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Byron Shire
October 3, 2022
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Articles & Columns

‘Sad and distressing’: massive numbers of bird deaths in Australian heatwaves reveal a profound loss is looming

Heatwaves linked to climate change have already led to mass deaths of birds and other wildlife around the world. To stem the loss of biodiversity as the climate warms, we need to better understand how birds respond.

Chemicals left by first stars in the universe may have been detected by the Gemini North telescope

The chemical remains of the earliest stars in the universe may have been discovered by astronomers.

Editorial – Break out the bubbly for Budget Estimates

Budget Estimates is truly one of the most revealing and best educational services that the NSW government offers. MPs from the opposition grill ministers and agency bosses without mercy, for hours. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: War on Trauma

In the War on Trauma we care for hurt people. We understand the importance of safety, of nutrition, of connection to community, of addressing loneliness, of the power of being in nature.  Being locked in jail for drug-related offences doesn’t change the underlying reasons for why someone has addiction issues. It just amplifies the trauma. And amplified trauma leads to drug harm.

Comment: Why we need a federal ICAC

I’ve been thinking about very slow things. Thinking about very fast trains that are very slow coming. Thinking about the never-ending Ballina-Byron Airport upgrade – build a new entry, take it out. Build a new, new entry. Take it out. Rinse, repeat.

Mangroves keep carbon in the soil for 5,000 years

Marine forests are great long-term carbon sinks. In fact, according to new research on a Mexican mangrove forest, they can keep carbon out of the atmosphere for millennia.

Trampling of the graves of the murdered: reply to Will Liley

As I read Will Liley’s response to my article in dedication to my late uncle, I recalled the poem in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel Clandestine in Chile:

Urban trees and forests are very vulnerable to climate change: how should we shore them up?

New research predicts most of our favourite city trees are at risk from global warming.

Will degrowth be forced upon us?

For decades, we have been engaged in the old cold war battle between capitalism and communism.

Putting your ‘Queen’ money where your mouth is

I've never felt much either way about the Queen. I've never held her in as much disdain as I've held some of our prime ministers, and never held her in as much esteem as I have held, for example, Uncle Archie Roach.

In London and remembering Queen Elizabeth

To be in London at the moment is extraordinary. To hear ‘the Queen is dead’ was an emotional shock, as she had only two days previously looked like the sweetest granny ever, meeting the UK’s new prime minister.

Editorial – Secret governments are untrustworthy

The small amount of information that Resilience NSW supplied a resident regarding their GIPA request was wrong

Storylines – Working with mob

Many are asking ‘who do I talk to?’ if I want to work with mob? Taking the time to yarn, engage and build relationships is key.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Being Ready

I used to love the sound of rain. Now, like many others, it frightens me. It reminds me that we are not ready. That...

31,000-year-old skeleton found in famous Borneo rock art caves shows earliest evidence of amputation surgery

Evidence of what is believed to be the earliest known amputation in human history has been found by a team of Australian and Indonesian archaeologists in Borneo.

Honouring forgotten women scientists, mathematicians, programmers and palaeontologists

Countering ‘The Matilda Effect’ of women’s work overlooked for recognition and awards. Brought to you by Cosmos Magazine and The Echo In the case of German astronomer Maria Kirch...

Editorial – Just quietly, Govcorp is doing very, very well, at your expense

Gosh, the one per cent are having a field day, aren’t they?

Queen Elizabeth – the science lover born in the technology age

Born April 1926, the late Queen Elizabeth II experienced a life and reign of huge technological, social, and scientific advancement. She was not shy of technology or science.

Cute cults and odd isms

Cults are almost as common as potholes, flowing among the Northern Rivers of NSW. They range from the benign to the malignant to the downright silly.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Last Queen

The Queen is dead. Surprisingly it’s no surprise. She was 96. An age colonised Indigenous women will never reach. The Queen never had to...

Can our new democracy save us?

There’s been a great deal of self-congratulation over Federal Labor’s first 100 days in office. The 47th parliament, with its tinge of green, seems set to address climate change, constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, and issues of parliamentary integrity.

Demand management is key to our future water

Rous County Council’s new Demand Management Plan (RDMP) 2023–26 is extraordinary. Parts of it could have been written by WATER Northern Rivers; the lobby group that advocates for genuinely diverse water options and the permanent shelving of the proposed Dunoon Dam.

