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Byron Shire
February 2, 2023
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Editorial

Editorial – Quick! Tax the wich and tax them, vewy wuffly

Oxfam delivered a stark message in its current annual report, Survival of the Richest, which focuses on global wealth distribution and inequality.

Editorial – Good riddance to George

The Devil pounced on Cardinal Pell last week and dragged him down to the infernal level prepared for him by his own actions.

Editorial: Democratic circus coming

With the NSW election looming on March 25, there will no doubt soon be a government bonanza of promises to impress, you, the good-looking and articulate voter, into thinking that this or that party will govern with your interests at heart. 

Editorial – 2022 in the Echo rearview mirror

Herewith is a brief summary of 2022, as seen through the Echo lens. Given the constrained space, only a few topics can make it in.

Editorial – Lessons from 2022

As 2022 comes to a close, there’s a lot to unpack from a year in which the region experienced its worst flood and landslips in living memory.

Editorial: Quick, someone else grab the policy lever

With 2022 wrapping up, there will hopefully be some much-needed time for everyone to pause and reflect on the year, and to take time out to do what’s most important – spending time with friends and family. 

Editorial: Ambitious targets to be ignored again?

The sense of déjà vu is overwhelming. An international conference to tackle the already known causes of the ecological disaster unfolding around us. 

Editorial – Labor does a better job of being less terrible

Federal Labor had a cracking week of reform, something that even the last prime minister (Liberal) admitted was their thing.

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.

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. 

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Editorial – Which Byron Council services could see an increase?

ICYMI, Council staff have crafted a draft budget, and it’s on exhibition! If it’s approved, without any tinkering by our well informed and good looking councillor majority, it will see waste removal rates raised by around 17 per cent.

Editorial – AA versus scary plodder

Life under Labor communism, week one:

Reasons to be cheerful

After nine long years of being led by the least among us, Australia’s future feels optimistic. Thanks, Western Australia, you were instrumental in booting those numpties out! 

Editorial – E-con-oh-my

If there’s one thing that the LNP lays claim to, above all else, it is the assertion that they are the better managers of the economy. But what does this bold claim actually mean?

Editorial – Community must drive housing

It is easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to the need for housing on the Northern Rivers at the cost of both the environment and the amenity of the region.

Gotcha! Distracted ya!

Albert Einstein warned in 1949 that the time would come when the very rich controlled the means of communication, it would be almost impossible for ordinary people to make informed decisions. And then, democracy would be broken.

Editorial – Govern me, harder!

Here’s an idea for the rainbow region – Council’s ominously named ‘Community Enforcement’ police style paddy wagons could be painted in rainbow colours and instead say something like ‘Keeping Our Community Safe’.

Editorial: opportunity for renewal

One issue from all this flooding that is not getting much attention is the presumably high levels of toxicity flowing in the creeks and rivers.

Food prices are up, and so is…

I was shocked to see the cost of local bread I buy in Mullumbimby had risen 40 per cent. That particular loaf is becoming a luxury item.

Abouchar honoured with Order of Australia

The new head of the Byron Community College (BCC), Chantal Abouchar, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her contributions to business and the media.

Appeal for flag stolen from Bruns

The two Aboriginal flags that fly high over the Brunswick River Bridge on Invasion Day have become a potent symbol of survival and solidarity for many in the Shire. 

TELSTRA – The end of the line?

I live in a valley that was ravaged by flood last year. Telegraph poles were swept out of the ground by landslides and many...