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IndyWatch North Coast NSW News Feed was generated at Bellingen NSW IndyWatch.

Monday, 18 February

00:15

Guess that big empty bus and other faux election campaign antics werent as effective as Scott Morrison had hoped North Coast Voices



Channel 9 News, 16 February 2019:

The Morrison Government is losing support in Queensland in the latest spell of bad news for the Prime Minister.

The latest YouGov Galaxy poll shows that the Prime Minister has lost crucial support in the Sunshine State, often seen as a key election battleground.

The slump comes despite Mr Morrison visiting farmers devastated by the recent floods, promising to rebuild the cattle industry..

There are only four more sitting days remain until the budget is handed down, and just seven more until the most likely date when the election will be called.

Galaxy poll published 16 February 2019:
...

00:15

So why is the Morrison Government and Australian mainstream media shouting about asylum seekers? North Coast Voices


The Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2018 colloquially known as the Medivac Bill was passed by both Houses of the Australian Parliament on 13 February 2019.


Labor, the Greens and a cluster from cross benches successfully voted to significantly amend this bill by adding clauses so that persons held in off-shore detention at Manus Island and Nauru could more easily be transferred to Australia for medical treatment in a hospital or as an out-patient while being held in an on-shore detention facility.
...

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Sunday, 17 February

23:42

Sunday, 17 February 2019 - 11:42pm

I don't eat jam. My wife doesn't eat jam. Kitty doesn't eat jam. The dog doesn't eat jam. Despite that there is always a jar of jam in the fridge, but I have never seen jam go mouldy. Tomato paste, my heavens yes, as soon as you take your eyes off it. Jam never.

08:29

Byron beaches closed after dawn shark attack Local News Echonetdaily

The Westpac Helicopter making its way to Belongil Beach this morning to transport a man to the Gold Coast after a shark attack. Photo supplied.

A 41 year-old male has been flown to Gold Coast University Hospital after a Shark at Byron Bay early this morning.

The patient, a Suffolk Park resident, has a large injury to his left leg. Paramedics and helicopters clinical team treated the patient on scene. He was also given blood that is carried on board the Helicopter.

Emergency services, including the Westpac Helicopter, were called to Manfred Street at about 6.40am today (Sunday 17 February 2019), after reports a man was surfing near Belongil Beach when he bitten on the leg by a shark.

The man returned to shore on his board and alerted other surfers.

Belongil and Byron Main Beach have been closed until tomorrow. Photo Rosie Lee.

He was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics, before being air-lifted to Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Belongil Beach and Main Beach have been closed for 24-hours.

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District will liaise with Department of Primary Industry to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Beachgoers are urged to follow safety advice from Surf Life Saving NSW and by visiting the Department of Primary Industrys website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/sharks and the SharkSmart app.

00:15

Will the House and the Senate manage to roll back that infamous $487 million grant to a greenwashing charity, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation North Coast Voices


Last year mainstream media reported that Australian Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull (former director Goldman Sachs), Minister for Environment and Energy & Liberal MP for Kooyong Josh Frydenberg (former director Deutsche Bank Australia) and Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation & Member of the Business Council of Australia John Schubert (former chair Commonwealth Bank) met on 9 April 2018 to discuss the allocation of a grant valued at in excess of AU$487.6 million to the foundation.

The grant had not been advertised or put to tender.

It was further reported that Great Barrier Reef scientists were told they would need to make trade-offs to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, including focusing on projects that would look good for the government and encourage more corporate donations, emails tabled in the Senate reveal.

A Senate report of the Great Barrier Reef 2050 Partnership Program has just been published here...

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Saturday, 16 February

21:56

Swimmer still missing from Ballina Local News Echonetdaily

Lighthouse Beach. Photo supplied.

A full scale search has been underway at Ballinas Lighthouse Beach today for a man in his 60s who went missing while swimming shortly before 9am this morning.

On the water and in the air the local SLSC and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter over the beach at Ballina. Photo supplied.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked around 10.30am to search for the missing swimmer. Police Marine Area Command are coordinating the search, including jet boat, SLSA personal, police and ambulance.

About 10.15am this morning, emergency services were called to Lighthouse Beach at Ballina, after reports of a missing swimmer. The helicopter searched for a period of time with nothing found, then returned to base.

Witnesses have told police a 69-year-old entered the water earlier and had not been seen since.

Officers from Richmond Police District attended and commenced a search for the man, assisted by the Marine Area Command, State Emergency Service (SES), NSW Ambulance, Surf Lifesavers, Marine Rescue and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter.

The missing swimmer is a patrolling member of the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore SLSC and was last seen going for his regular swim before commencing patrol duties for the day.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter returned to bass after searching extensively for the missing swimmer. Photo supplied.

Far North Coast Duty Officer Jimmy Keough says this has hit the club hard a...

13:57

Nimbin Roots Fest 2019 Byron Bay Blog

$80 3 day festival passes ending soon! unlimited camping at the showground for only $10 a night. Great facilities, no booking for camping just pay at the gate. No better time to commit to that Hippy road trip than now!!

