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Byron Shire
July 7, 2022

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Value of the intangible and Suffolk Parks future

It’s hard to know what value to place on the environment – until it changes irrevocably.  A place is defined...

Other News

Farmers: flood rebuild vital for regional survival

An increase in federal government funding to rebuild businesses in Lismore has been welcomed by the state’s peak farming body, but it remains concerned about vital job losses.

Weaving through NAIDOC

DJ and Delta with some of the Weaving for Reconciliation exhibits. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: To Hall and Back

There is something magical about a country hall. These small wooden buildings dot the landscape. They have a frugal modesty and an old fashioned generosity. If they had names they’d be called Thelma or Rose or Alan. They’re a pungent olfactory mix of last week’s wedding enmeshed with yesterday’s committee meeting. Curry and Jatz, tea and beer, tears and laughter.

Flood help information from Chinderah, and Uki to South Golden Beach

The floods in February and March are still having direct impacts on the lives of many people and Serice NSW has a trailer coming to a location near you so you can easily access flood assistance.

Lake Ainsworth

The heavy rain on 28–30 March 2022 resulted in flooding of Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head to about 2m...

Will Byron become the Malibu of the antipodes?

Here’s another reason for millennials to be marching on the street. We found out last week that on census day 2021, 15 per cent of the dwellings in the Byron Shire were unoccupied (2,348 places to be precise). That figure was 30 per cent in Byron Bay itself, three times the national average. 

The Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) has approved a Bioenergy facility that will cost $16.5 million. This cost may well blow out, as building costs generally do over time. It will only provide half of Council’s electricity consumption, electricity that is already sourced from green energy: 60 per cent wind and 40 per cent offset. How many years will it take to pay off this facility? The majority of residents don’t want it, for good reasons. Why is Council pushing this onto us? Another legacy from Simon Richardson! 

In 2017 Council raised the residential rates by 33.5 per cent over four years. According to Mayor Richardson’s statement in the Northern Star (9.5.17) the rate rise would raise $11.72m and ‘will be allocated to reducing the Council’s infrastructure backlog and improving financial sustainability’.

It appears that the Council’s finances will be severely challenged by the cost of the Bioenergy facility, $16.5m+. Who will be paying for this facility? Is this cost sustainable?

Council is about to raise the waste removal rates by 17 per cent. They say it has nothing to do with the cost of the Bioenergy facility, but is owing to the cost of transporting the Shire’s green waste to Qld for processing. How is it that Council wants to build an expensive high tech Bioenergy facility for green waste and they can’t create a composting facility like Lismore and other councils have to solve this problem? Wouldn’t it be a lot simpler, better for the environment and cheaper to compost our green waste? 

The other fixed charges in the rates, such as water, are going up by 3.5 per cent. What will happen to our water rates when the cost of the $220m+ Dunoon Dam (now back in the Rous Future Water Plan) kicks in? 

We have until Friday to comment on the new waste charges. The Draft Revenue Policy including Fees & Charges, (see page 7 for waste), is on exhibition now at https://www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/dpop

Kathryn McConnochie

Byron Bay


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Shocking enough you have to pay off the high initial cost of infrastructure, then you get the monetary savings. It took two generations to pay off our coal fired power plants, then we got 7 cent per kilo watt, so we blew them up. We could leave the sprinklers on all day in the 80s because we built lots of dams in the 50s and spent 30 years paying them off. I’m not advocating poo power, we should rebuilt our coal plants, but your ‘high initial cost’ argument is fallacious.

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Flood help information from Chinderah, and Uki to South Golden Beach

The floods in February and March are still having direct impacts on the lives of many people and Serice NSW has a trailer coming to a location near you so you can easily access flood assistance.

Weaving through NAIDOC

DJ and Delta with some of the Weaving for Reconciliation exhibits. Photo Jeff Dawson.

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