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Byron Shire
February 22, 2024

Byron deserves better – Byron Shire Mayor and Echo editor…

Latest News

An adventure of a different kind

Two years ago adventurer Emma Scattergood discovered that a journey doesn’t always involve travel. In 2022, Emma was told she had stage 3 invasive lobular breast cancer. 

Other News

Conciliation fails over 742-lot DA on North Lismore Plateau

Tuesday’s Land and Environment Court conciliation meeting on the 742-residential-lot subdivision on Sleeping Lizard – Banyam Biagham (the North Lismore Plateau) ‘was terminated’. 

Interview with Hayley Grace

Hayley Grace’s response to post-flood PTSD, was to look at life and healing in a different way, then come through the other side writing about it – her new single ‘Mary Jane’ is the result. Hayley and The Bay Collective, a raucous seven-piece big band – featuring a full horn section, guitar, bass, keys and percussion – will launch the song this week and play some shows to get it out there. Seven spoke to Hayley on the weekend to get her POV on The Bay Collective and recovery.

New programs and plenty of tennis have flowed from tennis court upgrades in Suffolk Park

Suffolk Park Tennis is in full swing after court enhancements and the introduction of a full program since then. The...

Breaking bad promises

It’s so hard to introduce urgently-needed reforms in today’s fevered media climate that governments tiptoe around problems and hardly dare to act.

Bob Brown arrested in the Styx

Yesterday Dr Bob Brown was arrested alongside activists Colette Harmsen and Ali Alishah in a logging coupe on the edge of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. All three were taken to the Bridgewater Police Station.

NSW Aboriginal Land Councils elections this weekend

Elections for members of NSW Aboriginal Land Councils (NSWALC) are on this weekend and NSWALC CEO Yuseph Deen stresses the critical significance of active participation in shaping the future of Aboriginal communities in New South Wales.

The heading refers to the editor of our local paper, who once again attempts to discredit Council staff with his uninformed piece last week about Linnaeus.

To set the record straight and provide background, there was a court-imposed ‘private education’ zoning under the 1988 LEP that did not have a corresponding fit in the 2014 standard instrument. State Parliamentary Counsel made the recommendation to Byron Council that this be transferred to the ‘mixed-use’ zone it currently sits under, as there was no other label that could resolve the existing approval.

This was reported up to the 25 August 2016 Council meeting and approved by councillors unanimously, including Cr Dey, who was on Council that term, two terms ago. It was not foreseen by anyone at that time that the zoning would potentially allow other uses on the site, such as eco-tourism.

To try to blame staff for this is unfair and not based on fact but this is the lack of quality and integrity we’ve come to expect from Hans unfortunately.

When will Echo management make the long overdue call and place an advert for a new editor, one who can lift the standard of debate and community information so that we can all benefit? We deserve better.

Michael Lyon, Byron Shire Mayor

Byron Shire Echo – editor responds

In the Council agenda from April 16, 2020, Council planning staff admitted that a ‘fundamental error’ had occurred with the label zoning change and Schedule 1 changes to allow a community title (CT) on some of the last sensitive littoral rainforest remaining on the region’s coastline at Linnaeus Estate.

This change of zoning label resulted in a huge advantage for the developer, despite Brandon Saul, on behalf of the developers, telling The Echo in November 2020 that all 15 parties to the development agreed that mixed use zoning was not appropriate for the site.

Additionally, the public were also denied procedural fairness because there were no exhibition/submissions for the changes at the time.

It seems that everyone agrees the rezoning, recommended (but not required) by the DPI, was completely inappropriate for the site.

It’s only Cr Lyon who is calling for the editor to be sacked for reminding everyone of how this occurred.

Hans Lovejoy, Editor, Byron Shire Echo

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  1. Michael Lyons….. its hard to believe that you are accusing someone else of lack of integrity and quality of communication when these are the exact actions you yourself engage in. To date you have failed the residents of Mullumbimby township , many who went under mud in the last flood, by supporting the pod development and consequent filling of this flood prone land. You have provided mis information, not advocated for the concerns of the neighbouring residents and pushed your own agenda despite overwhelming public concerns and anxiety about this rushed development. You have failed to action what you have promised and completely failed the residents of Mullumbimby. Unlike our surrounding councils that listened and actioned the concerns of their residents you have shut the door on community consultation, disregarded the very real concerns of the Mullumbimby residents and passed the buck on responsibility all because you see it as a stepping stone in your career . This has led to so much anxiety in the community and a distrust of the democratic ideals touted by Byron Shire Council. I don’t think you understand the damage you are doing and maybe its time to start being honest and transparent.

  2. Byron is LUCKY to have The Echo Jimie that is if you believe in independent journalism and Democracy. Then again these words will possibly fall on deaf ears if you indulge in Murdoch ‘news’ and other very thin sensational debates which abound in the ether!

    • It’s a Green’s publicity paper and their version of ‘Democracy’

      There is nothing ‘independant’ in predominately publishing one view .

      As you would know.

      I don’t buy or follow any Murdoch paper Thank you for the poor guess , though.

      Deaf ears or tunnel vision , which is worse ?

      None of your comments addressed the Article , not surprisingly !

    • Jo – I agree that independent journalism is a gift and a privelege, however the Echo has a long history of agenda driven journalism, political wedging and attacks and just straight out misinformation and inaccuracies. I used to love it, now it’s more like a green version of newscorp! While it may not be MSM it certainly uses MSM style tactics to misinform and divide and conquer. Why should you just assume that someone who is not an echo fan is a newscorp reader? As a reader I want good quality, independent and well researched journalism – the Echo has a patchy track record here and I know many folk who see it that way.


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Police confirm two babies dead on February 11 in Mullumbimby

NSW Police have confirmed that at about 2am Sunday 11 February, emergency services were called to a home in Mullumbimby following reports of a concern for welfare.

Just what the doctor and nurses and midwives ordered

It seems like nurses and midwives are always struggling under the weight of poor patient-to-staff ratios. It is hoped that an influx of new workers could help ease the load. This will be a welcome relief for local staff.

Affordable housing summit next week

As the affordable housing issue shows no signs of easing in the near future, key figures in the housing, property, and finance sectors will come together to tackle the country’s housing challenges at the ninth Affordable Housing Development & Investment Summit

Lorikeets on the mend as paralysis season eases

A poorly-understood phenomenon where lorikeets in the region becoming paralysed and unable to fly is thankfully coming to an end for 2024, says WIRES wildlife vet, Dr Tania Bishop.