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Friday, 15 December


Crime trends in the Clarence Valley October 2007 to September 2017 North Coast Voices

In the ten years between October 2007 and September 2017 crime trends in the Clarence Valley Local Government Area have remained numerically and statistically small in 5 crime categories covering murder and violent robbery.

While crime trends remain stable in 6 crime categories (assault unrelated to domestic violence, sexual assault & other sexual offences, stealing from a car and stealing from a store ) and fallen in another 4 crime categories (stealing motor vehicles and break, enter dwellings & non-dwellings and malicious damage).

Crime trends have only risen in 2 out of 17 commonly listed crime categories over these ten years Fraud up 10.5 per cent & Assault Domestic Violence Related up 3.6 per cent.

October 2007 to September 2017
Fraud, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Upward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: 10.5%



About that political influence on domestic affairs on the part of foreign powers, Prime Minister Turnbull..... North Coast Voices

He went on to excoriate the Labor Party in parliament last week with regard to its contacts with Chinese nationals.

This week the primary subject of Turnbull's verbal attacks announced his resignation from the Australian Parliament.

However, this week also brings news from Western Australia which demonstrates just how hypocritical is the prime ministers political posturing.

Via @kimbakit

Then came this...


"Inequality is neither a personal choice nor a national tragedy. It is a choice governments make" North Coast Voices

Chief executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society national council Dr John Falzon, writing in The Guardian on 13 December 2017:

In 1952 a Catholic newspaper in Ireland proclaimed: The welfare state is diluted socialism and socialism is disguised communism.

Extreme? Yes. Dated? No. When you listen to the dying declarations of the spear-carriers for neoliberalism, its hard not to hear the same alarmist codswallop.

The logic goes like this: being unemployed and poor is bad because people choose to be unemployed or poor. If you receive income support, it is because you are unemployed and poor. Therefore, receiving income support is bad. Therefore, removing income support is good. Coincidentally, this means more money for the rich and less for the poor.

Social services minister Christian Porters recent National Press Club address was replete with denunciations of the politics of envy associated with redistributionist policies, as well as the morally unacceptable nature of social expenditure because it means placing a debt burden on the children of today to pay off as the adults of tomorrow.

These are old tropes. Joe Hockey used them regularly when he was treasurer. The intergenerational framework is always going to be a useful means of distracting from the uncomfortable reality of class inequality in the current generation.

A false divide is constructed between those who have a job (and pay taxes) and those who dont....

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Thursday, 14 December



Tora at the Byron Bay Brewery, Saturday 22nd December, 8pm Free Entry

Byron born 4-piece electronic act Tora formed in 2013. With their fusing plush layered production and instrumentation, as well as their graceful vocals, they have won hearts all over the world!

Releasing their self-titled debut EP, and following in 2014 with another successful EP in Eat The Sun, Toras soulful electronic music has had them compared to seminal artists such as Radiohead and James Blake. Tora (Origin; Greek, meaning Now) have kept up a continual progression since their inception, dropping an array of singles and collabora-tions, all whilst building a rapidly growing global listenership.

Tora have performed at Glastonbury, Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass, The Great Escape UK and Canadian Music Week. They have also toured both in Australia and inter-nationally with artists such as RUFUS, Miami Horror and SAFIA.

Tora will take the stage at Byron Bay Brewery this Saturday 22nd for an intimate and free show! Support on the night will be by Merryn Jeann and Keen Mak.

The post TORA TAKE THE STAGE FOR A FREE SHOW! appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.


Nimbin Holiday Club 2017/18 Summer Program Home

Nimbin Holiday Club

        Summer Program

Dear friends,

We are operating from the Nimbin Community School, in the Community Centre and on excursion days please meet us in the Nimbin Central School car park at 9am.

Day runs between 9am and 3pm.  The program runs for children aged 5 12.  Please read the dates and venues below carefully and book to avoid disappointment.  To book phone NNIC on 66891692 (between 10 am and 4 pm) or you can text or call Kylie on 0487576281.  Please note that the basic fee is $12 per day and more on excursion days. Parents must sign consent forms for any excursions.

Please ensure that your child wears appropriate clothing, covered shoes, brings a hat, swimmers and a towel.  Please bring adequate food and drinks.






Friday 22nd December

The Pitts family circus workshop

The Pitt family circus is coming to visit us and teach us some tricks

Circus Workshop


Thursday 4th January

Nimbin Community School, Park and Pool

Art/Craft, DVDs, Games, Music and more

Library craft


Friday 5th January

Excursion Lismore Tenpin Bowling and pool

Come tenpin bowling, then we will cool off with a swim at the pool.

Please bring lunch, water, hat, swimmers, and a towel.


Monday 8th January


Excursion Kyogle cinema and pool

Come and watch Coco (PG) and then cool off at the pool.

Please bring food, water, hat, swimmers, and a towel.