Book here www.nrfest.com/tickets

The post Nimbin Roots Fest 2019 appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.

03:04

Saturday, 16 February 2019 - 3:04am

As I am pushing, or perhaps being shoved towards, fifty years of age, I find myself becoming compulsively autobiographic because I am starting to properly appreciate the sweep of history in those fifty years, and perhaps more so in the fifty previous years.

00:15

Tweet of the Week North Coast Voices


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Friday, 15 February

16:45

Byron Bay Surf Festivals Music Line-Up Byron Bay Blog

The 2019 Byron Bay Surf Festival is kicking off Wednesday 20th February, chock full of sustainability, music, art, surf and culture. Wow. Say hello to annual favourites including the Surf Art Markets, Surf Legends Lounge, live music at the Beach Hotel and Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions at Wategos Beach. Meet this years epic line up of special guests including surfing World Champions, female leaders, inspiring musicians, photographers and artists.

Byron Bay Surf Festivals Music Line-Up

Friday 22nd February

9pm 12am Beach Hotel

Invite your pals, enjoy a cold Stone & Wood Pacific Ale for a funky Friday at the Beachy. Catch the head nodding goodness of local legends Drop Legs and soulful beats of solo loop artist from Victoria Tones & I.

Saturday 23rd February

9am 4pm The Surf Art Markets
Take a break from the markets and relax as Queenslands Tay Oskee performs a stunning acoustic set, complimented by performances from Byrons own Nick Cunningham and Sophie Ozard.

9pm 12am Beach Hotel

A big Saturday night, grab your crew, plan your outfit...

11:47

Being a Lismore thespian just got cooler Local News Echonetdaily

Lismore Theatre Company President Sharon Brodie, Vice President/Artistic Director Jennie Hicks and Secretary Elyse Knowles can now use the theatre in summer thanks to the Annual Community Grants Scheme and a welcome pair of air conditioners. Photo supplied.

We all know that being a thespian is cool, but things just got cooler for the Rochdale Theatre.
The Lismore Theatre Company members and guests will experience a cool change this year thanks to Lismore City Councils Annual Community Grants Scheme.

The group received a $9700 community grant last August to purchase two large air conditioners for the auditorium. The cast can now rehearse and perform all year round and theatre goers can watch the shows in comfort.

Lismore Theatre Company President Sharon Brodie says the company do a Christmas panto but would leave the theatre vacant after that until March because of the heat. It would get up to 42 degrees in the theatre and the conditions were horrendous, she said from the cool of the new space. Wed decided not to put on a Christmas panto in 2018 if we didnt get the grant.

People have had to leave the show in the past it was simply too hot for the actors, the families and children, and the guys in the sound and lighting box.

These air conditioners have made such a difference the Christmas panto last year was a wonderful success and no-one was fainting in the aisles!

We are really excited that we have a summer show this year and it can be enjoyed in air-conditioned comfort.

The Lismore Theatre Companys current show Breast Wishes runs until March 3. It is an uplifting musical featuring a series of touching, personal and funny vignettes about breasts. It was developed by Anne Looby and written by an impressive array of Aussie writers including Wendy Harmer and Richard Glover.

The theatre company will donate 10% of all proceeds to Jodies Inspiration, a local charity that supports the families of those experiencing breast cancer.

Grants of up to $10,000 are available through the Annual Community Grants Scheme and 2019 applications open on 1 April.

There is a Community Information Session for interested people on Wednesday, 20 March at the Lismore Council Chambers and representatives from local community groups and associations are invited to come along, find out more information and ask questions.

The Community Information Session starts at 10.30am and everyone is welcome. For enquiries, phone Community Engagement Officer Flora Zigterman on 1300 87 83 87.

If youR...

10:18

Friendly for fishes upstream on the Bruns Local News Echonetdaily

The Durrumbul causeway. Photo supplied.

In a win for local finned earthlings, work has started on the installation of a new bridge to replace the Durrumbul causeway adjacent to Settlement Rd at Main Arm.

The installation of the new bridge is one of two causeway upgrades that are jointly funded by the NSW DPI Flagship Fish Habitats Grants Program ($274,600) and Byron Shire Council ($274,600) as part of the Bringing Back the Brunswick project.

Bringing Back the Brunswick aims to reinstate fish passage in the Brunswick River by removing fish barriers to open upstream habitat.

James Flockton, Byron Shire Councils Drainage/Flood Engineer, says the replacement of the Durrumbul causeway is the first stage of the project, which will not only see two causeways upgraded, but three other fish barriers removed.

These structures stop fish from moving upstream, said Mr Flockton. They can currently only migrate to the upper reaches of the Brunswick River around 10 days a year when the river is flooding.

Bringing Back the Brunswick will open up seven kilometres of upstream habitat and allow 27.4km of fish passage right down to the estuary mouth which will benefit all native fish species, particularly the Australian Bass, he said.

Byron Shire Councils Works Coordinator, Hank Spangler, said the new bridge replacing the old, concrete causeway will be the same height as the current crossing, but will go over the Brunswick River instead of through it as is the case at the moment.

