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Byron Shire
May 20, 2024

Northern Rivers responds to cal for COVID-19 testing

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Consumer watchdog asked to investigate MasterChef ‘renewable gas’ claims

Claims that ‘renewable gas’ is making MasterChef 'greener' are under scrutiny following a complaint to the ACCC.

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New Tweed Valley Hospital opens today

The controversial new Tweed Valley Hospital opened to patients at 8am this morning.

Stone & Wood wins at Australian International Beer Awards

Stone & Wood Brewing are proud to announce a big win at the Melbourne Royal Australian International Beer Awards held last night, with the brewery’s Big Pale Ale taking home the title of Champion Australian Beer. Big Pale Ale also took out the Best Australian Pale Ale category.

Baby, it’s chilly outside

Three Lords and the Byron Theatre are presenting a special performance of the 1983 classic film The Big Chill on Saturday, May 26. The show includes a concert performance of the soundtrack by The Byron Theatre Orchestra, along with food trucks, cocktails and perhaps the odd bit of audience participation.

Big tech, porn, violence and young blokes

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What’s on the Byron Council agenda for May 16?

Items before Council’s meeting on May 16 include a push by two Greens councillors to make Byron Shire beaches accessible to people with disabilities.

He’s off, has been for years! And what’s a conspiracy amongst friends?

After ten years in Mullum I’ve relocated to the middle of an extinct volcano in Murwillumbah.

Cars lining up waiting for the drive through COVID testing unit to open at the Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay. Photo supplied.

Following the flight of a COVID positive traveller from Sydney to Ballina and the detection of COVID fragments in the Byron Bay Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) both locals and visitors have responded to calls for more testing in the region.

Testing figures show there were 6,857 tests conducted among residents of Northern NSW Local Health District for the week of 18–24 July, almost a 50 per cent jump on the previous week when 4,575 tests were conducted.

‘Following advice over the weekend that a positive COVID-19 case had travelled on a flight from Sydney to Ballina, and recent detection of virus fragments in sewage in Byron Bay, we’ve seen a jump in people getting tested at local clinics,’ Lynne Weir, Acting Chief Executive, Northern NSW Local Health District said.

‘It’s promising to see our community responding to these calls, as it’s so important in the fight to find any cases which may be in our area.

‘So far, there have not been any new confirmed cases identified within our District,’ she said.

Test and isolate

The 45 passengers and additional crew members on flight VA1139 on 14 July, who were all identified as close contacts of the positive case, were contacted by NSW Health and advised to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the initial test result.

Everyone is reminded the washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces are key elements to reducing transmission of the virus.

Daily sewage samples

Samples have been taken daily from sewage samples at the Byron STP following detection of CVOID viral fragments in the system on 20 July.

‘They have all returned negative results, as have the other testing sites across the District,’ said Ms Weir.

‘I encourage anyone who is feeling unwell to come forward for a COVID-19 test as soon as they develop symptoms. Testing and tracing are some of the best tools we have to manage the virus, and if there are cases which we don’t know about, that makes it difficult for our health teams to respond.

‘Please don’t wait to get a test, you can find testing clinics open any day of the week.’

Clinic locations and opening hours are listed on the NSW website at COVID-19 testing clinics. There are more than 400 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW.


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Stone & Wood wins at Australian International Beer Awards

Stone & Wood Brewing are proud to announce a big win at the Melbourne Royal Australian International Beer Awards held last night, with the brewery’s Big Pale Ale taking home the title of Champion Australian Beer. Big Pale Ale also took out the Best Australian Pale Ale category.

Cabarita Beach powers up with new EV fast charger

The future of sustainable transport is rolling into northern NSW with the opening of a new electric vehicle fast charging station at Cabarita on the weekend.

Wombat burrows provide critical shelter for other species

A new study, published in the Journal of Mammalogy, found wombat burrows help other animals by providing critical shelter for numerous species following severe wildfire, and may even be an important source of water.

Hundreds of DV arrests across state

Police have charged more than 550 people during a four-day operation targeting the state’s most dangerous domestic and family violence offenders.