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Byron Shire
July 18, 2024
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Articles & Columns

Ready for the meta-crisis?

The attempted assassination of Donald Trump has caused shock waves, but it’s sadly not surprising this would happen, with so much hate and vitriol being expressed in the US presidential race.

Keeping the Outback alive with patronage

We do love the sunburnt country on our wide brown land, but businesses are falling by the wayside as travellers bypass small towns, or worse, stop to spend a penny but not a few dollars.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Grandpa Wars

It’s impossible to look at American politics right now without thinking WTF? In the blue corner there is the faltering, forgetful, and possibly demented Biden and in the red corner we have a vitriolic, revengeful, pussy-grabbing sociopathic, now-convicted felon who is Trump.

We need to reinvent urban spaces to live in harmony with the planet 

Travel is about visiting someplace exotic, we’re told. Somewhere that looks, feels and tastes different, in a way that stirs our heart and stimulates our senses. But sit in the central business district of any global city today, and chances are it will look basically the same.

Editorial – Bloatcorp under review

Those familiar with the NSW Reconstruction Authority, the agency tasked with flood recovery for the north coast (and disaster recovery for NSW), may be heartened to know that a review is underway of the Act that governs the government-run corporation.

Power from the barrel of a gun

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's immediate reaction to the assassination attempt on US presidential candidate Donald Trump was that there was 'no place for violence in the democratic process', but this is the latest in a very long line of incidents which prove otherwise.

National NAIDOC Week – Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud & Proud

This year’s National NAIDOC Week theme honours the enduring strength and resilience of First Nations peoples and culture.

Policy ambition, age and conservatives 

The sad state of conservative politics has again dominated the world stage this week, with the Tory wipeout in the UK, and a chaotic result in the French elections, reducing President Macron’s Centralist Alliance to 168 seats in the 577-seat parliament. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Choke

In the 1960s the Boston Strangler murdered 13 women. He was a serial killer. These stories of bad men lurking in the shadows, just waiting to get their hands on women’s necks have always haunted me. What kind of deranged sexual predator does that?

Public spaces or private profit?

‘We need more public spaces like libraries where the expectation is that you can be there without having to spend money.’

What price conscience?

Senator Fatima Payman's abrupt departure from the Labor Party after crossing the floor over the issue of Palestinian statehood was a very public demonstration of the tensions between party cohesion and individual conscience in the Australian political system.

Editorial – The first self-help book

Meditations, as penned by Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, is the perfect antidote for those overwhelmed by life’s constant distractions and instant gratifications.

Zionism, antisemitism and Israel

Byron Shire Council passed a rather messy but nevertheless important motion last week on Gaza and Israel.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Never Give Up

A snowball’s chance in hell. That was what I had thought Julian Assange’s chances of freedom. A war in Gaza. A war in Ukraine. The real threat of Trump’s orange haze back in the White House. A dystopian swing to the far-right in France. Advance Australia, the scary right-wing group who funded the ‘No’ vote here in Australia declaring they’ll drop millions to stop Greens winning the balance of power in the next election by targeting our seat of Richmond.

New tipping point discovered beneath the Antarctic ice sheet

Warm water seeping beneath ice sheets can melt them in a way that scientists have not accounted for in models of sea level rise, says new research from the British Antarctic Survey.

Climate Change Policy at the forefront of Ballina Shire Council

Tweed Shire Council is committed to a sustainable future and working with the community to protect the region’s internationally significant environment. 

Editorial – There’s a bat in my lab! 

The lab-leak theory that Covid-19 came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology – instead of a nearby wet market – was thrashed about in public recently, with the US Senate Homeland Security Committee holding a hearing into Covid-19. 

Can Peter Dutton win the next election?

For a guy who looks like a Bond villain and has only one, deeply divisive policy, Peter Dutton has been riding high in certain opinion polls lately. Does the collective wisdom that he is unelectable need to be revisited?

Religious icons depicting Holy Family bequeathed to St Johns Catholic church

‘You silly bugger, I was born there in the little grey hospital in Dalley Street, and baptised in the Catholic church!’

