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Byron Shire
February 23, 2024

Old Byron Hospital future before Council

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Knitting Nannas get behind Save Wallum campaign

With porcelain tea cups, lace-covered tables and plenty of knitting the Knitting Nannas Against Greed (KNAG) headed to the...

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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.

Community tree planting in Mullum Feb 24

Want to help locally to care for our environment and plant trees for our wildlife?

Man charged after dramatic hinterland police chase

A dramatic police chase from highway to hinterland bush in the early hours of the morning has led to the expected court appearance of a 26-year-old man today.

Knitting Nannas get behind Save Wallum campaign

With porcelain tea cups, lace-covered tables and plenty of knitting the Knitting Nannas Against Greed (KNAG) headed to the...

River to the sea

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

Last chance for Julian Assange?

This week the Australian journalist Julian Assange will find out whether he will be extradited from the United Kingdom to the USA, where he faces 175 years in solitary confinement for his role in revealing the truth about war crimes and the inner workings of empire, or conducting 'espionage', as America calls it.

A significant decision about the future of the old Byron Hospital site will be made this week, with Byron Council choosing an organisation to manage the new community hub that will be created there.

Following the sale of the site to Council for $1 in late 2018, progress on the repurposing project has been somewhat haphazard.

Council initially decided to bypass a conventional tender process for the management of the site, instead electing to grant a long-term lease to the community committee that initiated the project, without seeking any other expressions of interest.

But when this directly negotiated lease was sent to the Office of Local Government (OLG), the Council was told that it amounted to a public-private partnership, and required a series of probity checks and processes.

Council hastily retreated to the well-worn tender path in the hope that this would more rapidly achieve the goal of turning the site into a community hub hosting a mix of health, education and other community-related services.

This week, councillors will vote on which organisation is to have responsibility for managing the hub.

Two tenders

Tenders have been received from the Byron Community Centre and Social Futures.

The latter is a large organisation that runs scores of programs across regional NSW, including managing the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Once Council awards the tender, relevant project officers will work with the successful tenderer to plan the management and occupation of the former hospital, which is not due to occur until early 2023.

The proposed redevelopment will be financed via an internal loan – subject to Ministerial approval – from Council’s water fund.


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NPWS wants to remove beach nudity option

For 26 years, Tyagarah Beach has been an oasis for the region’s naturist community – a space where bodies of all shapes and sizes could roam free without threat of fines or reprimands.

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Community tree planting in Mullum Feb 24

Want to help locally to care for our environment and plant trees for our wildlife?