This means that fish will be able to move freely under the bridge and its also good news for residents because the bridge will not be as susceptible to flooding, said Mr Spangler.

The installation of the new bridge and removal of the causeway is expected to take approximately two months.

The other causeway earmarked for replacement is on Johnsons Lane at Durrumbul with work to get underway later this year.

The post Friendly for fishes upstream on the Bruns appeared first on Echonetdaily.

10:00

SLSC upgrade open next week Local News Echonetdaily

The upgrade at Shelley Beach will be unveiled on Monday 18 February.

The final stage of the Shelly Beach SLSC upgrade is complete and the facility will officially open next week.

President Wilson Cregan on behalf of Surf Life Saving Far North Coast (SLSFNC) is inviting surf lifesavers and members of the public to the opening of the club on Monday 18th February 2019.

The facility upgrade has been made possible by a NSW Government Grant of $108,000 and the Honourable Troy Grant, Minister for Police and Emergency Services will be opening the upgrade.

According to SLSFNC, the Shelly Beach facility is an essential part of their long term plan to provide continued support operations as well as an education and training centre for the community and local surf life saving clubs on the Far North Coast.

The ground floor has additional space for mobile rescue equipment, ATV and Rescue Craft, a new First Aid area as well as an area in which to store drones and associated equipment.

SLSFNC provides services, training and programs for volunteer surf lifesavers to ensure safe beaches for locals and visitors, and to carry out emergency rescue operations as required. This upgrade also allows for the use of the facility by many community groups.

SLSFNC has 7,000 volunteers, and last year conducted about 130 rescues, took more than 6,000 preventative actions, performed 100 search and rescue operations and attended more than 80 after hours search and rescue call-outs.

Organisers look forward to seeing everyone at the ceremony to help them thank all those involved.

The event commences at 9.30am at 11 Shelly Beach Road, East Ballina.

The post SLSC upgrade open next week appeared first on Echonetdaily.

09:30

Water the all important resource now and in the future Local News Echonetdaily

Tweed Greens candidate Bill Fenelon at a recent protest in Uki. Photo supplied

Recent rains have done nothing to change the view that Australians should expect to face future crises in water supply. The mayors of several western NSW councils who face current water supply crises have asked the state government to stop water allocated for irrigation from being pumped out of the upper reaches of the Darling river system, and water supply shortages can be expected in many parts of Australia in the future.

Residents of the Tweed Shire have called for a halt to new water mining approvals in the shire, and that result appears to be a step closer after Councillors Milne, Cherry, Cooper and Byrnes voted to forward a planning proposal to remove water extraction for commercial water bottling from the Local Environmental Plan to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment at the February Council meeting.

Greens candidate for Tweed Bill Fenelon says the recent death of 1 million fish in the Darling River near Menindee Lakes is yet another wake-up call of the consequences from over-using and abusing our water systems.

According to an Environmental Defenders Office report, a river is like a piggy bank, if you keep taking money out without saving for the future you end up bankrupt, he said. The causes of this devastating fish kill include extracting too much water from the river, failing to set limits on extraction that take into account climate change, and prolonged periods without rainfall.

Fenelon says that similar principles apply to water mining.

You just cant keep taking water out of our aquifers without a risk of them drying up. Eventually the piggy bank will be empty.

Our aquifers are our buffer against the increasing threat of climate change and ongoing drought, he said. As our rivers and creeks dry up, we will be more reliant on our underground water supplies for domestic and agricultural use.

...

08:53

Forestry Corporation says no fines issued at Gibberagee Local News Echonetdaily

Dawn Walker at Gibberagee State Forest yesterday. One onlooker suggested that the harvest manager wasnt asking for Ms Walkers autograph. Photo supplied.

Yesterday Echonetdaily reported that NSW Greens MP, Dawn Walker had been fined for protesting against a logging operation that has been caught out destroying koala habitat in Gibberagee State Forest.

In response to that story, the Forestry Corporation of NSW has contacted Echonetdaily saying no fines were issued.

The Forestry Corporation has not issued any penalties or fines at Giberagee State Forest, said a spokesperson for Forestry Corporation of NSW.

Yesterday, (Wednesday, 13 February), community members entered a worksite that was closed to the public for safety reasons and our staff informed them they were in a closed area and asked them to move to a safer area.

Gibberagee State Forest is a regrowth forest with a long history of timber production. There are tight regulations around timber harvesting that ensure it is sustainable, that native flora and fauna are protected and that all harvested areas regrow into thriving, diverse, natural forests, and Forestry Corporation continues to operate in line with these regulations.

Recent changes to forest regulations use new, rigorous scientific mapping of potential koala habitat to ensure sufficient koala feed trees are retained even if koalas are not actually sighted, which only strengthens koala protections.

The new regulations have also increased long-term monitoring to ensure the rules in place are delivering the best environmental outcomes.

Harvesting Manager demanded name and home address

Echonetdaily contacted Ms Walker to clarify details of the protest.

08:31

Collaborators shoot to save magpie Local News Echonetdaily

This little maggie hung upside-down for several hours before being rescued. Photo Supplied.