Wednesday 10th January

Nimbin Community School

Art/Craft, DVDs, Games, Music and more

Bush theatre movie and candle factory tour


Friday 12th January

Nimbin Community School, Park and Pool

Art/Craft, DVDs, Games, Music and more

Barefoot bowling



Its not over yet! Stop Adani Tweed keep up pressure Local News Echonetdaily

The sold out Regent Cinema launched the Stop Adani Tweed campaign in Murwillumbah on Sunday. Photo supplied.

The Stop Adani Tweed campaign launch at the Regent Cinema in Murwillumbah on Sunday hosted by the Caldera Environment Centre was sold out.

The crowd was filled with young and old who realise how important it is to keep the pressure up to stop the opening of the Adani coal mine.

The primary message was not to stop the pressure, local campaign supporter Janice Best told Echonetdaily.

It is really important to remember that even though the banks are pulling out we need to be vigilant because it is not over yet. Even though things appear to be moving in a positive direction.

There are now Stop Adani groups in Byron, Lismore and Tweed, whose aim is to gain community support for the Northern Rivers to be declared an Adani-free zone. They have joined over 2 million people worldwide to oppose one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions which is driving climate change.

Keynote speakers Tony Barry and Mandy Nolan shared their insights into the the effects that the opening of the Adani cola mine would have on the Galilee Basin and the broader impacts on the Great Barrier Reef and climate change. Narrated by Queensland-born actor Michael Caton, the documentary Guarding the Galilee was screened to a packed house and shone a spotlight on the battle to stop the biggest coal mine in Australian history, Adanis Carmichael project.


Campaigners want drones to protect from sharks Local News Echonetdaily

Dean Jefferys leads a paddle out near Lennox Head recently. (supplied)

Marine conservationists have welcomed a Senate inquiry recommendation to remove shark nets from NSW beaches.

They are also calling for an increased use of drones with alarm systems to provide real-time protection for beach users.

Marine campaigner, Dean Jefferys, who is skipper of the conservation yacht Migaloo 2, said the recommendation to remove nets, when implemented, would mean that thousands of marine creatures, many of them endangered, would not drown in ineffective shark nets.

It also means that more effective non lethal shark control measures will be put in place, making the oceans safer for everyone rather than people mistakenly thinking these short, shallow nets provide protection, he said.

Im glad this myth has finally been well and truly busted by deep inquiry at the top level.

Now it is up to Government to implement these recommendations and put in place real processes that will make people safer and at the same time ensure marine lives are protected.

The manipulation of statistics has also been exposed in this enquiry. The old story that the DPI and proponents of shark nets say there has only been one death at a netted beach from Newcastle to Wollongong.

What they dont tell you in their reckless and irresponsible use of statistics is that there have been 47 unwanted shark encounters at these netted beaches or that surf lifesavers also patrol and observe these beaches and give warnings.

The resent shark encounter at shark netted, Avoca beach in November however could have been avoided if the surf club had a drone in the air as the shark encounter happened right in front of the shark tower but the tower wasnt high enough to see the shark.

Every surf club in Australia should have a drone fitted with an alarm system, with their nippers getting the appropriate training to use them.

Live streaming of the flights could be sent live to the surf life saving websites in NSW and QLD.

This is real time protection that works and what the government should be spending its money on and not wasting money perpetuating the shark net fallacy.



Island Quarry death inquest winds up amid complaints Local News Echonetdaily

The Island Quarry near Byron Bay.

By Jim Beatson

The inquest into the death of 20-year- old Melbourne man, Brendan Vickery, ended yesterday with a number of unresolved disputes, and complaints of delays raised by the deceaseds family and their legal counsel.

Seven are ofcritical importance.

First, the family legal counsel queried the tardiness of Island Quarry Reserve Trust to take precautionary measures such as fencing and signage.

In November 2011 by Dr Robert Davies, network director for emergency departments at four hospital sites across the Northern Rivers reported nine serious injuries including six spinal fractures, at least four were multiple

Some two and half years passed before the 1.8 m safety fence was constructed along the Ewingsdale Road side of the dangerous quarry site. This was completed just three weeks after Brendan Vickerys death.

The Island Quarry Reserve Trusts Barrister, Mr Raeburn, insisted that the delay was outside the control of the IQ Quarry Trust President, Shane Rennie.

A discussion about the lack of more safety signage was left incomplete.

Medical staff mentioned an important deterrent: signs explicitly listing known injuries that occurred at the site.

A counter argument was put by several interviewees that such signs would instead be seen as an exciting challenge by young people visiting the site.

Supervision of the site was revealed to be irregular. Baz Laow, a self-described WOOFA, was given the role by Shane Rennie. Laow did not live at the site and was there only on average two days a week (Wednesdays and Thursdays).

He was not there on weekends, when the numbers of visitors in Byron Bay are often high.
The cause of death remains unverified. The pathologist, Dr Brian Beer performed the external examination on the body and said he based his decision, of death by drowning on the balance of probability.

Barrister David Evenden, representing Brendan Vickerys parents, challenged this pathology report, saying without a full autopsy, medical experience alone would suggest possible additional causes.

