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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Transparency needed

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Community land trust

Shane Sylvanspring, Mullumbimby I want to congratulate and applaud Cr Paul Spooner, Mayor Simon Richardson, and planning staff for supporting and...

Other News

Yamba restaurants

I’m often asked about Yamba, one of our favourite holiday spots over the last 20 years. With a great range of beaches, walks, tennis courts, skate parks and accommodation etc it’s been great for the kids growing up, and they still love it. Plus, it’s now only 90 minutes’ drive from Mullumbimby.

The ghost in the archives #3: Sexism, legal discrimination and ‘the game of bastardry’

The ghost in the archives #3 – In which a former Echo drudge dives into the crypt and comes up covered in dusty memories.

Poor Council drains

Kate Anderson, Mullumbimby In response to and support of Kerry Gray’s and Robin Gracie’s letters Echo 31 March). The McGoughans Lane...

Upgrades for Lighthouse Parade in Ballina

One of the showcase areas of Ballina is about to get a safety and aesthetic upgrade, with the Lighthouse Parade Pedestrian Precinct and Road Safety Project commencing soon.

Interview with Dave Callan

Dave Callan is a big hairy Irish bloke. He’s funny. You would have seen him on Rove and heard him on Triple J – but now you get to see him dance! With backup dancers and a show full of spectacular choreography and a hairy Viking, catch A–Z of Dance at Byron Comedy Fest. Dave told us a little more…

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.

Janelle Saffin MP, State Member for Lismore.

I read with interest Mia Armitage’s front page article in last week’s EchoElectorates miss out on bushfire slush fund’, and would like to add my perspective as one of the growing number of MPs who have been calling out the Berejiklian-Barilaro government on this scandal.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s credibility has taken another beating after he defended as ‘investment in the regions’ the alleged rorting of joint NSW-Federal government bushfire relief funding to favour electorates with Nationals/Liberal Members of Parliament.

An investigation by Michael West Media found that 99 per cent of a $177-million stream of Local Economic Recovery (LER) funding for 71 projects last November flooded into Nationals/Liberal-held seats in New South Wales. NSW Labor seats, like mine, were given just one per cent of the funding.

This LER funding was never advertised. Instead, the Berejiklian-Barilaro government identified ‘known priority community and industry recovery projects’ and the Morrison-McCormack government agreed to them, following what they claimed to be ‘local and industry consultation’.

Public money should not be used as a private slush fund for any government. People expect transparency and a level playing field for all potential applicants.

Grant programs need to be widely promoted, have clear guidelines, eligibility and assessment criteria, and an acquittal process.

While I don’t begrudge any of the 71 grant recipients (two Kyogle-based timber companies received a total of $2 million in the Electorate of Lismore), us locals didn’t get a chance to promote other worthy projects for bushfire-affected communities in Kyogle, Lismore City, Tenterfield, and Tweed shires.

The Berejiklian-Barilaro government needs to start governing for all, not just the few. It is not good governance to dole out public money using secretive processes. This is what authoritarian regimes do, not democratically elected governments, and John Barilaro should know better.

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  1. A great letter from a great MP. Janelle. It now seems that rorting and pork-barrelling played a huge part in the return of the Berejiklian Govt. at the 2019 election, the polling showed they were heading for a narrow defeat but managed a narrow victory. The Nationals however were devastated with the loss of Lismore to Labor, Murray, Orange and Barwon to the SFF., and the defection of their Port Macquarie MP. Lesley Williams to the Liberals over Barilaro and Gulaptis’s koala destroying policy. It now seems that most of their once safe Central and North Coast seats are under threat because of the Nationals appalling environmental policies; the outcome could be very interesting if the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party ran candidates in ALL National Party seats. The Nationals know their future is on the line, hence the massive increase in pork-barrelling, they are now doing it and bragging about it openly, but it does not always work, some people just refuse to be bought, Ben Franklin found that out, (with some help from the local ALP.) They are becoming quite vulnerable both State and Federally, so keep the pressure on them Janelle, these North Coast seats need more progressive MPs., OUR future is on the line.


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Cartoon of the week – 21 April, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Your Local Club Academy Games

The North Coast Academy of Sport prepared its largest squad ever to compete at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games, held in the Hunter region last weekend.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 21 April, 2021

Check out entertainment listings for the week, with music, dance, cinema and all sorts events happening in and around the Byron Shire