The need to dispose of rubbish carefully has been highlighted recently with a young bird hanging for several hours entangled in twine.

Even small pieces of rubbish can cause untold suffering, according to WIRES this juvenile magpie had its leg entangled in twine and wire which then became snared in a branch high in a tree in Casino. In its panic to escape, the young bird ended up helplessly hanging upside down, flapping desperately.

The poor maggie hung suspended by one leg for at least 18 hours until a solution could be found. All the while a distressed adult magpie was worriedly keeping a close eye on the fledgling. WIRES bird specialist, Melanie, had grave fears that the magpie would suffer severe injuries to its leg.

The magpie was approximately two stories high in the tree, way too high to reach. After cherry picker options proved unavailable, WIRES made contact with Alistair from the RSPCA, who fortunately came to the rescue.

RSPCAs Alistair to the rescue. Photo supplied.

As a licensed shooter, Alistair carefully assessed the situation and decided it might be possible to bring down both the branch and the bird with a shot. It took incredible skill and three shots to get through the branch, before both the limb and magpie tumbled to the ground.

There was a moment of panic when the magpie became free while still attached to the rubbish and flew off, but it was caught again by Melanie.

Elizabeth at Central Vet Care Clinic, Casino, conducted an examination and fortunately there were no fractures to the magpies leg. It appeared to have a normal range of movement, despite being extremely sore.

After receiving some subcutaneous fluids to rehydrate, the magpie is now slowly recovering in WIRES care.

Where there is a will there is a way, and rescues such as this illustrate how important collaboration is in solving complicated re...

08:30

Battle for West Byron returning to court Local News Echonetdaily

Paul Bibby

The battle over West Byron will return to the Land and Environment Court next week after a compulsory conciliation meeting between the developer and Byron Council failed to bear fruit.

The developers responsible for one of two major proposals for the site, the R&D Group, took Council to court over its deemed refusal of their development application.

The court required the two parties to take part in a conciliation meeting on Monday to see if they could reach an agreement over R&Ds plans for a $40m 163-lot mega development.

Not surprisingly given Councils strong expressed opposition to the plan, the two sides were unable to agree, with a difference of opinion over expert evidence bringing the meeting to an early end.

The matter now looks set for a lengthy hearing in the Land and Environment Court, that could take months and cost both sides hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It is scheduled to return to the court on Tuesday for mention before Registrar Sarah Froh, at which point the applicants (R&D) will indicate whether they want an extension of time to respond to the legal arguments made by council during the recent conciliation meeting.

Stay tuned to Echonetdaily for updates!

The post Battle for West Byron returning to court appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:00

Art in the Heart helps you love Lismore Local News Echonetdaily

Celebrating the success of Christmas Art in the Heart: Sprung artist Zac Mifsud, LightnUp Artistic Director Jyllie Jackson, Lismore City Council Manager of Economic Development Tina Irish, Christmas Art in the Heart Project Manager Sunita Bala from RealArtworks, and Sprung artist Katie Cooper-Wares. Photo supplied.

You might have noticed even more love in Lismore over the holidays thanks to the Christmas Art in the Heart project.

In this exciting concept that activated the Lismore CBD during the holiday season, Lismore City Council partnered with RealArtworks and Creative Lismore to enhance vacant shopfronts in the CBD and bring them to life.

The Christmas Art in the Heart project provided emerging and professional artists with a platform to showcase their art through installations, projections and window graphics.

Residents and visitors were bombarded with art in the CBD, from life-sized cut-outs of dancers from Sprung frolicking in a summer Christmas installation, to a community mural engaging pedestrians in Magellan Street and an Australian bush scene made with LightnUp lanterns.

The project attracted considerable interest outside of the Far North Coast with Accessible Arts viewing some of the art installations during a recent trip to Lismore. They are now keen to duplicate the project in other regional cities.

We are pleased that the feedback from Lismore CBD patrons and businesses has been really positive, said Sunita Bala from RealArtworks.

The CBD is a great place to work, socialise and relax. Working with empty shop spaces has seen some of these spaces now being commercially tenanted and thats a win for everyone.

The Art in the Heart concept also provides emerging and professional creatives with an opportunity to raise their profile and secure more opportunities to work with local businesses.

The project has continued to evolve with local businesses now keen to support a CBD empty shop installation for the Lismore Lantern Parade in June.

Local businesses have also pledged support for RealArtworks next creative endeavour, The (Un)usual, which is a Regional Arts NSW-funded trail of interactive art, live performance and installations linking The Quad through the CBD to the river.

The post Art in the Heart helps you love Lismore appeared first on Echonetdaily.

07:50

Bob and Wendy farewell the Cape after 22 years Local News Echonetdaily

Bob and Wendy Levett will be missed at the Cape and the Byron Lighthouse after donating 22 volunteer years as conservationists and guides. Photo supplied.

There are as many reasons as there are people when it comes to volunteering your time to a good cause.

Byron Bay locals, Bob and Wendy Levett have spent 22 really good years giving their time and knowledge to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), as guides at their much loved Cape Byron Lighthouse.

