16.5 C
Byron Shire
June 23, 2024

Cynical Swivel

Latest News

Drones not detonation

The extraordinary popularity of the Vivid light shows in Sydney has exploded this year, but quietly, thanks to the...

Other News

Drones not detonation

The extraordinary popularity of the Vivid light shows in Sydney has exploded this year, but quietly, thanks to the...

Assange appeal

Yet another year has passed and Wednesday, 3 July is Julian Assange’s 53rd birthday. It will be the sixth birthday...

Hormones may be the key to treating anorexia

It has one of the highest death rates of any mental illness, and leads to severe physical and mental health complications. But anorexia nervosa has been poorly understood, under-recognised, under-researched, and underfunded for decades.

Sunshine brings football back to the Northern Rivers

After weeks of relentless rain washing out every game, the sunny days of June have allowed local football to...

Cartoon of the week – June 19, 2024

The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Bruns, the fishing town, becomes a musical!  

‘All the old salts have moved on… All the old salts have moved on… I’m wondering where they’ve gone…’

I was utterly horrified to hear Cr Mark Swivel touting a ‘community land trust for conservation’ concept as his own in the context of his reelection campaign on BayFM last week. This grassroots initiative has been worked on diligently by First Nations and community members, including myself, for months. It was initiated in the context of ‘Saving Wallum’ but with a regional vision for the protection of cultural and ecological heritage.

Now Cr Swivel, who has offered nothing to the community on this issue and has facilitated the development’s progress while undermining and dismissing the community’s opposition, wants to swoop in and claim the credit for the hard work of the very people he has obstructed, to prop up his joint reelection campaign with Michael Lyon?

While Swivel is correct that the idea of a land trust which maps our region’s essential wetlands and habitats for conservation is a groundbreaking and valuable project, his attempt to co-opt it for the very same statutory bodies which ushered in the pending destruction of a premier candidate for such protection at Wallum is unsound and disingenuous. Byron Shire Council (BSC) would be utterly the wrong institution to lead this proposal, as demonstrated by their systemic failure at every stage of the Wallum decision – and make no mistake, they contributed decisively at several points.

Though councillors, most notably Mayor Lyon, try to hide from responsibility, the proper action for them now is a post-mortem of exactly where they went wrong, both in their pre-approval collusion and their post-approval ineffectiveness, and how to prevent a repeat.

Has either Lyon or Swivel sought meetings with state departments or state or federal representatives to advocate for Wallum and protection of wetlands and biodiversity on the site? Is there a review underway of why Council staff and consultants are not applying due diligence or Council’s own policies on biodiversity and climate in their rubber-stamping of DAs such as Wallum?

Given their lack of engagement on the opportunities mentioned above, can either Mark Swivel or Michael Lyon point to a single genuine action to contribute to a just outcome at Wallum or fix the problems in BSC that led to this situation, beyond publishing the non-consultative amended DA concept? Without any meaningful attendant action like calling public meetings, inviting public comment, or pressing for state, federal, or legal intervention, the amended DA looks like a half-hearted attempt at image rehabilitation, as does this latest piece of opportunistic plagiarism.

Both Lyon and Swivel have demonstrated a breathtaking contempt for the community on this issue, an attitude of ‘we know better’.

Our work as CLAI (Community-Led Acquisition Initiative), a regional, grassroots, First Nations, and community-led land bank or ‘community land trust’ is on the record in multiple forms. Ministers were briefed on the concept by First Nations leaders in successful meetings at state parliament earlier this month We look forward to Cr Swivel getting in touch to ask how he can serve the community’s innovative proposal.

Phoebe Torzillo, Mullumbimby

Previous articleNo care at Shaws Bay
Next articleOngoing roadworks

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.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Cars and other items stolen from Brunswick Heads

Local police are warning residents in the Byron Shire to be diligent in maintaining their home security after personal items and vehicles were stolen from Brunswick Heads yesterday.

Yes, peace is the solution

Both Duncan Shipley-Smith and John Scrivener yet again display the same responses that I talk about over, and over and over again. They do...

Teething problem

I think it’s really stupid and potentially dangerous that the concept of an absorption period of charging a lead acid battery has been transferred...

Rising Tide activists head to Justine Elliot’s office with kayaks

Today saw just over 40 people kayak from John Follent Park in Tweed Heads to Faux Park in South Tweed, before walking close to a one km with their kayaks to the Labor Member for Richmond's Office to demand an end to new fossil fuel projects.