Comment: Giving a hand at MardiGrass

Why did the lawyer cut off his limb at the MardiGrass?

West Antarctic glacier beats a hasty retreat, alarming scientists

New seafloor imaging shows Thwaites Glacier has experienced blistering bursts of retreat.

The water started coming into the house

Jono was visiting his family in Lismore on February 28. This is his story as transcribed by Anthony Eden, and the experience of managing director of disability consultancy service Karina & Co and Kelly Cox on that day…

Call to stop logging NSW public forests to be debated as fire risk increases

Over 20,000 people have signed a petition asking the NSW government to debate the proposal to place a moratorium on logging in public native forests, transition to 100 per cent sustainable plantations by 2024 for the native forestry industry, and ban the use of native forest materials as ‘biomass fuel’.

The review on women in STEM: a physicist’s perspective

We have a long road ahead to address the gender imbalance in the workforce.

A time to remember

This weekend we’ll commemorate the 49th anniversary of September 11, 1973, when a fascist military coup d’etat, backed by the Nixon administration, was conducted on a democratically elected government on the other side of the world, Chile.

Editorial – Secret meeting held over poor governance

Councillors, like all politicians, are in the unenviable position of trying to represent the interests of two parties that are often in conflict with each other.

Comment – Flood recovery roadmap missing

James Hacker of BBC TV’s Yes Prime Minister once said, ‘(there are) three articles of civil service faith: It takes longer to do things quickly; it’s more expensive to do them cheaply; it’s more democratic to do them in secret.’

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: A very sober noodle 

It’s almost 6pm. I’ve been checking the clock. At 6pm I have a glass of wine. I start looking forward to it around 4pm. There’s a warm fuzzy glow knowing that at 6pm I get to open a bottle and pour a fresh red.

Comment: Unspoken words, unfulfilled dreams

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following story contains images of deceased persons. The sanctified lessons of the universe have...

Scans of tiny 13.5-million-year-old Aussie crocodile suggest it may have spent most of its time on land

A tiny crocodile which called north-western Queensland home 13.5 million years ago has revealed its secrets to University of Queensland researchers.

Australia’s Black Summer bushfires linked to largest stratospheric warming in three decades

More evidence that the smoke from the fires may have prolonged the life of the hole in the ozone layer.

Gerontocracy rules, okay?

The American president displays the unmistakable signs of old age. He shows a frailty in his movements, and a tendency to forget names.

Life long learning with environmentalist Bruce Chick at Wollumbin High

I find it an insult to the pioneering work of students such as myself and the legacy of Mr Chick that such crucial collaborative, educational and sustainable living contributions to the ecosystem are proposed to be destroyed.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: 100 years of the CWA

In nearly every small town in Australia there is a modest hall where older women meet to have tea, compare crotchet patterns and commit acts of random kindness, otherwise known as improving conditions for disadvantaged people in their rural communities. They have been doing that for 100 years. They are the CWA. A non-party political, non-sectarian organisation that mainly relies on volunteers. 

The Bangalow Bowlo’s future is in the hands of their membership

Luke Simmons, Norths Collective CEO responding to the recent article by Professor Linda Hancock on Why Norths’ takeover of Bangalow Bowlo is bad for the community.

Comment: Back when we didn’t waste or poison  

Our economy is now based on wasting as much as possible, as quickly as possible. No wonder the planet is in such a parlous state. It’s ingrained in people that it’s okay to buy plastic-wrapped food, contaminated with hormone disrupters and pesticide residues. We’re led to believe this is normal and acceptable. It absolutely is not.

‘Sad and distressing’: massive numbers of bird deaths in Australian heatwaves reveal a profound loss is looming

Heatwaves linked to climate change have already led to mass deaths of birds and other wildlife around the world. To stem the loss of biodiversity as the climate warms, we need to better understand how birds respond.

CWA push for improved maternity services

The W in CWA stands for Women and the CWA have been standing up for women yet again during their recent webinar and annual Awareness Week campaign.

Chris Minns visits Kingscliff to look at floodplain development risks

The potential future risks and costs of flooding to the community and government if approved, but yet to be built, housing is allowed to go ahead in floodplains was under the spotlight last week in Kingscliff.

The Tweed Artisan Food Festival is almost here

The sixth Tweed Artisan Food Festival will be held at the end of the month – the festival runs for 10 days with 20 curated events showcasing the people, the place and the produce of the Tweed.