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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

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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.

Other News

Help from Red Cross for flood-affected communities in NSW

With disasters coming thick and fast as the climate emergency worsens, Australian Red Cross this morning launched financial help for flood-affected communities in NSW.

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

Federal Government grants for infrastructure improvements – Tweed

Tweed Shire Council today announced more than $3.75 million in Federal Government grants for 10 infrastructure projects in the area.

MVP is its own award

It’s easy to get excited about Byron’s new MVP restaurant in Lawson St – it’s not only got standout dishes such as Blue Spirulina Linguine with blue swimmer crab and Yamba prawns, and Fettuccine al Ragù with Hayters Hill beef ragù sauce, feta and baby peas, but it’s also all sustainably sourced from local growers, available in takeaway (even delivered if you’re close to town) and more than half of the menu is plant-based.

Death for koalas

Maria Paola Torti, Italy I’m Maria Paola Torti. I live in Italy, and I’m very concerned with the NSW coalition government’s...

Coalition ‘hellbent’

Mat Morris, Bangalow The NSW coalition seems to be hellbent on outdoing their federal counterparts when it comes to the denigration...

Helena Norberg-Hodge, Byron Bay

I am writing to voice my strong opposition to Council staff’s ‘hard line proposal to prohibit secondary dwellings on all MOs and CTs’.

Let’s be clear: such projects are not profit-driven proposals from big developers. Generally, they come from groups of ecologically minded locals who have genuine intentions to live in community and renew ecosystems through environmentally sensitive, productive land-use.

And yet, such projects run up against regulatory obstacles at every turn. These are regulations that have been made with big developers in mind, but they have been applied across the board, squashing countless community projects. Of course, the cruel irony is that when a big developer comes to town, all the doors swing open. Local council is bypassed and approval is granted directly by the State government.

This is a clear example of the unlevel economic playing field that favours large-scale, resource-intensive development over small-scale, locally sensitive development. It is the systemic bias I have been opposing my entire career.

We have been spoon-fed the idea that strict regulations are necessary because more people on the land will inevitably mean ecological destruction. We need to open our eyes to the fact that worldwide people are being driven off the land into resource intensive mega-cities. On the land, they are replaced by machinery and chemicals on larger and larger monocultures. Today more people living and working in community on the land is exactly what the world needs. It is the only way we can ensure regional food-security while regenerating land that has been degraded by large-scale, globalised agriculture. At this moment of climate crisis, we need to be doing everything we can to enable those who want to work the land in sustainable ways to do so.

On top of that, there is a more immediate crisis in our community that needs to be tackled: the housing crisis. Throughout the Shire, Airbnb is taking over and rent is rising dramatically. More and more people – even those with stable employment – are being pushed to move away or to live in mobile homes. The displacement of locals, along with their skills and small businesses, results in the rapid erosion of the very fabric of our society.

We as a community, together with our Council, are obliged to examine every possible option. We cannot afford to discard any viable possibility for housing.

Opening the door for more CTs and MOs in the Shire would be an easy, low-cost and effective solution. On such properties, dwellings tend to be owner-built and modest in nature, therefore allowing for lower rents. It would allow people – especially young people who want to work on the land – to have affordable housing, while contributing to our region’s food security.

Of course, I’m not for a moment suggesting that the red-tape be done away with – more than ever, we need to protect ourselves against big development. But it is entirely possible to have a framework for assessing smaller projects on a case-by-case basis. Community oversight could be implemented to make sure dwellings are low-impact and ecologically-sound, and that sustainable and productive land-use is encouraged.

Understanding the vast differences between top-down overdevelopment and bottom-up ecological development is key to ensuring a sustainable and affordable future for our community. Helena Norberg-Hodge, Byron Bay

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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

Interview with Toni Childs

Internationally celebrated musician, Emmy winner and three times Grammy nominee Toni Childs is bringing her show to The Brunswick Picture House. With two acts, Childs is promising a special two hour performance as she celebrates her vast catalogue of music, which also saw her celebrate the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union in 2019.