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Byron Shire
May 20, 2022

Latest News

The floods are leaving people homeless and families split

There was a housing crisis on the Northern Rivers, then we had the floods of 2022 and the issue has left increasing numbers of people homeless and struggling to find alternative accommodation.

Other News

Interviews with Richmond candidates 2022: Independent Terry Sharples

Terry Sharples is a retired accountant living in the Tweed Shire and running as an Independent for the federal...

Hydrogen hoax

This is very serious. Last year expert scientists published a warning via The Society of Chemical Industry: ‘blue hydrogen’,...


I heard on the radio this morning (1 May) that a man spent ‘a record 48 hours’ in a...

Review of community response called for as challenges recognised

Local community members stepped forward to help coordinate and respond to the disaster; from people getting into boats and kayaks recusing strangers in Lismore to coordinating local response hubs in the hinterland and local towns. But it wasn't all a bed of roses.

Sue Higginson MLC: a woman on a mission

Local mother, grandmother, partner, activist, farmer, and lawyer, Sue Higginson, can now add NSW MLC Senator to her list of hyphenates.

Leila’s off to Oxford!

Local high school student, Leila Clarke, was scrolling through social media when the advertisement popped up.


100 Go Solar

World Environment Day is the perfect time to launch 100 Go Solar, a community initiative to encourage 100 businesses in the Byron Shire to go solar and win.

100 Go Solar is a bright idea for Byron businesses with clear cost savings, plenty of sunshine during working hours and lower pollution levels every day.

‘It makes economic and environmental sense to boost solar for businesses,” said Vicki Brooke, who leads the challenge. ‘Solar is popular with households but solar for business has lagged behind in Byron Shire,’ she said.

Now’s a great time to go solar:  businesses save on their power bills as soon as they switch to solar; high- quality panels are much more affordable and there are still government rebates to help reduce the cost.

Easy steps to solar

To enter the challenge, businesses in Byron Shire need to register their interest through the website www.100gosolar.com.au or email [email protected] Then they follow three easy steps:
(1) book an energy audit or seek advice from a supplier (to ensure energy efficiency)
(2) choose a solar supplier from the recommended list on the 100 Go Solar website and
(3) sign up for great savings!  There are finance options available, too, to help with upfront capital costs of a solar system. The website will be launched at a breakfast on 5 June.

Win great prizes

Businesses registered with 100 Go Solar who’ve switched on their solar will go into the monthly draw for great prizes, with extensive publicity for both businesses and prizegivers.

Local businesses have already stepped up to the challenge with generous prizes including vouchers for lunch and dinner, computer hardware, accommodation, eco-friendly paint, marketing appraisal and discount telco services.

100 Go Solar is supported by Byron Shire Council, Green Building Centre and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

For further information: Vicki Brooke
0425 243 860 [email protected]

How Hybrid Solar Power can Maximise Your Savings

Hybrid Solar Power offers you the best of both worlds all the great aspects of the On-Grid and Off-Grid solar systems. The benefits include:
- store your solar power for later use (after daylight hours)
- access power from the electricity network if needed
- have stored power when there is a blackout
- massively reduced electricity bills.
By utilising hybrid solar power you are generating the majority of your energy requirements, during both day and night time hours. There is a seamless interaction between the battery storage, solar power system, inverter and the electricity grid.

How hybrid solar power systems work

A Hybrid Solar Power System has several main components to operate. There are the solar panels on the roof that send power through to the battery storage, where the power is held until required. The solar inverter is the central point between the battery storage, the home or business, and the electricity grid.

When considering a hybrid solar system, find a reputable installer that uses trusted brands.  SAE Group is recognised for their professionalism, expertise and customer service.  Currently servicing the northern rivers and SE Qld regions, SAE has been named among the best installers nationwide.  For an obligation-free quote for the best in hybrid solar power systems, with the above benefits and results:

Contact SAE Group now on 1300 182 050.

Inside Patagonia

Patagonia began life in 1973, a thousand feet up, clinging to the side of El Capitan.

