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Byron Shire
February 22, 2024

Addressing drug issues a team effort

Latest News

An adventure of a different kind

Two years ago adventurer Emma Scattergood discovered that a journey doesn’t always involve travel. In 2022, Emma was told she had stage 3 invasive lobular breast cancer. 

Other News

Wallum update: protectors at the ready

The fight to save the Wallum heathland in Brunswick Heads has gone into overdrive, with dozens of locals staunchly holding the line on-site, while thousands more lobby state and federal politicians in pursuit of permanent protection.

Cartoon of the week – 21 February, 2024

Send to Letters Editor Aslan Shand, email: [email protected], fax: 6684 1719 or mail to The Letters Editor, The Echo, 6 Village Way, Mullumbimby, 2482, NSW, Australia.

Man assaulted on M1

Witnesses of an assault on the Pacific Highway over the weekend are being asked to contact police as they investigate the alleged crime.

River to the sea

Here we go again. Another example of the antisemitic slur ‘from the river to the sea’ from Mary McMorrow...

Gully of Giants protectors face court

Forest protectors Valerie Thompson and Kashmir Miller face court in Ballina today, charged with a series of offences related to suspending logging works in the Doubleduke State Forest.

Plan for looming battery crisis

Industry-led voluntary schemes will fail to address the environmental risks arising from battery disposal, according to the Total Environment Centre, as they release a plan for urgent regulation to establish an effective, mandatory product stewardship scheme to safely collect and recycle all battery types in Australia.

Applications are now open for the Local Drug Action Team Program, a joint initiative of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation and the Australian Government which provides community organisations with funding to address alcohol and drug issues.

The LDAT program invites three or more community groups to work together on preventative measures designed by and for local people – a collaborative approach that the region’s support workers say is much needed.

Deb Pearse from the Byron Youth Service. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Deb Pearse from the Byron Youth Service said: ‘COVID has exacerbated problems that we already have, because during that period, young people felt very isolated.’

In-person youth services are slowly coming back to life after the COVID shutdown. Sylvia Roylance, Youth Development Officer at Tweed Shire Council and member of the Tweed LDAT, said in-school activities would be an option again from Term Two.

Ms Roylance said the Tweed LDAT ‘[has] been providing funding to support the after-school program that is being delivered out of Murwillumbah Community Centre, and that’s been running quite successfully.’

The Tweed LDAT is made up of more than eight community organisations including police, Council and the Red Cross. Among other things, it has enabled homework workshops, Aboriginal leadership programs, and support for early school leavers such as funding for accreditation in a trade.

‘I think the important thing is to provide programs and services that are holistic and individual,’ said Deb Pearce, who is the Senior Youth Worker and Program Coordinator of Mullum Cottage and Street Crews and has worked at Byron Youth Service for 21 years.

‘Work out what’s going on with people and why they’re self-medicating… Find their passion, find what they love, what they’re interested in, what gets them up in the morning, and try and provide opportunities for them to explore that, and often that will make an enormous difference.’

Ms Pearce said the Byron Youth Service would welcome conversations with other community groups about banding together for funding.

There are over 230 LDATs running around Australia. The teams can address issues ranging from foetal alcohol spectrum disorder to pharmaceutical abuse by the elderly.

Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO, Dr Erin Lalor said: ‘No community is the same and we know that locally-led responses are the most effective when it comes to addressing the challenges of alcohol and other drugs.’

LDATs only work on preventative measures, not treatment. Member organisations can be varied, such as councils, police and sports teams, and do not have to be traditionally involved in the drug and alcohol sector.

Applications for the LDAT program close on March 5. More information can be found at https://community.adf.org.au/local-drug-action-teams/program-overview/.

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  1. Covid has killed millions, bushfires have killed most of our forests and wildlife, the ‘Great Barrier Reef ‘ is near death while the Murray/Darling is dead. The entire globe is stewing in it’s own waste, the glaciers are disappearing, the ice caps are beyond the tipping point and sea levels are rising evermore rapidly, so is it any wonder that kids and other sentient beings are self- medicating ?
    Makes you wonder, G”)


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Police confirm two babies dead on February 11 in Mullumbimby

NSW Police have confirmed that at about 2am Sunday 11 February, emergency services were called to a home in Mullumbimby following reports of a concern for welfare.

Just what the doctor and nurses and midwives ordered

It seems like nurses and midwives are always struggling under the weight of poor patient-to-staff ratios. It is hoped that an influx of new workers could help ease the load. This will be a welcome relief for local staff.

Affordable housing summit next week

As the affordable housing issue shows no signs of easing in the near future, key figures in the housing, property, and finance sectors will come together to tackle the country’s housing challenges at the ninth Affordable Housing Development & Investment Summit

Lorikeets on the mend as paralysis season eases

A poorly-understood phenomenon where lorikeets in the region becoming paralysed and unable to fly is thankfully coming to an end for 2024, says WIRES wildlife vet, Dr Tania Bishop.