14.3 C
Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Biodiversity plan on the table

Latest News

Head-on crash car traveling in wrong direction

Police say that two men are in hospital after an accident on the M1 overnight, when emergency services responded to reports of a crash involving two cars near Clothiers Creek

Other News

Rocky Creek Field Day coming in July

As part of the Rural Landholder Initiative, rural landholders in the Rocky Creek area are invited to an Off-stream Watering and Riparian Habitat Field Day.

Local start-up brings you breakfast in bed

Breakfast is now a whole lot more luxurious with the recent launch of Le Petit Brekkie in the Byron Shire. Changing how we enjoy breakfast, Emma and Kevin, the team behind the business, curate fresh, locally sourced breakfast boxes to be delivered directly to their clients’ doors. With the tagline ‘breakfast in bed, delivered’, Le Petit Brekkie hopes to make the indulgence of a lazy lie-in even more tempting.

Unauthorised dwelling capital of the world!

Could Main Arm’s title as the Unauthorised Dwelling Capital of the World be under threat?

Professor Graham Samuel says dementia care is personal

In a moving address to the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, Dementia Australia Chair Professor Graham Samuel AC shared his personal experience of dementia – the anguish, bewilderment, frustration and torment experienced by his mother as she descended into the abyss of the disease.

Hippie fools

Edward Kent, Suffolk Park So, have the ‘hippie’ hipsters of Byron Bay figured out how the new global establishment party at...

Beware of flood damage scams

NSW Fair Trading is warning consumers about opportunistic tradespeople trying to take advantage during the flood recovery process as the state gets back on its feet.

Draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy

A colourful, info-packed, 94-page strategy from Council is before the public!

It’s a draft 10-year biodiversity plan for Byron Shire, and those who know this area well would be aware of its very special and unique biodiversity.

And as most would know, biodiversity is under threat and is in decline.

The executive summary reads in part: ‘In Byron Shire, we are also fortunate to have an active community, who care about our wildlife, as well as visitors who come here for the natural environment and want to see it protected’.

But before delving into this plan, what were the outcomes of previous biodiversity strategies?

In appendix 1 of the document, there is reference to the first Biodiversity Conservation Strategy in 2004.

Council claims to date, it ‘succeeded in addressing 80 per cent of actions, including 90 per cent of those designated as high to very high priority’.

‘These actions were reviewed during development of the revised Strategy – many of them are still current and will continue to be implemented by Council as part of the 2020–2030 Biodiversity Conservation Strategy’.

The Echo asked staff for more information regarding these actions/outcomes, as well as the budget and staff allocated for this department. That information will be published when it is supplied.

As with any government strategy, it fits within the context of legislation (page 34). This document is required to adhere to federal and state legislation, and forms part of Council’s suite of strategic plans. There are twelve of these plans listed, and they make up the Byron Shire Community Strategic Plan.

There are also ‘datasets’ and mapping tools available (page 35), for Council and the community to assist with its implementation.

Key sites currently being restored are highlighted, and future plans to enhance those areas and others are presented.

On page 22, it states that, ‘Since 2004, 633 hectares of Council managed lands have been identified as needing ecological restoration or management. Council’s bush regeneration team is progressively restoring these sites based on conservation priority’.  

So will this strategy have any teeth when it comes to protecting what currently exists? Back in November 21, 2019, when the strategy’s vision and aims were debated by councillors, a motion to include ‘Biodiversity is a priority for Council,’ was inexplicably rejected by Greens Mayor Simon Richardson. He was supported by councillors Martin, Lyon, Spooner, Hackett and Hunter.

Not a priority

Cr Richardson’s amendment also deleted the sentence: ‘Biodiversity considerations are integrated through all activities of Council’.

Otherwise, the motion by independent Cr Cate Coorey’s motion remained unchanged. Crs Coorey, Ndiaye and Cameron voted against the mayor’s amendment.

The Echo asked Cr Richardson in December last year for his reason for removing the word ‘priority’.

He replied at the time, ‘Of course it puts biodiversity at the forefront – that’s the point of the strategy’. 

To read the full document, visit  www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/biodiversity-strategy.

Submissions close Wednesday May 20.

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. Words are cheap, but unfortunately for the Shires biodiversity, Councils actions speak louder. Destruction of coastal wetlands for a road of questionable long term benefit, with the destruction of Critically Endangered species habitat, identifies the words in Councills Biodiversity Plan ( and LEP preface – “restore and protect”) are facile meaningless propoganda. The accepted planning status of Critically Endangered is: “not being able to withstand further loss”, but obviously not a consideration by Richardson and his associates or Council planners.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Housing crisis and Council

Avital Sheffer, Mullumbimby Population growth in this Shire is inevitable like it or not. Those who are being pushed out by the unfolding housing tragedy are...

Flawed plan

Kai Beijerbacht, Mullumbimby For those of you who haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you are aware of the ever-increasing housing shortage crisis in...

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable housing’ in Byron Shire but...

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon by my own choice. Working with...