The work of these active members of the community will leave a strong legacy when they move to Sydney to be closer to family. Along with getting involved in NPWS conservation work, the retired teachers greet visitors at the Cape Byron Lighthouse, sharing their passion for history.

We love working for the Byron community, says Mr Levett. We are going to miss all the wonderful friends we have made along with meeting people from across the globe and learning about their cultures.

The lighthouse gained a special place in the hearts of the Levetts when they started travelling to Byron with their children for annual camping trips.

As we got closer, we would be waiting for our first sight of the lighthouse. It was like a sentinel, letting us know we had almost arrived.

The children would slide down the hill from the lighthouse on big pieces of cardboard as the local goats watched on.

Bob and Wendy are role models

NPWS Education Officer, Delta Kay says the Levetts have been role models for all the new volunteers who have joined the program in the Tweed Byron area over the years.

Bob and Wendy are engaging, kind, and they share their wealth of knowledge in a passionate way to enhance the experience for our visitors to Cape Byron Lighthouse.

They have been wonderful advocates for the volunteer program and our local community.

NPWS runs a state-wide volunteer program which allows people to embrace their passion for nature and make a positive difference to our environment and heritage.

Ms Kay and the rest of the Tweed Byron NPWS team are keen to hear from dedicated people, like the Levetts, who are interested in volunteering their time to support conservation in the region.

Volunt...

00:16

Minor parties mix it up over mobile phone after miners parliamentary dinner North Coast Voices


News.com.au - Senator Brian Burston (right) and One Nation adviser James Ashby. 
Picture: The AustralianSource:Supplied


Pauline Hansons One Nation (PHON) senior staffer and United Australia Party (UAP formerly PUP) senator were involved in an altercation near the Great Hall of Parliament House after a Minerals Council of Australia Parliamentary Dinner on the evening of 12 February 2019.

The senator was formerly a member of PHON who split from Pauline Hanson in 2018.

...

00:15

Clarence Valley 2019: keeping the Clarence River Estuary healthy for future generations North Coast Voices


like other heavy fabricating sectors shipbuilding involves the use of materials and manufacturing practices that can impact on the environment, can contribute to climate change[OECD Council Working Party on Shipbuilding (WP6), November 2010]

Shipyards are dangerous construction zones with many worker hazards. Shipbuilding, repair, cleaning, and coating use toxic chemicals and hazardous or flammable materials. These activities also can pollute water directly or through runoff. Repairs may require emptying dirty water from a ships ballast and bilge tanks into the surrounding waters.. Shipbuilding and ship repair use toxic chemicals that include chromium, copper, lead,and nickel. Ship cleaning activities use chemicals that include copper, hazardous or flammable materials, heavy metals, and solvents. They release lead, particulate mattervolatile organic compounds, zinc, and other air pollutants....

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Thursday, 14 February

15:09

The beginning of 2019s One Billion Rising Local News Echonetdaily

Zenith: organiser and motivator of V-Day Byron style.

One of the first groups of dancers on the planet to add their presence the 2019 One Billion Rising event were hundreds of women and children and men who were not deterred by a few drops of rain at the annual V-Day dawn event on Main Beach at Byron this morning Thursday 14 February.

Calling on all women everywhere to dance and rise during the V-Day activism event to end violence against women and girls, those gathered learned a dance to the song Break the Chain.

One Billion Rising is a worldwide movement against domestic violence and sexual assault against women and children.

Photos Jeff V-Guy Dawson

 

The post The beginning of...

14:45

Byron Bay Property Sales Ocean Swim Classic Byron Bay Blog

The 2019 Byron Bay Property Sales Ocean Swim Classic will be held on Sunday 5th May 2019, check-in at 7am at the surf club.

This is our 32nd Classic and our 12th Mini Swim.

Donations from 2018 swim were $76,000 to 21 various charitable organisations. Total money raised is now $901,000 since our original swim.

The Byron Bay Property Sales Ocean Swim Classic is approximately 2.2 from Wategos Beach to Main Beach, Byron Bay. The Classic is a buoyed course from the start area, around The Pass and across the Bay to Main Beach.

The Byron Bay Mitre 10 Mini Swim, is designed for those who can competently swim approximately 800m from Clarkes Beach to Main Beach. It is to encourage participants to put a toe in the water (so to speak) and draw in more swimmers who may not be as experienced or as confident as the Classic swimmers.

The Programme for Race Day, Sunday, 5th May 2019
7:00am Check-in and issue of timing bracelet, swim cap, event T-shirt or baseball cap at the Surf Club, Byron Bay on Sunday May 5th from 7am.
8:00am The Byron Bay Mitre 10 Mini Swim check-in must be completed in time to allow entrants to wa...

12:27

Does policy framework discriminate against home birth? Local News Echonetdaily

Lismore midwife Heather Dunn says that the government has made this a human rights issue and a womens rights issue. Photo Tree Faerie.

As home birth reverts to becoming a more common way to deliver a baby, particularly on the far north coast, the question of insurance for midwives is an issue that needs to be highlighted.

Greens candidate for Lismore, Ms Sue Higginson is deeply concerned about what appears to be a state Government prohibition on midwives practising home births.

