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Byron Shire
July 2, 2022

Public rights Bioenergy Facility

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The ratified imposition of the proposed Bioenergy Facility in Sunrise Beach defies community expectations on every level.

The previous Council and current Council have attempted to minimise public information that is imperative to the health of sentient beings within the whole Byron Shire. To violate ‘the rights to know’, which is a democratic right supporting the dictates of public interest, in the current climate change period displays fossilised thinking; which in the long run supports authoritarian capital interests. The fact that 99 per cent of submissions objected to this proposal was not acknowledged by the Northern Regional Planning Panel – and that should outrage every ratepayer in the Shire.

The research on this plant is the most intense that I have ever read and requires the knowledge and expertise of multi-disciplinary minds. The simple fact that the flame from the smokestacks will emit toxins likened to acid rain onto wetlands, bird species, waterways, and sentient beings including vulnerable communities defies imagination. Not only are smokestacks being phased out of use, but toxic emissions continue to contribute to the atmospheric/Earth crisis. Council is really playing with public fire at a time when Earth is undergoing spontaneous fires and tragic floods. Communities are not that stupid – surely we must realise that capital aspirants who engage in green-spin are always attached to business interests. This is the current fate facing the Byron Shire. A putrid smell emanates from this proposal!

We learn that an ‘independent ecologist’ will be employed to give an opinion on the state of affairs prior to this development. It gets worse. Look what happened to rights of nature at Elements Resort (see report by Dailan Pugh, an ecological tragedy). Look what happened to the township of Byron during the recent floods. The prior destruction of ecological rights, public interest and community rights were ignored in order to manifest the current bypass in Byron township. Species were also ignored by the ‘independent ecologist’ and a population of the endangered Mitchell’s rainforest snail was removed to the current Bioenergy site. It has been mooted that they will be once again moved. A symbolic reminder of growing sentient homelessness worsened by the money of developers.

No-one can deny that we need alternatives to human waste disposal, but this development proposal has an authoritarian stamp all over it and as such alerts caring communities to the rightful application of a precautionary principle. No matter what site the current proposal stands on, flares of toxic fire will ignite the maxim ‘fools rush in where angels fear to tread’. Beware Byron. Resist.

Jo Faith, Newtown

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