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Byron Shire
March 1, 2024

1, 2, 3, 4… who will you vote for?

Latest News

Investment fraud charges – Gold Coast

Detectives from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group have arrested and charged five people in relation to an alleged ‘boiler room’ investment fraud operating on the Gold Coast.

Other News

Damning 2022 flood housing audit released for Northern NSW

A performance audit of how effectively, or not, the NSW government provided emergency accommodation and temporary housing in response to the 2022 floods has been released by the NSW Audit Office. 

Man dies at unpatrolled Yamba beach

A man has died after being swept into surf at Pippi Beach, near Yamba, north of Coffs Harbour.

Gratitude for the ‘vagina’ events

This year I joined the V-day dance for the first time and I will treasure this sacred gathering for...

Delay on clothes-optional beach decision 

Tyagarah Beach will remain a clothes-optional location until at least June 30, after the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) bowed to a concerted campaign from the local naturist community.

The Art of Woman highlights the upcoming Lismore Women’s Festival 

Friday evening saw a bountiful display of art at Lismore’s Serpentine Gallery celebrating the feminine and preluding the 2024 Lismore Women’s Festival. 

Clothing-optional at Tyagarah Beach

I am writing to object to Byron Shire Council’s intention to revoke the clothing-optional status of Tyagarah Beach. I grew...

Registrations to nominate to run in the NSW state election closed yesterday, Wednesday, 8 March, for anyone wanting to compete for votes in the 25 March election.

Most pundits are predicting a ‘vanilla victory’ for the state’s Labor opposition after a tumultuous twelve years of coalition-led governance.

State political analysts say a minority government is likely, with more elected parliamentarians sitting on the crossbench and forcing whichever party wins the most votes to negotiate more over new laws.

The coalition government lost majority control over the state’s upper house (legislative council) during its most recent term and there haven’t been any obvious signs of a strong comeback so far in the campaign.

Instead, commentators say the lower house (legislative assembly) is also likely to be more diverse in terms of its political affiliations.

Voting loyalty on the Northern Rivers tested

The story on the Northern Rivers is particularly interesting, given the three main electorates on the far North Coast represent strong support for the incumbent Nationals, Labor in the seat of Lismore and The Greens in the seat of Ballina. The seat of Tweed is currently held by longstanding Nationals member Geoff Provest.

The two progressive wins have happened upon retirement of long-serving popular Nationals’ members, suggesting regional voting loyalty depends on more than party branding and even, dare we say, so-called ‘pork-barrelling’.

Slightly further south in the Clarence electorate, Chris Gulaptis for The Nationals has announced his retirement, creating another opportunity for the party to test its contemporary relevance on the Northern Rivers.

Back in Ballina, his counterpart, newcomer Josh Booyens, is running against incumbent Tamara Smith (The Greens) while Geoff Provest is again representing The Nationals in the Tweed electorate.

Labor’s Janelle Saffin won the 2019 election in Lismore from The Nationals when Thomas George retired after twenty years of service, reflecting a similar change in Ballina where Ms Smith took the seat from retiring Nationals’ member Don Page.

Ms Saffin has used her high profile as the region struggles to recover from last year’s floods and landsides disasters to help Labor’s Ballina candidate, Andrew Broadley, in his campaign.

Ballina independent says climate change a ‘scam’, accounts of First Nations massacres ‘fiction’

Ms Smith faces competition from three newcomers: Mr Booyens (Nationals), Mr Broadley (Labor) and Independent, Kevin Loughrey.

Mr Loughrey is focusing mostly on electricity prices, saying he will try to decrease them.

He has also publicly referred to both climate change and the ongoing pandemic as scams; says he wants to see many more dams built throughout the Northern Rivers, including the Dunoon Dam; and that historical Australian government policies on the treatment of First Nations peoples were ‘benign’.

Mr Loughrey denies accounts of massacres of First Nations peoples in Australia, describing them as ‘fiction’.

You can hear his controversial statements via Bay FM’s Community Newsroom program aired last week – trigger warnings, especially for First Nations people and allies, apply.

Ballina: meet the candidates in Byron Theatre, 15 March

All voters need to preference candidates themselves regardless of how candidates might suggest ranking one another, so have you worked out the order of your votes?

To help you make an informed choice, your local independent media, Bay FM 99.9 and The Echo, are again hosting Ballina: Meet the Candidates, on 15 March in the Byron Theatre from 6pm.

This free, live-broadcast event is a chance for you to hear from each candidate as they introduce themselves and answer questions from the public.

Please email [email protected] with your full name, which town or village you live in within the Ballina electorate, and the group or interest you represent, if you would like a chance to ask a question live – no guarantees, as time is limited and a diversity of topics related to state policies is to feature.

Tickets are available via Byron Theatre.


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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. What do they intend to do about CBDC?
    Are they for or against digital currency?
    Do they want to remove the cash, if so how and when?

  2. Just read Kevin Loughley website. Makes a lot of sense. it would be wonderful change to all the BS seen in these past few years.

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