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Byron Shire
August 5, 2021

Councils abused

Latest News

Youth arrested over Nimbin shooting

A 20-year-old has been charged over a shooting that took place in the middle of the day near the centre of Nimbin.

Other News

Border bubble zone bursts thanks to COVID-19 cases in QLD

Anyone in NSW who has been in one or more of eleven particular Queensland local government areas since 21 July is required to stay at home for fourteen days from the date they were last in those areas, 'or until the notice is revoked', authorities said Monday.

Community disharmony

Jenny Shiels, Byron Bay I read Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox (21 July), and I agree there is disharmony in communities worldwide. Yes,...

Adam Liaw at Sample festival: 4 September

Northern NSW’s premier food event, Sample Food Festival is returning to the Bangalow Showground on Saturday 4 September 2021,...

Are you a mycophile or a mycophobe?

Considering we have such a reputation for clean, green, environmentally responsible farming of nutrient rich food, it’s surprising that...

Spice it Up: consistently good Thai

Simon Haslam You have to be doing a lot of things right consistently to run a successful restaurant in different...

Pennings and Adani to continue court battle

The Supreme Court has formalised orders agreed out of court by both Adani and Ben Pennings in relation to a decision handed down on 25 June 2021.

Michael McDonald, Bairnsdale VIC

I sympathise with Ballina councillor Ben Smith’s outburst at the NSW government, as repᵒrted by David Lowe in last week’s Echo. Cr Smith described the relationship between councils and the government as ‘abusive’, with councils expected to absorb growing financial shortfalls without being able to charge appropriate levies.

It has been ever thus. In my 20-plus years as a journalist and editor for The Echo, I often observed the Macquarie Street MPs, the Department of Local Government and the state planners treat country councillors as yokels who needed to be placated, abused or lied to.

Countless planning ‘strategies’ have been dished up, peppered with buzzwords such as ‘sustainable growth’, but rarely adhered to, especially when a minister finds him/herself at lunch with a prominent developer. Councils have been admonished to rein in their financial profligacy because, heaven knows, the state government never played fast and loose with the public purse.

The only defence against the hubris of the state seems to be when citizens who have attracted the attention of the news media rise up with firebrands and pitchforks to protect their region. (In case the AFP is reading this, the last sentence contains a mildly amusing allusion to Frankenstein movie tropes, not an actual call to arms.)

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NSW Parliament off for a month, with full pay

With COVID-19 cases surging across Sydney and defence forces being deployed in the city, NSW Parliament put out a brief statement last week saying MPs will not sit in the month of August ‘owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in NSW’.

Markets could return to Byron’s Butler St Reserve

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Push to create transitional accommodation at Lot 22

Should the Council-owned plot of land in Mullumbimby, known as Lot 22, be used for temporary accommodation for those at risk of homelessness, as a matter of urgency?

Sticking to facts

Roger Cotgreave, Byron Bay Thanks to The Echo for reporting scientific facts around the pandemic and not relying on social media ‘research’. Also a big thanks...