It was there that Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard, noticed the once-pristine face of the mountain was being pockmarked by thousands of steel pitons being driven into it – the very same steel pitons he was manufacturing in his tin shed in Ventura. Here was a mountain eternal and grand that had stood staunch for 100 million years, a mountain that should last the best part of forever, being flaked away into gravel. The symbolism of the moment set Yvon upon a lifelong mission to prove business can indeed have a simpatico relationship with the natural world.

In the years since, Patagonia has evolved into an enterprise with a unique philosophy, a way of doing things, a way to see the world and our place in it. Today Patagonia is still up on the mountain, but also lives in the oceans and rainforests, on trails and beaches: all the places where people seek adventure and discovery.

Patagonia product is designed for exploring, embracing and challenging the frontiers. The product is designed for simplicity and is designed to last. Every product has been designed so it can be repaired, otherwise it doesn’t get made. It’s Patagonia’s way of helping to reduce landfill and our impact.

The love of a wild and beautiful world comes with an obligation to preserve its wilderness and beauty, and Patagonia is committed to this. It always has been. We donate our time, energy and one percent of all sales to like-minded, grassroots environmental groups who are out there working to keep the natural wonder in the world.

1/58 Jonson St, Byron Bay. Ph: 02 6685 8528

Enova Community Energy provides a local alternative

Enova Community Energy Ltd is a new locally owned community renewable energy company that will be launching in the coming weeks.

Enova will commence operation as a full retailer. They will enable customers to purchase locally produced renewable energy and support the building of local small scale generation plant connected with battery storage; influence regulatory change in the distribution business to bring about lower cost of local distribution via virtual net metering; and enable neighbours to share local generation.

Register your interest at www.enovaenergy.com.au 

World Environment Day Festival 2015

The Caldera Environment Centre (CEC) with support from Tweed Shire Council will run an environmentally affirming Family Fun Day in Knox Park, Murwillumbah, on Sunday 7 June, from 10am till 3pm.

The CEC’s Green Energy and Wastewise event will highlight the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) International Year of the Soil. This year’s festival will seek to enable local people in a practical sense by providing information about how soil health can be improved and also what solar-energy options are available, through guest speakers who are soil and solar scientists. Don’t miss the facilitated solar-energy experts panel / discussion / Q&A session early in the day! Later sessions in the speakers hall focus on organic growing, sustainable land use and the changing climate impacts on local food production

This free event will have something for the whole family with live music and entertainment from Bunya, Luna Junction and The Pitts Family Circus, environmental and sustainable business stalls, a kids’ activities tent and a tasty range of vegetarian food, fresh-baked cakes, biscuits, chai and quality espresso coffee.


Choose Organic Food

‘The hardest concept for people to grapple with is the fact that every one of us is actually impacting on the condition of the water cycle, the atmosphere and the climate through our decisions and in return that impacts on what is happening back on our farms and in our communities. It’s a big cycle. It’s our responsibility and
it’s something we desperately need to do something about.’

This is why: ‘I choose to grow and eat organic food because I understand that this food will not only regenerate my health, but it will also regenerate the landscape and the ecosystems which I am dependant on for clean air, fresh water and a stable climate.’

FigTrees Organic Farms would like to thank our friends at Munch Crunch Organics, The Roadhouse Byron Bay, Wholly Smoke and Ocean Shores butcheries who understand the importance of connecting healthy food back to a healthy landscape.

Figtrees Organic Farms - Glenn - 0409 272 894  

Take Back Your Power

We are in a new revolution in the way energy is being generated and distributed. Cost factors for solar storage are now way lower than peak electricity prices, allowing people to take control of their energy in a way that was not possible before. We can stop the coal-burning generators by reducing the need for peak level, baseload power by storing solar energy and reducing grid power to a small support, rather than a prime need. The decentralisation, decarbonisation and democratisation of the energy market is underway.

Vincent Selleck from 888 Solar Tek will be speaking about strategies for storing solar energy and developing community micro-grids at the World Environment Day Festival, Knox Park, Murwillumbah at 10.30am on Sunday 7 June.

Ph: 6688 4480

Litter blitz in Byron Bay

Byron Shire Council and North East Waste are celebrating World Environment Day early by holding a Litter Blitz special event this Thursday. It’s part of the effort to reduce littering around the main bus stop near the Visitors Centre in Byron. The busy bus stop has been identified as a local rubbish hotspot with cigarette butts and takeaway packaging often littering the area.

