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Byron Shire
October 4, 2022

The Coal Monster’s victims could dwarf the impacts of COVID-19

Latest News

‘Sad and distressing’: massive numbers of bird deaths in Australian heatwaves reveal a profound loss is looming

Heatwaves linked to climate change have already led to mass deaths of birds and other wildlife around the world. To stem the loss of biodiversity as the climate warms, we need to better understand how birds respond.

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Acid sulfate soil run off impacting health of fish and Tweed River

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Mullum biz petition for road improvements

A petition from Mullumbimby industrial estate business owners will be tabled at the upcoming September 29 meeting, which calls on Council to upgrade pothole ridden Manns Road.

On Save the Koala Day conservationists all agree they disagree with the Minister for Environment

Ahead of today’s Save the Koala Day, NSW Minister for Environment James Griffin yesterday announced that private landholders are being supported to restore 200 hectares of koala habitat in the Northern Rivers.

NSW says ‘No’ to decriminalising drugs but pivots towards a health-based response

After waiting almost three years to respond to the recommendations of the NSW Ice Inquiry NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, has rejected the recommendation to decriminalise use of illicit drugs. 

What drainage works can residents expect?

With a third La Niña now underway, The Echo asked Council’s Director Infrastructure Services, Phil Holloway, what flood-affected residents can expect regarding drainage maintenance.

Short films grace the screen from Oct 21

The Byron Bay International Film Festival is back from October 21 to 30 with a ten-day program of premieres, panels and parties.

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals set up a mock medical ward with dying patients to demonstrate the health impacts of air pollution and climate change. Photo Julian Meehan.

Healthcare workers staged a climate ‘die-in’ in Melbourne this morning with leading public health advocates, healthcare workers and community members are taking action outside the offices of what they say is Australia’s biggest climate polluter, AGL, warning that the health impacts of the climate crisis could dwarf the impacts of Covid-19.

AGL is currently reviewing its approach to climate change ahead of a proposed demerger, with a decision on its climate policy expected imminently.

Photo Julian Meehan.

The group of health activists, including doctors, nurses and other health professionals have set up a mock medical ward with dying patients to demonstrate the health impacts of air pollution and climate change, and are delivering an open letter signed by 25 Australian health organisations and over 600 healthcare workers calling for AGL to commit to replacing coal with renewable energy by 2030, in line with recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

Photo Julian Meehan.

Photo Julian Meehan.

Climate crisis hit home during the Black Summer

Emergency physician and ED at Echuca Health, Dr Simon Judkins, said that as an emergency physician, the health impacts of the climate crisis hit home during the Black Summer bushfires. ‘I was treating patients suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation, saw others huddling in distress amidst the charred landscape surrounding them, and just this month we saw the Flying Doctor Service unable to take off due to extreme heat in Western Australia.

‘Without rapid action to replace coal as the biggest cause of climate change, our already stretched health system will struggle to provide the high-quality care that we all need and deserve.’

Frontline healthcare workers have seen the health impacts of climate change

Photo Julian Meehan.

Photo Julian Meehan.

President of the Australian Federation of Medical Women, Dr Magdalena Simonis, said as frontline healthcare workers, they’ve seen the deadly impacts of COVID-19. ‘But we’ve also seen the health impacts of climate change as heatwaves and bushfires continue to get more frequent and more severe.

‘As Australia’s biggest climate polluter, AGL must put people’s health first and commit to replacing coal with renewable energy this decade if we are to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis.’

Associate Professor Lou Irving, from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, said that burning coal was already harming people by emitting toxic air pollutants such as fine particulates, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide, exacerbating heart and lung conditions.

‘Toxic pollutants from burning coal exacerbate diseases such as childhood asthma and can reduce life expectancy for people within hundreds of kilometres of a power station, particularly those with existing heart and lung conditions,’ said Dr Irving.

AGL is a joint respondent in a court case brought by conservation group Environment Victoria seeking to limit air pollution and greenhouse gases from the power stations in the Latrobe Valley, and has had dozens of breaches for ash spills, exceeding air pollution limits and water contamination.

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  1. Dying is real.
    Theatrics has about as much impact as hitting someone with a feather duster
    Dying is real. Death is real. Get real.
    Get out of Vaudeville and treat death as a real thing.

    • Emily, its directing the public;s attention to the reality that Coal impacts human health and Coal Kills. Instead of slagging off at these concerned Health Workers maybe have a talk to people who live and work in places like Morwell Vic.

  2. Funny how they can do this stuff when they are overwhelmed with Covid cases.
    Remember all those dance videos the UK nurses had time to make during their Covid surge.
    They get bored with nothing to do.

    • Stefanie, it doesn’t take much for our Echo pages ‘boys club’ to start firing away with their usual scribbles of drivel.
      They aren’t frontline workers and, judging by the the quality of their posts, we should be mighty thankful that they aren’t.


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CWA push for improved maternity services

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Chris Minns visits Kingscliff to look at floodplain development risks

The potential future risks and costs of flooding to the community and government if approved, but yet to be built, housing is allowed to go ahead in floodplains was under the spotlight last week in Kingscliff.

The Tweed Artisan Food Festival is almost here

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$30 million Aboriginal Community and Place Grants

Eligible Aboriginal community organisations and groups can apply for funding through the new solutions-focused $30 million Aboriginal Community and Place Grants program.