I have been speaking to registered midwives here in our region, and I am concerned about what this will mean for women, babies and midwives, said Ms Higginson. 

A recently introduced Australian law requires midwives to have Professional Indemnity insurance to assist at home births, but no such insurance product currently exists.

The government has exempted registered midwives from the obligation to hold such insurance until the end of this year, after which they will not be able to legally practise home birthing, unless this exemption is extended or an insurance product is made available.

This  perverse outcome is part of an ongoing policy framework that discriminates against home birthing, said Ms Higginson. 

The NSW government has pursued a systemic approach that denies womens right to choose home births and access to a registered midwife to assist in their choice. Yet meanwhile in our public hospitals,  midwives are telling us we do not have safe midwife-to-patient ratios and we dont even count babies in calculating the ratio.

This problem is significant in regional and rural NSW, said Ms Higginson. I know this first hand. I was very fortunate to have the option of having a registered midwife and a home birth. Without them, in my circumstances I would have been in a high risk category, I lived too far from a hospital with a suitable birthing facility and had...

09:14

A hard day for koalas and protesters Local News Echonetdaily

Dawn Walker at Gibberagee State Forest yesterday. Photo supplied

NSW Greens MP, Dawn Walker has been fined for protesting against a logging operation that has been caught out destroying koala habitat in Gibberagee State Forest, south of Lismore yesterday.

Koalas were the focus of protests on the north coast as part of a National Forest Uprising and Ms Walker was part of a multi-pronged action yesterday that saw protests at Coffs Harbour and Wauchope Forestry Corporation offices, in Gibberagee State Forest (near Whiporie), in Wang Waulk State Forest (near Coolongolook) and at Parliament House in Canberra.

Conservationist Dailan Pugh looking for traces of koalas in Gibberagee State Forest. Photo supplied

NEFA has also obtained satellite imagery showing the destruction of an Area of Local Koala Significance, known as a Koala Hub, in Wang Wauk State Forest on the mid-north coast.

NEFA spokesperson Susie Russell says this destruction is a crime against the future.

This is not an isolated example, she said. Another image shows logging in a Koala Hub at Ingalba State Forest near Kempsey.

No doubt we will find other examples now the technology is becoming more accessible. Logging of koala home ranges has been going on for years across the region, probably across the State.

Ms Rus...

08:30

Court battle looms over Mullum retreat centre plan Local News Echonetdaily

Paul Bibby

A Land and Environment Court battle is looming over plans for a sprawling wellness retreat centre and campsite on the edge of Mullumbimby.

The owner of the Coolamon Scenic Drive property, Mark Franklyn, wants to create a retreat complex with a day spa, hall, 12 cabins and 122 campsites on the 16.6 hectare site.

But Byron Council has refused his development application on the grounds of ecological impacts and bushfire risk.

The council also says the proposal is inconsistent with the Byron Local Environment Plan (LEP) which specifies that rural tourism can only be approved if it is small scale.

Mr Franklyn has now appealed this decision to the Land and Environment Court.

In a report to Councils planning committee meeting, council staff recommended in favour of defending the appeal, setting the scene for a what could be a long and costly court battle.

Not defending the appeal will allow it to be determined solely on the applicants case, councils major projects planner, Rob Van Iersel said.

Given the significance of the issues associated with this application, this option is not recommended.

Mr Van Iersel notes in the report that the external solicitors engaged by Council to act on its behalf in the matter provided a fee estimate of $43,900.

Councils General Manager has the authority to pursue legal proceedings on the councils behalf in matters where the cost will not exceed $50,000.

The matter has already come before the courts once, on January 21, when Council was successful in a pre-trial dispute.

While Council deems the current development proposal to be too large, it is a significant reduction in size from Mr Franklyns first application, which involved 239 campsites and a day spa building with a different design.

Both applications were the subject of hundreds of letters of objection from the community while on public exhibition, with the most recent proposal drawing 269 letters of objection and 28 letters of support.

Councils planning committee meeting will consider the matter on February 21.

The post Court battle looms over Mullum retreat centre plan appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:14

Community survey: a mixed report for Byron Council Local News Echonetdaily

Most students get their report cards at the end of term, but Byron Council has been given its marks early this year in the form of results from its bi-annual community satisfaction survey.

And its fair to say there will more than a few things to discuss come parent-teacher night.

Lets start with the good news.

A solid 64 per cent of the 400 respondents to the survey were at least somewhat satisfied with the overall performance of Council over the past two years.

And 68 per cent of residents who made the effort to personally contact Council over that period said they were at least somewhat satisfied with the way their contact was handled.

Unfortunately thats about as good as it gets.

The overall level of satisfaction with the council fell five per cent from the last survey in 2016, which isnt great when you consider that that earlier survey covered one of the most tumultuous periods in the councils recent history.

Satisfaction down

The new satisfaction rating of 2.76 out of 5 is, in the words of the authors of the survey report, significantly lower than the NSW regional benchmark and the all-of-NSW benchmark.

While there was an increase in satisfaction in one area of Councils operations coastal management satisfaction fell in eight other areas, including roads, future planning, tourism management and recycling.