Despite a request by Brendans mother, Tracie McDew, for a full autopsy, her request was never passed on beyond the police officer in charge of the investigation....


Dangerous Coolamon Scenic Dr finally sees action Local News Echonetdaily

New line markings on Coolamon Scenic Drive. Photo Athony Stante

Twenty-three crashes in five years, an average of 1,362 vehicles per day and an independent road safety audit that found various intolerable risks on the 11.3km stretch of road between Goonengerry Road and the Pacific Highway has finally seen some action.

Local resident Anthony Stante, who was a project manager on the Ballina Bypass upgrade from 2007-11, was relieved to wake up on Tuesday, December 12 and discover that the recommended line marking finally in having been carried out.

Mr Stante had put his concerns on the safety of Coolamon Scenic Drive to council three-and-a-half years ago in late 2014 and the local traffic committee had agreed to do things to make it safer, he said.

Increased traffic with no fix

In the mean-time Council agreed to signpost an extension of Tourist Route 28 from the old highway right the way along bringing even more tourists to our substandard local road making it even more dangerous.

However, the traffic committee stated that council may need to seek out further funding options, or advise of further funding options, for the review and changes to signage and line marking.

Mr Stante told Echonetdaily that he gained a copy of the independent road safety audit through an FOI enquiry to council that recently found various intolerable risks which must be addressed including line-marking, curve signage and guideposts.


Unaccompanied learner driver allegedly on a cocktail of drugs and alcohol Local News Echonetdaily

A Learner driver was drunk and drug affected when pulled over by police.

An unaccompanied learner driver was allegedly under the influence of a cocktail of illegal drugs and alcohol when he was pulled over near Nimbin in April.

Offices patrolling Kyogle Road at Mount Burrell, about 8.10 am on April 12 spotted Ryan Squire allegedly driving erratically and he was pulled over.

When police approached and spoke to  Mr Squire, officers formed the opinion he was affected by drugs and possibly alcohol.

Enquiries by police revealed the 23 year-old was the holder of a learners permit and should have had a fully licensed supervising driver beside him.

A search of his car by police allegedly uncovered two small amounts of methamphetamine and heroin weighing less than one gram and a number of oxycodone tablets in the vehicle.

Mr Squire was arrested and taken to Nimbin police station where he underwent blood tests to determine what substances were in his system.

When test results were returned revealing Mr Squire had a cocktail of morphine, methamphetamine and diazepam, plus alcohol in his system, he was charged by police.

Mr Squire, who told police his address was the Nimbin Rocks Retreat at Goolmangar, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, being a learner driver not accompanied by a licensed driver and three counts of possessing a prohibited drug.

He was granted conditional bail and appeared at Lismore Local Court on November 20, where he represented himself.

On that day, Mr Squire entered guilty pleas to the three counts of possessing a prohibited drug and being an unaccompanied learner driver.

On Monday, Mr Squire again appeared at Lismore Local Court and was represented by Legal Aid.

Magistrate David Heilpern ordered Mr Squire to be assessed for the Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment MERIT rehabilitation program.

He adjourned Mr Squires matters until January 15, when he is required to enter a plea to the charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Mr Squire remains free on conditional bail until that date.

The post Unaccompanied learner driver allegedly on a cocktail of drugs and alcohol appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Elderly Tweed man gets bond over fatal motorcycle crash at Numinbah Local News Echonetdaily

An elderly man from the Tweed Shire who pleaded not guilty to his involvement in a crash which killed a 22 year-old has been placed on a suspended jail sentence.

Edwin Patrick Jessop was driving his white 1994 Toyota Hilux ute home after renewing its registration about 10.15 am on October 24 when he came to the intersection of Numinbah Road and Couchy Creek Road.

Agreed police facts before the court stated Mr Jessop, who was 87 at the time of the crash, turned into the t-intersection, across the path of motorcyclist Dann Jenkins.

The 22 year-old, who was riding his red and black Suzuki GSXR motorcycle, with a number of other motorcyclists, swerved to the left of Mr Jessops ute but collided with the passenger door and the rear tray.

Mr Jenkins helmet struck the tray of the ute before he was thrown onto the road, witnesses told police.

Mr Jessop continued across the intersection and stopped immediately, then a number of motorcycle riders stopped and Mr Jenkins was found dead at the scene.

A post mortem examination confirmed Mr Jenkins cause of death was a closed head injury.

Blood tests conducted on Mr Jenkins revealed he had no alcohol or drugs in his blood at the time of the incident.

Following the crash, Mr Jessop was taken to Murwillumbah Hospital for mandatory testing, which returned negative results for both alcohol and drugs.

The court heard Mr Jessop underwent testing in July 2016 as a condition of continuing to hold a drivers licence.

The testing revealed Mr Jessops vision meets standards and he meets the medical criteria for an unconditional licence.

Hours after the crash, Mr Jessop told police he did not see the motorcycle at the intersection.

