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Byron Shire
January 20, 2022

Byron’s silent springs

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First Byron Shire Council meeting postponed

Byron Shire Council’s first meeting of newly minted councillors was to take place today, 20 January, however, the storm of COVID-19 that is taking place across the country led to it being postponed.

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First Byron Shire Council meeting postponed

Byron Shire Council’s first meeting of newly minted councillors was to take place today, 20 January, however, the storm of COVID-19 that is taking place across the country led to it being postponed.

The Guardian newspaper (10 December) notes the declines in Bogong moth numbers places the species among 124 Australian additions to the global endangered species list. Previously, the moth would be seen in annual swarms at Parliament House in Canberra, during its migration to the Australian Alps. Experts state this is ‘a wake up call about declines in Australian invertebrates’. It must be noted that during its previous migrations, swarms of the moth have been known to block out the light of the moon.

Decades back, flocks of black swans blocked out the Byron sun. But owing to declining habitats, a dramatic decline in migratory birds has been noted. Furthermore, the installation of the proposed Bioenergy Plant, without consultation with the community, or with the respected civil society citizens of ‘Byron Bird Buddies’ and other civil society representatives, urgently indicates deeper reasons why a pause in the process must be considered. The wetlands adjacent to the sewage plant are globally recognised as a remarkable habitat for many unique birds. The proposed installation of the Bioenergy Plant in this habitat is deserving of a total environmental Impact study (EIS). Not only should it address the rights of nature but also the citizens of Sunrise Beach and Byron Bay.
The precautionary principle must be immediately implemented by ratepayers and the Byron community.

Bioenergy plants are associated with burning methane. Air pollution is globally noted as a highest emitter of particles that affect lungs and increase mortality. Council is advertising the plant in a manner that infantilises community members by depicting ‘easy-peasy’ images of a truck entering a shed. This is narrated in a child’s voice!  Very insulting. No information re emissions.

Furthermore, the community have experienced the destruction of nature by corporate-led (secret society) Council. The slaughter of trees in Railway Park, the demise of species and community in Butler Street, the erection and removal of the ‘Disco Dong’, the destruction of breeding places for the little Tern at Elements Resort. Let us not forget the plight of the highly endangered Mitchell’s rainforest Snail formerly located in Butler Street. Corporate Council’s Anthropocene ‘ecological’ remedy dictated that the species must be removed from Butler Street to the wetlands bird sanctuary for survival. Now it must be removed to enable the installation of the Bioenergy Plant!

The Corporate Anthropcene representatives are a breed devoid of empathy to any other living species it seems. The snail now joins the growing statistics of homelessness in Byron as we all witness the demise of ecological systems which are life giving. Furthermore, we must out any new Anthropocene representative that threatens ‘we will all go to Court if developers do not get their way’, or ‘We must ‘go higher’. We must place stronger legal structures around Byron’s LEP, these must be legally abided by: by future developers, by Council staff and by councillors. At present, the developers are literally ‘going higher’ in a township that has, for decades, fought hard and long against the Gold Coast stamp of development. Why stick our heads in the sand now? Why create the conditions for future silent springs as nature is destroyed? Is this the Byron legacy for future generation? Resist.

Jo Faith, Newtown

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  1. The moon has no light of its own. What you see of the moon is a geological satelite of the Earth reflecting the light of the sun to Earth.
    A moth blocking the light of the moon must be a myth.


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