Rubbish experts, Inspector Trash and Mr G Litter, will be there from 9am till 12pm, to take a fun look at littering behaviour, and there will be the opportunity to take the Litter Challenge and go into the draw to win a massage treatment worth up to $120.

The event is part of the NSW EPA statewide Hey Tosser litter-reduction campaign.

NE Waste secured $70,000 for the regional campaign under the Waste Less Recycle More initiative, funded through the waste levy. Some of the funding has been used to install new cigarette-butt bins to encourage those using the area to ‘bin their butts’.

The NSW government is also trialling education strategies and boosting surveillance to deter litterers and to enforce penalties for littering, particularly from vehicles.

For more information visit the NE Waste website: www.newaste.org.au/litter

Stop Food Waste and Win a $100 Food Hamper

Did you know that 63 per cent of NSW households forget about leftovers in the fridge or freezer*? What a waste of edible food and money. NE Waste and your local council are encouraging households to sign up to the Love Food Hate Waste Challenge and reduce their food waste this World Environment Day.

‘More than $2.5 billion worth of edible food is thrown away by NSW households each year.* Small but simple actions can dramatically cut the amount of food wasted and save us more than $1,000 a year,’ said Linda Tohver, education coordinator with NE Waste.

‘We are asking people to commit to do at least one thing differently as part of the Love Food Hate Waste Challenge. This week, we are also giving away a local food hamper worth $100 to one lucky person who signs up to the Challenge and Facebook page.’

Tools, tips, and delicious recipes on how to make the most of your food are available to those who join. Sign up at www.newaste.org.au, access our Facebook page.The Love Food Hate Waste Challenge, and pledge to:

Plan your meals – by creating a weekly menu plan, you are less likely to purchase excess foods.
Write, and shop to, a list.
Store your food properly.
Freeze excess food.
Cook and serve the right amount for your family/
Love your leftovers – eat them, reuse them or freeze them.

This project is supported by the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.

*These statistics are from the NSW EPA’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign: www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au

Activism for our environment

World Environment Day is a day that reminds us how we act all year round.

Byron Shire is an ecologically significant area and, as a community, we can feel proud of three decades of community activism to protect and preserve.

Currently so much of what is precious is at risk: our beaches, our koalas, our wetlands and forests. Please, take the opportunity to get involved and speak up for the protection of this special place.

One vote by your council can change the future and destroy so much; don’t let it happen. Get active or lose what you love!

Jan Barham MLC   www.janbarham.org.au

Rous Water

While onsite sewage management systems are designed and installed by licensed professionals, homeowners are responsible for operation and maintenance of these systems. Often systems fail because owners do not maintain them after installation.

Wastewater contains pathogens – micro-organisms that can cause serious illness and disease. Poorly designed, installed, operated and/or maintained systems can release pathogens into groundwater and local waterways, represent a risk to the region’s drinking water sources, and can be very expensive to repair.

OSSMs protect human health and the environment by safely recycling wastewater back into the natural environment. Protect the environment this World Environment Day by completing a check of your OSSM!

For more information on maintaining your system contact your local council or Rous Water www.rouswater.nsw.gov.au

Richmond candidates 2022: Informed Medical Options Party candidate Monica Shepherd

Monica Shepherd is an organic naturopath based in Ocean Shores. She is running as a candidate for the Informed Medical Options Party in the federal seat of Richmond.

Storylines – Stop the rot and take action

Having spent a long time reflecting on the last 13 weeks since the floods devastated our region, many important issues have come to my attention – loss of homes, possessions, safety, schools suspended from flooding, chaos, death, loss of animals, extreme anxiety and desperation, and so much more.

Review of community response called for as challenges recognised

Local community members stepped forward to help coordinate and respond to the disaster; from people getting into boats and kayaks recusing strangers in Lismore to coordinating local response hubs in the hinterland and local towns. But it wasn't all a bed of roses.

$17m in funds for work on crown lands in NSW

If you are involved in managing crown reserve land and facilities then now is the time to get that application in for a share of the $17 million that is available fro the 2022-3 funding round.