I got half way around and bang, Mr Jessop told police.

Mr Jessop was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning death and not giving way to a vehicle while turning right into a terminating road.

On September 19 in Lismore Local Court he entered a not guilty plea to the charge of dangerous driving occasioning death.

When his solicitor lodged a document with the court waiving his right to a committal hearing, Mr Jessops matters were adjourned for arraignment in the District Court on November 1.

At Lismore District Court in November, the charge of dangerous driving occasioning death against Mr Jessop was dropped by the prosecution and his remaining matters were adjourned to the Local Court for sentencing.

On Monday, Mr Benn appeared in Lismore Local Court where he was placed on a nine moth suspended sentence by Magistrate David Heilpern.

Mr Jessop was also disqualified from driving for three years.

The post Elderly Tweed man gets bond over fatal...



Effect of proposed company tax cuts according to Australian Prime Minister Malcom Bligh Turnbull - "All boats will rise" North Coast Voices

As households across the country began the count down to the holiday season, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull smugly informed an ABC interviewer that as a result of a proposed cut in the company tax rate* everyones income will increase All boats will rise.

This is another way of referring to that now legendary faux economic theory popular with right-wing politicians the Trickle Down Effect.

This assertion is tested in an Australian Treasury working paper ANALYSIS OF THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF A COMPANY TAX CUT (May 2016) which modelled a tax cut reducing company tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent presumably implemented over the 10 years to 2026-27 proposed by government.

Yes, this working paper estimates that for a static representative household calibrated to match the expenditure, income patterns, and taxes faced by aggregate Australian households real wages will rise if all other factors in the economy remain unchanged.

So it seems that Turnbull's claim is genuine - or is it?

What Turnbull fails to say is that this real wage rise will probably be a paltry est. 1.0-1.1% in total, will take at least 20 years to achieve and will only come about if the average individual also works longer hours.

Based on ABS May 2017 All Employees Average Weekly Total Earnings and an optimistically estimated average annual wages growth of 1.9 per cent; at the end of tho...


Australian Society 2017: age-old privilege remains strongly entrenched North Coast Voices

The Turnbull Government is doing what all Coalition governments have done in the past 40 years - deliver special funding deals for private schools, especially for Independent schools in this case, to ensure their resource advantage and privileged position in the schools market place. As Tony Abbott said of the Liberal Partys long history of supporting Catholic and Independent schools: its in our DNA. [Trevor Cobbold, New Figures Confirm More Private Schools Will be Over-Funded Under Gonski 2.0, December 2017]

The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 December 2017:

Catholic and independent private schools are set to get more than 100 per cent of their needs from governments under the  new "Gonski 2.0" plan, official documents released under Freedom of Information show.

Obtained by the Australian Education Union and processed by the convenor of the Save Our Schools campaign, Trevor Cobbold, the Education Department documents spell out the amount of government funding expected for each school sector in each state in 2018.

In NSW, 110 private schools are expected to receive more than 100 per cent of the so-called schools resourcing standard from governments, up from 65 schools in 2017. By 2027, when the Gonski arrangements are fully implemented, 212 private schools will receive more than their total needs from governments.

Wednesday, 13 December


Swimmer drowns at Suffolk Park Local News Echonetdaily

Despite the best efforts of first responders, a man couldnt be revived after getting into difficulty at Suffolk Park near Byron Bay on Wednesday (December 13).

The man, a 21-year-old from Brisbane, was pulled unconscious from the surf by a member of the public shortly before 12:30pm.

An off-duty firefighter who witnessed the incident, which occurred approximately 200 metres south of the caravan park, immediately commenced CPR.

Nearby lifeguards were informed of the situation and travelled to the scene to provide additional support.

Police and paramedics continued to perform emergency treatment but sadly all attempts to save the man were unsuccessful.

Officers from Tweed Byron Local Area Command have commenced investigations into the incident.

Conditions at Suffolk Park at the time the man got into distress were believed to be challenging with a powerful rip current making its presence felt.

Earlier on Wednesday lifeguards were tasked to respond to a swimmer who also got into difficulty but they were ultimately able to extricate themselves from the situation.

With todays tragic incident coming just days the before the official school holiday period kicks-off, lifeguards are using it as an opportunity to reiterate to the public the importance of swimming at a patrolled location.

This was an extremely difficult situation with the real tragedy being that beaches across the state, including Suffolk Park, will begin to be patrolled shortly, said ALS Northern Coordinator Scott McCartney.

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of everyone involved in trying to save the mans life. Their valiant efforts gave him a chance and our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Investigations into the circumstances of the incident are continuing.

Tips on how to spot a rip current

Some signs include:
Deeper, dark-coloured water
Fewer breaking waves
A rippled surface surrounded by smooth waters
Anything floating out to sea or foamy, discoloured, sandy, water flowing out beyond the waves.
Rips dont always show all of these signs at once.

