managed? Will consideration of an emergency train be ever addressed to alleviate the obvious road congestion? What is the site that is defined as a safe site for evacuees to locate in such emergencies? Are the police and emergency services funded to address such events?
The questions and complexities are endless.
We NOW LIVE IN CLIMATE CRISIS.
The above remedies are beyond the current Council aided by its apparent lack of a social policy and funding.
Civil society must take the lead on this critical AND MOST SERIOUS issue.
Time to mobilise folk, create vision and remedy for times we live in.