A new clear vision for Australia?

There’s an urgent need for truth in political advertising legislation, but it’s hardly likely to be proposed by either major party.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Dutton’s Going Nuclear

Peter Dutton’s going nuclear. When you set aside his proposed intention to build actual reactors on our landscape, there is a figurative meaning which I feel underpins the spirit of the man and his political approach. Going nuclear can also mean ‘to become furious; to resort to drastic measures in an attempt to undermine an opponent.’

Daniel Mookhey walks the line with NSW budget

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey's second budget in nine months, unveiled last week, was a classic Labor document in its support for education and health, somewhat brave in its slugging of property investors, and disingenuous in its blaming of the GST carve-up for the financial woes of NSW going forward.

Editorial – Let’s learn about government housing!

With all the noise and fury over the lack of ‘affordable housing’, it might be useful to define what different types there are in Australia’s market-based housing system. 

Inequity underpins solar-battery rebates

Over 3.2 million Australian households now have solar systems, and NSW leads, with a million systems (rooftop, heated pool or hot water).

Tweed Council – committed to a sustainable future

Tweed Shire Council is committed to a sustainable future and working with the community to protect the region’s internationally significant environment. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: PFAS-ed Off

Whenever a cloudy day hits Mullumbimby we all know it’s only a matter of time before someone’s on a community Facebook group warning people about chemtrails. I’ve sat in a Meet the Candidates and heard an audience member ask an MP what they are going to do about chemtrails and watched them squirm.

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.

The incredible shrinking ambition of Peter Dutton

Last week, Peter Dutton's Liberal-National Coalition formally abandoned Australia's legislated 2030 emissions reduction target.

Editorial – Should Mullum’s water remain locally sourced?

The push by members of Council’s Water and Sewer Advisory Committee (WSAC) to retain Mullum’s local water supply is heating up...

AI’s invisible bystanders

In her Echo column last week, Mandy Nolan recommended literature for her daughter, including classics like Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: A Spoonful of Sugar Really Does Help The Medicine Go Down

Making people fat is big business. Just ask the sugar industry. Making people not fat is potentially even bigger.

Help save the Big Scrub rainforest with science

There is only one per cent of the Big Scrub rainforest in Northern New South Wales remaining. This has left what were once mighty rainforests now critically endangered and facing the threat of extinction because of a serious lack of genetic diversity.

Jagun Alliance – rebuilding Indigenous knowledge

Sustainability is intrinsic to Aboriginal cultural frameworks, all ways of being, knowing and doing. It’s about being in the right relationship with Country, and all the endemic species being in the right relationships, in the kinship Country for Country, Jagun.

All the way with DJT?

With the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States now a convicted felon, what does it mean for Australia if Donald Trump returns to the White House, and what are the ramifications of our major military ally drifting into authoritarianism?

There are challenges ahead, but there is still hope

In 2023, scientists from around the world said that action needs to be taken on climate change before it is too late.

Editorial – Who’s up for reelection in Byron Shire?

Over the coming months, you, dear constituent, will be subjected to local politicians campaigning for the September 14 Council elections. 

Here’s a few ways to address DV

The news on the domestic violence front just keeps getting grimmer. The North Coast is reeling from the latest horrific family violence murder of a toddler.

Ready for the meta-crisis?

The attempted assassination of Donald Trump has caused shock waves, but it’s sadly not surprising this would happen, with so much hate and vitriol being expressed in the US presidential race.

Support Tweed’s rough sleepers in Tweed Heads and join the Community Sleepout

Vinnies and Fred’s Place are asking for the residents of the Tweed Shire to come together for a night and experience what it is like to be homeless.

Cr Dicker calls on Ballina Council to look at future options for Wollongbar pods 

Visiting the Wollongbar pod village over the weekend, after residents were given notice to leave the pods by November, Cr Kiri Dicker said: ‘It’s total waste of taxpayers’ money to tear it down when the shortage of housing is so severe’.

Maintenance work Blackwall Drive, Wardell

Maintenance work is being carried out on Blackwall Drive, Wardell starting Monday 22 July.