Rip current survival tips

Relax  stay calm and float to conserve your energy
Raise  raise your arm and attract attention from lifeguards or lifesavers
Rescue  the lifeguards or lifesavers will be on their way to help you


While floating, rip currents may flow in a circular pattern and return you to an adjacent sandbar

You may escape the rip current by swimming parallel to the beach, towards the breaking waves.

Reassess your situation. If what youre doing isnt working, try one of the other options until youre rescued or return to shore.



The post...


Four major Lismore decisions subject to rescission motions Local News Echonetdaily

Lismore GM Gary Murphy is today considering four recision motions lodged after last nights meeting.

Four major items on last nights Lismore City Council agenda could return in the new year after four rescission motions were lodged following the meeting last night.

A majority of councillors had voted to proceed with a workshop for the Lismore Square Shopping Centre $9o million expansion; to proceed with negotiations over an Olympic Ski Jump facility; a special business rate variation; and an extra 20 races each year at the Lismore Greyhound Racing track.

But Greens councillors Vanessa Ekins and Adam Guise joined with Cr Eddie Lloyd in lodging the rescission motions against the ski jump, the shopping centre expansion and the greyhound racing.

The special business rate variation motion was for the council to apply to the NSW Independent Pricing & Regulator Tribunal (IPART) for a permanent Business Special Rate Variation (SRV) at a rate pegged level of $120,000 per annum, commencing 1 July 2018.

Crs Greg Bennet, Nancy Casson and Adam Guise have lodged a rescission motion to reverse the decision to proceed.

Meanwhile, the councils general manager Gary Murphy has the ultimate say in whether the rescission motions proceed,  having to consider their legality.

Its understood that all the motions are likely to be approved although there are legal questions regarding the greyhound races decision.

More to come. 



The post Four major Lismore decisions subject to rescission motions appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Native animals are calling all heroes "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Everyday heroes come in many forms. Some people look out for our wildlife and call WIRES when they find an animal in need of help. Others are able to volunteer their time to become carers for orphaned, injured and displaced animals.

WIRES receives many calls about birds that need assistance but we wouldnt have such a great success rate in rescues if it wasnt for heroes like the members of the public and emergency services who regularly lend a hand.

In late October, in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, some very observant council workers noticed the nest of a pair ofTawny Frogmouths at one of the citys depots.

After watching the pair tend to their young ones over the course of days, the men noticed that the parent birds had not returned to the nest after some wild weather. Despite daily checks, they have not been seen since and their fate is unknown.

Concerned for the welfare of the young chicks and with the threat from predatory birds growing, the council workers contacted WIRES and volunteer rescuer Marion attended the scene.

Council workers with rescued chicks

They decided to use a cherry picker to access the nest and bring the chicks to ground, after consulting with the councils work health and safety officer.

Thanks to Lismore City Council and employees Rod, Trent and Jeremy, the rescue operation went smoothly and the birds went into care with WIRES volunteer Julie. After four weeks regrettably, one of the chicks passed away, but the other one is doing well and has been housed with another young Tawny as a buddy.

They do not always make it when raising them from such a young age, said Julie, adding that they were probably only a week old when they were orphaned.

Having had more than 200 Tawny Frogmouths in her care over the past few years, Julie has a special bond with these birds.

The peak rescue season at WIRES started early this year due to unseasonally warm weather. Some species, like our iconic Australian Wood Duck, are now nesting for the second time and raising new batches of ducklings.



Consultation lacking on Byron Bays Railway Park masterplan project Local News Echonetdaily

An image from the Byron Bay master plan, which shows a possible redevelopment of Railway Park. (supplied)

Plans for an informal amphitheatre in Railway Park in Byrons CBD, along with other improvements, will be tabled at this Thursdays Byron Shire Council meeting.

Along with additional seating, parking would be reduced in front of the railway station, while the childrens park would be removed and the existing toilets relocated to the north western entrance area.

Paved areas would also be created that promote gathering while maintaining tree health. 

BEC communicating with the community in Railway Park. Their eviction was originally slated for December 13. Photo supplied.

No consultation

Yet the notice of motion (NoM) to endorse the Railway Square Landscape Concept Plan by Greens mayor Simon Richardson has been overshadowed again with claims of improper process and lack of consultation.

Managers of the Byron Environment Centre (BEC) rotunda in the park are angry that the mayors NoM claims BEC consultation has also been undertaken.

And within the maps provided by the mayor in the agenda, it states that consultation is required for the possible relocation [of the BEC rotunda] within the park.

BEC members Nino MacDonald and John Lazarus told The Echo they met in good faith with council last Thursday but were not responded to with good faith in turn.

Before meeting with BEC, the council had already printed up Thursdays council agenda. It included a report on development in...


Lismore to proceed with Lismore Square expansion workshop Local News Echonetdaily

Lismore council will push forward with a proposal to expand the Lismore Shopping Square.

The Lismore City Council has voted to proceed with a workshop in the new year to examine the proposed $90 million expansion of the Lismore Shopping Square, and also to develop a business case for a Regional Sports Hub that includes an Olympic Ski Jump Training Facility.

