Hugh Ermacora, Byron Bay
Jan Barham’s article Will Byron Shire Achieve an Ecologically Sustainable Future? (24 December, 2019) needs to be compulsory reading for all who wonder how and why Byron Shire might be seen as ‘uniquely different’; particularly against the background of current world-wide crises. It is all about a broad vision and local action.
For the newcomers, it’s a pen-sketch of where we’ve been. For the rest of us, it’s a reminder of the critical milestones along the path we have trod and the fact that there is no end to that road.
Jan writes lucidly about the concept of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and, most importantly, reminds us that ESD is ‘very much a YES statement’.
Jan explains best practice strategic planning, speaks to us of the community activism that drove many of [our past] achievements, and of the visionary policies and strategies which emerged. Jan also addresses the inevitable disappointments and road blocks we encountered on the way. Ultimately it’s a timely reminder of not only why ESD should be part of the future but why it should always be embedded in our strategic planning and our thinking!
The only element missing from the article (not surprisingly) is about the massive amount of energy and achievements which Jan brought to her role as both a local and state representative.
At a time when there is no shortage of psychopaths and charlatans masquerading as community leaders, it’s timely to be reminded of the debt that we owe some very special individuals.