No gold star for guessing which aspect of Councils activities were deemed most important: the regions roads remain at the front of many locals minds.

However, financial management was a somewhat surprising entrant into the top three concerns, with affordable housing close behind, providing yet more evidence that the affordability crisis is really starting to bite.

Sound management

Deputy mayor Michael Lyon said he believed financial management was at the forefront of peoples minds because of the councils recent rate increase.

Through the special rate variation process the backlog of infrastructure became known, Cr Lyon said.

People started to question whether our financial management was sound.

I believe it is sound, and I think the fact that we introduced the rate variation is actually evidence of that because we were dealing with a financial situation we inherited.

Councillor Lyon also defended...

08:11

Government grant needed to build Ballinas ocean pool Local News Echonetdaily

Lennox based artist, Mark Waller has created a painting of what an ocean pool at Ballina could look like.

An ocean pool at Ballina has been high on the wish list for locals for many years.

The Ballina Ocean Pool Committee have been working to complete the necessary planning reports over the last four years and have announced that the engineering, ecological, traffic/parking study and community engagement reports have now been completed.

According to proponents, ocean pools provide a safe ocean swimming experience for the whole community. They are free to use, open all year round, have minimal maintenance costs and would be a major attraction for our local area with both residents and tourists.

There has been a wading pool incorporated into the final design for the proposed Ballina ocean pool, along with ramp access into the pool for wheelchairs and those who are less mobile. Now the committee are hoping for a government grant to make the pool a reality.

With the NSW State Elections only six weeks away and the fact that the seat of Ballina is one of the most marginal electorates in the state, the committee say that now is the perfect time to let the candidates know that you support the Ballina Ocean Pool Project.

Organisers are suggesting that if you would vote for an ocean pool, then let the candidates know, by writing to Labor candidate Asren Pugh, Nationals candidate Ben Franklin and Greens candidate Tamara Smith asking for them to support the Ballina Ocean Pool for Shelly Beach rock shelf.

Email addresses are asren.pugh@countrylabor.com.au, ben.franklin@parliament.nsw.gov.au, tamara.smith@parliament.nsw.gov.au.

The post Government grant needed to build Ballinas ocean pool appeared first on Echonetdaily.

07:56

Dare to be informed: meet the candidates Local News Echonetdaily

The NSW state election is on Saturday March 23, 2019. Photo NSW Electoral Commission

The state election is weeks away and the electorate of Ballina is a marginal seat.

These are exciting times and you have the opportunity to take part in them.

COREM, Bay FM and The Echo are joining together to give you a chance to meet all the candidates for the electorate of Ballina Monday March 18 at the Byron Theatre 6 till 8pm.

This pre-election candidates forum will help get you up to speed on who is planning what and how they plan to do it.

Candidates will give you their pitches before fielding questions.

The question is will this crop of politicians put money on the table, invest in our local expertise, and support the visionaries in our area to lead the country in community renewables and sustainable technologies? Lets make sure they do. Come and experience firsthand the power of community engagement.

Valentines Day forum

If you cant wait until then, or are of a particularly unromantic bent, you can meet three of the Ballina candidates Tamara Smith (Greens), Asren Pugh (Labor), and Ben Franklin (Nationals)  at the Macadamia Castle tonight (Thursday February 14) from 6pm.

The forum will be MCed by local real estate agent and Byron Writers Festival founder Chris Hanley.

Email events@macadamiacastle.com.au or sign up on the Facebook events page to attend.

The post Dare to be informed: meet the candidates appeared first on Echonetdaily.

07:44

Tabulam fire burns over 4,000 hectares Local News Echonetdaily

The fire at Tabulam was billowing smoke last night that could be seen over 80 kilometres away in The Channon. Photo Tree Faerie.

The out-of-control bush fire which is burning near the Bruxner Highway, west of Tabulam, has destroyed more than 4,000ha after spreading further since yesterday.

Overnight, the fire has spread quickly on the north-western edge towards Sugarbag Road. The fire has impacted on a number of properties in this area.

Easing conditions has seen the threat to properties in this area reduced. Firefighters continue to work in the area in an effort to slow the spread of the fire.

Yesterday a local woman was charged with starting the fire after attempting to burn rubbish in her yard.

Authorities ask that if you are in the area of Sugarbag Road, continue to monitor conditions and take advice from firefighters on the ground.

If you are in the area of Old Bruxner Road and Paddys Flat Road and Tabulam, continue to monitor the situation. Ensure you know what you will do if the situation changes.

Bruxner Highway is closed between Tambulam Road and Bruxner Road.

An evacuation centre has been established at Bonalbo Bowling Club on Woodenbong Road.

A number of schools are closed on Thursday including Tabulam Public School and Drake Public School.

 

...

07:42

Take a bus ride to go Car Free Local News Echonetdaily

Ride the bus for free on February 28 to participate in the Car Free project. Photo supplied.

Its not always easy being without a car in the Northern Rivers, but could you go one day without your car?

That is the challenge being laid down by the creators of Car Free Feb in the Northern Rivers this month.