Cr Neil Marks had lodged a notice of motion for the Square expansion which apart from some minor changes was supported by a majority of the councillors.

Voting for the workshop were Lismore mayor Isaac Smith, Crs Darlene Cook, Greg Bennett, Nancy Casson, Neil Marks, Gianpeiro Battista and Bill Moorhouse. Against were Greens councillors Vanessa Ekins and Adam Guise. Cr Ellie Bird was absent.

The proposed workshop would consider the minimum footprint requirements for the expansion, the full impact the expansion would have on neighbouring Humbly Oval, and opportunities to mitigate the impact on the Lismore CBD.

Last nights vote prompted a response from Page MP Kevin Hogan who said it was a positive move.

Its time that councillors stop talking about fluffy things like rainbow crossings and start focusing on things that matter to our community like jobs, like Richmond Valley Council does, he said.

Almost 2000 signed my petition within a fortnight calling on the council to reverse its decision to knock back the proposed $90 million investment.

Meanwhile, a majority of councillors also threw their support behind a proposal to build an Olympic ski jump facility in Lismore as part of a regional sports hub.

Artists impression of the ski jump that was rejected by the Ballina Shire Council.

The council voted to work with the Office of Sport to develop a project proposal and business case for the Lismore Regional Sports Hub, involving a multi-sport precinct with indoor and outdoor facilities.

The Olympic Ski Jump Training Facility would be incorporated as part of the hub development.

The project proposal and business case are to be reported back to the council at a future meeting.



NORTEC pulls the rug from under local startup businesses Local News Echonetdaily

Adelaide Friday, Michael Brechbuhler, Jarrah Hustler and Natalia Sanchez from the Byron Bay incubator site are reeling at the news they have to move out in six weeks. Photo Aslan Shand.

More than a dozen local businesses have been left reeling after NORTEC abruptly terminated the leases of all the small businesses located at the three small-business incubator sites located in Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Goonellabah with only six weeks to move. NORTEC has stated that The Byron Bay and Goonellabah sites will be sold. The Mullumbimby site is not owned by NORTEC.

They handed me the eviction notice in a folder that had creating opportunities and inspiring futures on the front, said Goonellabah business owner Mary-Anne Meginess.

I dont feel supported or inspired. This is not nurturing its disgusting.

The small businesses on the sites were supposed to be provided with reduced rent and regular business support yet none of the businesses feel they have received any business support.

NORTEC were supposed to supply business support as part of the incubator program, continued Mary-Anne,

After two years at the incubator I started paying for some of the business events that NOTEC put on and I finally got a mentor a month ago.

Mary-Anne was feeling inspired and excited about growing her business and had felt that with the mentor there was a real chance for this.

Im now just really angry and exhausted.

Jake May has given up his full time job only opening his doors two weeks ago. He now has six weeks to vacate the site. Photo Aslan Shand.

Just ope...


Have you seen this man? Local News Echonetdaily

Scott Payne (pictured) was last seen at Coutts Crossing on November 29. Police are concerned for his welfare. Photo NSW Police

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a man last seen leaving a Northern Rivers town two weeks ago.

Scott Payne, 34, left a home at Coutts Crossing, 20km south of Grafton, on Wednesday, November 29. Police believe Mr Payne could have been walking in the area.

His 4WD and personal items were found at Dalmorton, 60km west of Coutts Crossing, two days later (Friday, December 1), but there have been no sightings of Mr Payne since.

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, 180cm to 185cm tall, with a thin build, brown hair and hazel eyes. Mr Payne has a full beard and moustache.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident should call Grafton Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

The post Have you seen this man? appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Spike in unvaccinated pre-enrolment requests Local News Echonetdaily

From December 31, conscientious objectors to vaccination will no longer be able to enrol their children into preschools. Photo from International Business Times

Local preschools have been inundated with calls from the parents of unvaccinated children trying to enrol their kids in care before tough new vaccination rules come into effect on December 31.

Staff at a number of pre-schools say dozens of parents have been attempting to pre-enrol their children for 2019 and beyond, in a bid to avoid the new rules, which will mean they can no longer register as conscientious objectors to vaccination.

But the preschools have had to turn away almost all of these parents because of their enrolment policies or long waiting lists, leading, in some cases, to angry, emotional interactions with staff.

We have been inundated since the government made its announcement about the new policy, said one local preschool educator, who asked not to be named.

Theyre upset, angry, and desperately trying to get their children in.

Weve even had pregnant mums ringing up trying to get their unborn children in.

We have to say no because we cant do that. Its been very emotional. 

Since January 2014, childcare centres have been prevented from enrolling children who are considered unvaccinated by the NSW government unless their parents have registered as conscientious objectors, or the child has been granted a medical exemption.

However in September this year, the government amended the Public Health Act 2010, putting an end to conscientious objection for new enrolments. It effectively stops children from entering the preschool system if they have not been conventionally vaccinated.

