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Byron Shire
July 23, 2024

Contradicted council

Latest News

Tweed council catching up on DA backlog

Tweed Shire Council staff say they’re catching up on and reducing the number of outstanding development applications [DAs] lodged locally.

Other News

David – ‘self-hating Jew’

I am overwhelmed by the vitriol hurled at the 'self-hating Jew' David Heilpern by the letter writers in last...

Why the backlash towards David Heilpern?

I am visiting friends in Byron this week and looking at the letters section in The Echo I was...

45 search and rescue missions in June on Northern Rivers

Marine Rescue NSW saw a drop in search and rescue missions this June compared to last year, however, it was still their second-busiest June ever.

Mullum’s future water supply Q&A

In the same week public submissions were published largely against Council staff plans to decommission Mullum’s local water supply in favour of bulk supplier Rous (see page 1), Greens Council candidates are calling for a pause on the decision until after the September 14 local government elections. 

Teenage girl missing from Coffs Harbour

Police are asking the public for help finding a teenage girl reported missing from the Coffs Harbour area over the weekend.

Living in a cloud world

Last week the world had a taste of the kind of chaos which was predicted, but failed to eventuate, 24 years ago. This time the millennium bug couldn't be blamed. Instead, a tiny human coding error temporarily paralysed banks, airports, media outlets and other organisations around the planet, connected by the cloud of data that binds us all.

Local government elections are scheduled for 14 September 2024 and ‘Team Cadwallader’ of Ballina Shire Council have scored an own goal in promoting a report on the health of the Richmond River by Dr Matt Landos (Echo, 5 June, 2023). Have they been drinking from the purple pipe (recycled water)?

Dr Landos did not hold back in pages 56 to 60 of his report (available at https://ipen.org/documents/pristine-polluted), where he explained that the river cannot recover because our governments prioritise development and economic growth over the environment. He suggested on page 63 that real change would require ‘a societal shift in how humanity views the natural world’.

Ballina Shire Council has a poor record on protecting the environment. In particular, the incumbent Council voted to abolish environmental zones (‘deferred matters’) on 28 September 2023. Councillors Cadwallader, Bruem, Buchanan, Ramsey and Johnston voted for that motion, which passed with the casting vote of the mayor. Those same councillors voted to promote the report by Dr Landos on 23 May 2024, except that Councillor Buchanan was absent.

The motion by Councillor Bruem to promote the report by Dr Landos appeared to pass the buck to state and federal governments in stating that ‘many of the approaches to improve catchment health… are areas of state and federal government responsibility’. He may have ignored the fact most of the Richmond River estuary is within the Ballina Shire, where those habitats have been severely degraded. Dr Landos noted on page 57 of his report that ‘around the township of Ballina development of urban and industrial areas through in-filling of former wetland areas is continuing’.

Dr Landos made it clear on pages 58 and 59 of his report that ‘words alone do not deliver aquatic ecosystem protection’. Come September, those in Ballina Shire who want a healthy river are reminded to vote carefully.

Stephen Totterman, Empire Vale


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King tide flooding in Ballina

King tides in Ballina are expected to cause minor flooding of some local roads this week.

Teenage girl missing from Coffs Harbour

Police are asking the public for help finding a teenage girl reported missing from the Coffs Harbour area over the weekend.

Ballina motel siege: captives freed after 6 hrs

A man is to face court today after allegedly holding a woman and a small child against their will in a Ballina unit on Friday.

Editorial – Water politics is undrinkable 

Until now, the most significant difference between Mayor Michael Lyon (independent, former Green) and Greens challenger Cr Sarah Ndiaye has been on the Wallum fiasco.