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Byron Shire
December 2, 2022

Comment

Editorial – Wokie dokey

Last Thursday’s Council meeting was an example of when a good idea gets kiboshed because the people proposing the idea are considered crazy conspiracy theorists.

The politics of climate are a changin’ 

When Tony Abbott won the Liberal Party leadership in 2009, he said the politics of climate had changed. He was referring to soaring electricity prices and his belief that blaming these price hikes on the Rudd government’s proposed climate change commitments would bring him electoral success. 

Piccadilly Circus comes to Mullum

When it comes to the art of complaining, I’m among the best. Ask my friends, my partner, my mum-in-law – the cat…

Editorial – Getting recovery right

The recognition of loss and damage at COP27 is a cause for celebration by those countries, especially developing countries, already experiencing the impacts of climate change.

Editorial: Building flood resilience

Resilience is a word bandied about a lot these days. From fires to floods we are being told to build ‘resilient communities’, but it is not just the human aspect that needs resilience. It is also the infrastructure.

Lex Luthor buys Daily Planet

After acquiring Twitter for $44B, the world’s richest individual is now trolling its users, and removing people’s accounts he doesn’t like.

Editorial – Don ya toga and let’s start this party!

The wheels of commerce and governance, indistinguishable as they perhaps always have been, again cranked into gear at the local level last Thursday. 

Editorial – Council’s top brass seeks renewed contract based on secret review

Council’s general manger, Mark Arnold, is seeking to renew his contract from July 1, 2023, presumably for another five years. 

Vanishing koalas – why risk their extinction?

It might not seem like a huge drama to cross the floor of parliament – unless you’re the person doing the crossing. That’s exactly what Catherine Cusack NSW MLC did and it was all in the cause of saving koalas.

Editorial – Where’s the drug reform?

While the rest of the planet seems to understand that cannabis is a healing magical plant, as well as a superior fibre for clothing and building materials, it’s as if most of those who inhabit NSW parliament have no clue. Or even care.

Editorial – Everything seemed to be going just dandy before the asteroid hit

We survived the awful fires, then a terrible global pandemic, then some dreadful floods. 

Editorial – Labor believes in transparency, but…

Phew. Last week, federal Labor introduced legislation into parliament that would hopefully stiffen the spines across the Commonwealth public sector. 

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. 

Editorial – Secret governments are untrustworthy

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

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?

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.’

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.

Editorial – Proselytising the demise of democracy

According to most political commentary last week, the reason for the former prime minister casually screwing up parliamentary democracy is to be found in his overweening, narcissistic nature.

Editorial – Will the NSW government act on disasters, or just manage them?

The Select Committee on the response to Major Flooding across NSW in 2022, headed by chair Walt Secord (Labor) painted a picture of unprepared agencies, such as Resilience NSW, and documented a lack of planning.

Editorial – Bye bye, Prince St froggies

It’s worth pausing to reflect on the mass frogacide that just happened on Prince Street, Mullum, which was led by unquestioning Byron Shire councillors and Resilience NSW.

Mullum residents: ‘defeat and distress’ over pod housing

Many residents are concerned about the high-speed construction of the Emergency Housing Development along the railway corridor in Prince Street, Mullumbimby. 

Editorial – It was the best of happy times…

The start of the new federal Labor age saw advances in one short week that the previous government had failed to achieve in nine years. 

Editorial – A colourful catalogue of contradictions

Either it’s a nefarious blueprint for ‘Agenda 21’, where governments cede to unelected global bureaucrats pushing for depopulation and ‘The Great Reset’, or it’s an obligatory document to guide north coast councils (and developers) over the next 20 years.

Half-hearted Byron Council approach to beach rehabilitation

Protection, restoration and rehabilitation of Main Beach, Byron Bay, has been ignored by our local authorities for decades. Before I left Council I was assured an application for grant funding to address beach rescue had at last been made.

Vindictive and bad faith prosecutions?

As Bernard Collaery’s friends and supporters celebrate the dropping of the prosecution against him, it is still relevant to ask, why were Witness K and his lawyer Collaery put on trial in the first place?

Where next for Lismore?

Lismore’s recovery cannot wait two years while reports are written, so we need to act on other evidence that events like the February flood cannot be mitigated, and need to judge the risk of such big floods recurring. 

Editorial – Emergency wedges!

Things are looking like they are about to get a bit messy, with Council and the NSW government dipping metaphorical political wedges into big pots of sour cream and tomato sauce, paid for by us, the taxpayer. 

Imagining a new City of Lismore

The City of Lismore is my home town. It was an exceptional place to grow up, nestled within a picturesque valley at the confluence of two rivers; it was proud, sporting, cultural and busy. 

Byron’s future ‘reading’ for tourism and visitation

Destination Byron’s 2022 Tourism Symposium hosted at Elements of Byron 29 July had some ominous predictions. Board member and host, David Jones certainly shuffled the cards well.

Editorial – Protect our whistleblowers

It can be hard to know when to be a ‘dobber’. But there are times when the actions of others require us to take a stand.

Editorial – Here’s a tiny violin

There are a few times when a tiny violin is required to be taken out of its small instrument case to sooth the sounds of the monied class.

Editorial – Byron Council report card

Did you know it’s been six months since councillors were elected? They have another two years to go, and while a usual term is a gruelling four years, this time, it’s shorter, owing to a disrupting bat virus.

The politics of gentrification and ‘holding the line’

Who are the visionary architects and planners that will protect and enhance this ramshackle surf town’s social fabric and built environment of Byron Bay?

Bush stone-curlews in Byron Shire

The first time I noticed a bush stone-curlew in Brunswick Heads it was waiting at the pedestrian crossing, on its way to the pub, across the other side of the road.

Taking the time to remember as the future unfolds

Mary Creighton wanted to go for a drive to look around her town and her old homes at The Pocket and Main Arm. She wanted to see what the flood had done.

Moral compass and the former PM

As I reflect on the Morrison government I wonder how it was okay for the former Prime Minister, who fervently professes faith in his God, to treat with such disdain so many people for so long. 

Brunswick, Belongil and Tallows wait for Emergency Response Beacons

In early November two men were saved from drowning at Dreamtime Beach, Fingal Head when a women activated the Emergency Response Beacon, alerting the Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre that the men were drowning. There are three waiting to be deployed in Byron Shire.

Editorial – Wokie dokey

Last Thursday’s Council meeting was an example of when a good idea gets kiboshed because the people proposing the idea are considered crazy conspiracy theorists.

Warning: Northern Rivers Rail Trail not ready yet

Love or hate it, the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is under construction and the community is being urged to wait until it is safe for public use.

Planning for Casino and Urban Growth

Richmond Valley Council is seeking community feedback on two key strategic documents - the draft Richmond Valley Growth Management Strategy and Casino Place Plan.