The conscientious objection option remains open until December 31, allowing unvaccinated children who will reach prescho...


Bangalow needs parking study per the RMS requirements: MP Local News Echonetdaily

Bangalow residents turned up on Saturday morning to object to Councils plans to introduce paid parking in the town. Photo Jeff Dawson

Local NSW Greens MP Tamara Smith has questioned Greens mayor Simon Richardson and his supportive councillors decision for paid parking in Bangalow.

At a rally held Saturday morning, the Chamber of Commerce said ignored studies and flawed surveys led to councillors decision to roll out paid parking.

Ms Smith told the rally via a letter, I am sorry that you have had to take to the streets in order to have your voice heard Well done for coming out to have your say and I am sorry that I cant be there with you.

I am urging Byron Shire Council to do a parking study for Bangalow, per the RMS requirements, which have nothing to do with revenue raising. In fact, revenue raising is not recognised by the NSW government as a valid reason for introducing paid parking. 

There are too many unknowns at this stage, the true impact of introducing paid parking in Bangalow is not clear, and the case to introduce it in the terms set down by RMS has not been made.

The precautionary principle seems very appropriate at this time if we are not sure of the impact, then lets not impact.

Exertion of will

Meanwhile, the towns chamber president Jo Millar told the gathering, This whole process is a classic example of the exertion of political will over the proper processes that we have a right to expect from our Council staff and our elected representatives.

In reply, Infrastructure Services director Phil Holloway told The Echo, Councils rationale for pay parking has always been, first and foremost, that it serves to improve parking turnover and access to local businesses.

Pay Parking schemes are a combinati...


Significant projects delivered: retiring Byron GM Local News Echonetdaily

Byron Shire Council general manager Ken Gainger. (supplied)

Road reconstruction, recycling, flood recovery and roundabouts were significant projects delivered in the last financial year, says Byron Shire Councils outgoing general manager Ken Gainger. 

Mr Gainger, who recently announced his resignation owing to health reasons, said the operations of the council go well beyond the traditional areas of rates, roads and rubbish.

In 2016/17 we completed ten major road reconstruction projects and resealed a total of 13.5km of road but we also made significant improvements in areas such as our recycling operations.

Byron Shire Council has a commitment to improving recycling, so to see that we collected 200kg of phones, batteries and light bulbs was fantastic, he said.

We opened the new North Ocean Shores sportsfield which is a great space for residents in the north of the shire.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie had a severe impact on parts of our community the council lobbied hard for government support and was successful in its applications for natural disaster funding for the repair of council infrastructure and Disaster Recovery funding for affected residents and businesses.

We also developed the Rural Land Use Strategy, which has since been adopted by the council.

This is an important document that tries to find the balance between development and preserving our villages and districts and our rich and beautiful farmland.


He added that council staff worked with the community to develop town and village masterplans for Byron Bay, Bangalow and Mullumbimby, and council also hosted an Affordable Housing summit to shine the light on an increasing challenge in the region.

Our tourism industry is ever growing and we continue to grapple with how to provide infrastructure for around two million tourists, Mr Gainger said.

Pay parking is going some way to providing some revenue from tourists, but the council continues to lobby the NSW government for answers to this problem, which is not going away.

Council was awarded a special rate variation (SRV) which allows...


Santa boats in for Brunswick nippers Local News Echonetdaily

Father Christmas dropped in on Brunswick Heads nippers lat Sunday to give them all and early Christmas present. Photo Aslan Shand.

Father Christmas left his reindeer at home last Sunday and caught the waves into Brunswick Surf Life Saving club on the surf lifesaving boat  to the excitement of all the little nippers who have been practicing their life saving skills hard for the last few months.

That was awesome! said one little nipper as he ran up to Santa hoping for a early present.

Father Christmas handed out lollies to all the kids as they celebrated the beginning of the Festive Season.



The post Santa boats in for Brunswick nippers appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Byron Bay train ready to roll on solar Local News Echonetdaily

Byron Bay Railroad Company Development director Jeremy Holmes takes a ride on the Shires latest transport. Photo Jeff Trains, Planes and Automobiles Dawson

The much-anticipated Byron Bay solar train will be officially launched this Saturday, December 16.

Everyone is welcome to the grand opening, commencing at 11am at The Sun Bistro on Bayshore Drive. Public train rides from the North Beach platform on Bayshore Drive will run from 12.30 till 5pm, with live music and celebrations throughout the afternoon at The Sun Bistro.

The train service will travel between the North Beach precinct, which includes the Byron Arts Estate and Sunrise Beach community, to the newly constructed station behind Simmos garage.

Byron Bay Railroad Company development director Jeremy Holmes said, We searched the country and found a dilapidated vintage train, restored it, and are now powering it with a 4.6-billion-year-old power source.

The project has been achieved with no funding or financial support from government at any level, say organisers.

The train seats 100 passengers and has room for luggage, bikes and surfboards. The 3km journey will cost $3 for adults with concessions for children.

