15.4 C
Byron Shire
May 24, 2024

Editorial – Getting recovery right

Latest News

Surfing on the spectrum – free fun for everyone at Lennox and Byron this Sunday

Ocean Heroes will be giving children who are on the autism spectrum the chance to experience what it is like to be in the ocean on a surfboard this Saturday at Lennox Head and Sunday in Byron Bay.

Other News

Local Labor MP supports Future Gas Strategy

Climate research scientist, Joelle Gergis, has joined other scientists, academics, think tanks and economists in condemning federal Labor’s Future Gas Strategy, which was released last week.

Flood 2022

I congratulate Lismore’s Trinity College work experience student Bella Clay on her article (Echo, April 26), relating her family’s...

Stone & Wood wins at Australian International Beer Awards

Stone & Wood Brewing are proud to announce a big win at the Melbourne Royal Australian International Beer Awards held last night, with the brewery’s Big Pale Ale taking home the title of Champion Australian Beer. Big Pale Ale also took out the Best Australian Pale Ale category.

Embarking on adventure

The 2024 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to Brunswick Heads and the Picture House is calling all adventurers, thrill-seekers, and lovers of the great outdoors. With only two screenings scheduled for 23 and 24 May, tickets are selling fast.

NSW gov’t opens Tweed Valley Hospital

The NSW government is to officially open the $723.3 million Tweed Valley Hospital today after the transferral of patients to the new facility last week.

Trains on roads

Soon we will have electric self-driving cars. The number of cars around the world could drop to ten per...

The Tweed River at Chinderah during the February-March 2022 flood. Photo supplied.

The recognition of loss and damage at COP27 is a cause for celebration by those countries, especially developing countries, already experiencing the impacts of climate change.

While floods continue to devastate much of Australia, here on the Northern Rivers we are in recovery, tallying the costs of the unprecedented February and March floods on our lives, lifestyles and futures.

The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) is a key part of that recovery. It is meant to provide compensation for the ‘damage and loss’ people have experienced locally and to plan for the future. NRRC is  supplying $800 million of government money towards house buybacks, house raising, wetproofing houses, and investing in land-release programs where displaced residents may be housed.

The fertile red soil of Cudgen is currently designated SSF. Photo supplied.

However, the way this is approached is vital. There are key questions around the preservation of State Significant Farmland (SSF), a special zoning put in place in 2005 to protect valuable farming land. The government corporation must also consider real sustainability actions on water use, energy supply and other infrastructure.

The value of biodiversity must be incorporated into the work of the NRRC. The choices they make on our behalf will be the key factors that shape this region as we face the repercussions of the world’s failure to address climate change and to keep the temperature rise below 1.5 degrees.

Mount Chincogan with Mount Warning in the background. The North Coast is considered a biodiveristy hotspot. Photo Ziggi Browning.

Currently, the NRRC is not looking at the sustainable carrying capacity of the region as one of the underlying principles of their approach to the ‘quick land release’ process. There is an approach of continual growth, which is not sustainable in the longer term.

While the leader of the NRRC, David Witherdin, told The Echo last week that they would be working with current developers who can quickly bring land to market for housing, he said that approved, but yet-to-be-built, developments in flood-prone areas were not something that he would be looking at. Why not?

Map of revised Villa World DA. Map by Dailan Pugh

Currently wetlands at West Byron are being filled for housing, approved developments at Kingscliff will increase the risk of flooding for existing and future residents. When will the state government and the NRRC take action to ensure that they are not putting residents at increased risk?

Property developers can make enormous profits, the payoff for the risk they take on land speculation. They  should be shouldering a significant part of the responsibility for developing land at risk of flooding in the future. It should not be up to the taxpayer to bail them out if their planners did not honestly assess the risks in their environmental studies.

Future loss and damage must be calculated into the decisions taken today as we face a world in which the heating climate will cause more drought, fire and flooding. For those in power, such as the NRRC, ignoring these risks is foolish and irresponsible.

Aslan Shand, editor

News tips are welcome: [email protected]


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Homes cannot be built in any unsafe place. That ought to be that – no ifs or buts. People have had a gut full of deliberate misuse.

  2. Thanks Aslan, agreed. We all know that growth at all costs is a cancer that is killing us. When are we gonna have the guts to stop it? Or will we have to sacrifice so much that we love and need to survive, before that growth is forced (by climate chaos) to stop?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Wardell landowners asked to support fire ant eradication

Nearly 900 Wardell properties require treatment for fire ants, but the eradication team needs permission from each landowner.

The Darling Muffs of May need your help to reach fundraising target

Raising money to support frontline services for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness has been the driving force behind the Darling Muffs of May’s fundraising this year.

Why does Iron Gates developer get another bite at the DA?

Locals, concerned residents and other parties were left in the dark for the first 15 minutes of the Iron Gates (Goldcoral Pty Ltd) Land...

Death and Dying expo May 25

On Saturday May 25, a free Death and Dying expo will be held at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall from 10am-2pm.