The Byron Bay train will operate a limited service until January when the full schedule will commence. For more information visit

The post Byron Bay train ready to roll on solar appeared first o...


Students get musical, thanks to Falls Local News Echonetdaily

Mullumbimby Public School prinicipal David Lees, Byron Falls Festival director Brandon Saul, and Anna Coelho from the P&C with students Cooper Nelson, Jonny DeAlmeida, Joel Liljeqvist, Cooper Tait, Anderson Bower, Angus Ewin, Bodhi Neylan. Photo Jeff Dawson

Mullumbimby Public School is now able to purchase musical instruments to continue to establish a school band thanks to donations from the The Byron Falls Music & Arts Festival.

The school is among five beneficiaries of the grants, a result of $1 from each Falls ticket sold contributing to a community fund that is then distributed to a range of local organisations.

Principal David Lees said, Receiving a community grant from Falls will greatly assist us in supporting the emergence of the musical soul of Mullumbimby Public School, and is much appreciated by our school community and beyond.

Five beneficiaries

The other organisations to receive the grant money are Burringbar Community Association Inc, Shaping Outcomes (Byron Bay), WIRES (Northern Rivers) and Crabbes Creek Community Hall.    

A Burringbar Heritage Walk is planned with funds going to the Burringbar Community Association, while Shaping Outcomes (Byron Bay) say they will use the grant to provide resources for the childrens groups they run including Ready for School and Social Thinking.

WIRES say they will use the grant to assist in responding to more calls to help injured, sick, displaced and orphaned wildlife while Crabbes Creek Community Hall organisers say they will use the grant to contribute towards the New Years Eve fireworks display for the community.

The post Students get musical, thanks to Falls appeared first on Echonetdaily.


World First Solar Train Launching Byron Bay Blog

The much anticipated world first solar train will be officially launched this Saturday 16th December.

Official proceedings commence at 11:00am at The Sun Bistro on Bayshore Drive in Byron Bay. Public train rides from the North Beach platform on Bayshore Drive will run from 12:30 5:00pm, with live music and celebrations throughout the afternoon at The Sun.

The Byron Bay train travels between Byron Bay township and the burgeoning North Beach precinct which includes the Byron Arts Estate and the Sunrise Beach residential community. The train seats 100 passengers and has room for luggage, bikes and surfboards. The 3km journey will cost just $3 for adults with concessions for children.

The Byron Bay train will operate a limited service until January when the full schedule will commence.

With no support from government at any level the Byron Bay Railroad Company have delivered the worlds first solar train said John Grimes, Chief Executive at the Smart Energy Council. True innovation meets roadblock upon roadblock so we congratulate this team on their incredible achievement. Hopefully this one train in regional Australia can demonstrate the possibilities of solar technology and the power of perseverance.

For more information visit

The post World First Solar Train Launching appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.


Five Australian Prime Ministers & Nine Immigration Ministers Named In Communique To The International Criminal Court in 2016 North Coast Voices

Perpetrators Individual responsibility
40. On the basis of the brief factual outline provided above, there are a number of persons who have, or would have had whilst elected, knowledge of the relevant facts outlined in the elements detailed below, and played a considerable role in the implementation and enforcement of the Immigration Policies. Further, these people have, or would have had whilst elected, the requisite intent to cause a particular consequence or were aware that the consequence would occur in the ordinary course of events (for example, that the implementation and enforcement of the Immigration Policies would result in Immigration Detention, or deportation and Immigration Detention, of boat people). [In The Matter Of A Prosecution Of The Australian Government In Relation To Indefinite Detention And Forcible Removal Of Asylum Seekers (2016), p.]

In a communique to the International Criminal Court, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, John Howard, Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison, Tony Burke, Brendan OConnor, Chris Bowen, Chris Evans, Kevin Andrews, Amanda Vanstone, Phillip Ruddock, Baron Waqa and Rimbink Pato were all named as administrating authorities in relation to the offence of unlawful confinement.


Tony Windsor on fighting the Santos pipeline North Coast Voices

They were there in an attempt to survey a pipeline to convey coal seam gas from gas giant Santoss proposed Narrabri gas field. As one landholder, David Chadwick, said: the pipeline was the head of the snake and if allowed to proceed would provide the infrastructure to convey the gas to Sydney or internationally and provide the political pressure to develop about 850 gas wells near Narrabri, with a view to hundreds more across the Liverpool Plains and associated areas. [Tony Windsor, former  independent member for the federal seat of New England]

The Saturday Paper, 9-15 December 2017:

Last week I was working with my son Andrew on our farm 25 kilometres north of Coonamble when he received a message that there were trespassers on the neighbouring farm. A digital alert system had been put in place for such an event.

Within minutes, farm vehicles from all the neighbours converged on the scene. Others moved in on the trespassers from the eastern side and in a pincer movement the trespassers became trapped and unable to gain access to their vehicles.

By this time, about 100 agitated and concerned farmers, their employees and families were there to express their disgust at what had just occurred. The police had also arrived.

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