Social Futures Chief Executive Tony Davies said they are teaming up with local bus companies to encourage people to think about alternatives to one-occupant car travel.

We are programmed to jump into the car and drive wherever we need to go in regional areas, said Mr Davies. But sometimes catching a bus, riding a bike, walking or carpooling could be viable options and this is the perfect time to try them out.

Northern Rivers residents are invited to try public transport for free on Thursday 28 February, with seven bus companies from across the region coming on board.

The free public transport day is a great opportunity to give your local bus service a try, says Davies. Theres no need to register, just jump on the bus; transport is free for the whole day.

Tony says that Car Free Feb creates awareness of transport options other than commuting by car with a single occupant. You can also walk, ride, skateboard, scooter or car pool.

There are great prizes to be won including 12-month Premium Spotify vouchers and $120 credit for travel with a participating bus companies to get you where you want to go.

Simply post a picture of yourself going Car Free on the Social Futures Facebook page any day in February to enter.

If you have...

07:21

Two charged in Lismore after break-in and pursuit Local News Echonetdaily

Two people will appear in the Lismore Local Court today following a pursuit yesterday.

The pair have have been charged with offences after it is alleged that at around 9am yesterday morning a home at Bungawalbin, south of Lismore, was broken into.

It is alleged the occupant was threatened with a knife before two males fled in a Toyota Yaris, believed to have been stolen from Queensland.

Officers from Richmond Police District were notified and commenced inquiries.

Just after 10.45am, the Toyota Yaris was seen by police travelling north on the Pacific Highway at Broadwater.

The Toyota allegedly failed to stop, and a pursuit was initiated, before being terminated shortly after due to safety concerns.

A second pursuit was initiated when the Toyota was seen travelling west on the Bruxner Highway.

Officers attempted to use road spikes; however, the Toyota continued into the Goonellabah area at Lismore.

The vehicle was abandoned on the highway and two males fled into nearby bushland.

Following an extensive search by officers, with the assistance from Traffic & Highway Patrol Command and the Rescue Squad, two Queensland males, aged 20 and 16 were arrested and taken to Lismore Police Station.

The Keperra (QLD) man has been charged with aggravated break and enter with intent armed, two counts of police pursuit not stop drive dangerously, drive conveyance taken without consent of owner, possess property stolen outside NSW, driver never licensed, negligent driving (no death or grievous bodily harm), drive with unrestrained passenger, enter enclosed land not prescribed premises without lawful excuse, and possess prohibited drug.

The Daisy Hill (QLD) teen has been charged with aggravated break and enter with intent armed, be carried in conveyance taken without consent of owner, enter enclosed land not prescribed premises without lawful excuse, and possess prohibited drug.

Both have been refused bail to appear at Lismore Local Court today.

The post Two charged in Lismore after break-in and pursuit appeared first on Echonetdaily.

06:54

Have you seen this man? Local News Echonetdaily

With the possibility that the alleged offender has left the area, police have released CCTV images of a man following investigations into an armed robbery at an ATM in Tamworth on Tuesday (12 February 2019).

A 35-year-old man was using the ATM at a shopping complex on Robert Street just before 4pm, when he was approached from behind.

A man, described as being Caucasian, 18-25 years-old with a slim build, with short brown hair and a tattoo on his right shoulder and wearing a black Everlast singlet, green shorts and black joggers, allegedly threatened the man with a machete and demanded cash.

The man at the ATM complied with the demand before the machete-wielding man left the scene.

Investigators have released CCTV images of a man they believe may be able to assist them with inquiries.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Tamworth police on 6768 2999 or Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

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

06:51

Bruns author recounts her life-changing experience Local News Echonetdaily

Emma Scattergood with husband Darryl is back in Byron Shire after ticking off the first bunch of items from the bucket list. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Everyone has a bucket list dont they? Brunswick Heads author Emma Scattergood does.

Emma was introduced to the world of travel when, at the age of one, she was thrown into the back of a motor caravan and transported from England to Australia along the scenic route via Afghanistan and India.

Once planted here, she grew up on a Mullumbimby commune, with all its peace, love and mungbeans, and she became one of the first hippy children to attend Mullum High.

Dreaming of escape

Rather than have a big white wedding, Emma convinced her husband Darryl to elope to Thailand together with their two children. Much to their surprise, they found themselves backpacking through Vietnam and other Asian countries with young children so much like her own childhood.

Emmas passion for travel has never abated, and for the past 20 years a laminated bucket list has lived in her wallet.

Emmas first book Bucket Lists and Walking Sticks explores reasons for having bucket lists, the truth of which Emma and Darryl discovered when a shattering accident left Darryl with life-changing injuries.

Adventure of a lifetime

With their priorities rearranged, Emma and Darryl pulled out the old laminated bucket list and set off on the adventure of a lifetime.

A trip around the world ticking off list items: from drinking Singapore Slings to viewing ancient Petra, kissing Irelands Blarney Stone and looking for the home of Doc Marten.

Meandering throughout Asia and then Europe, Emma describes their adventures on the high seas and in high-speed trains, in mouth watering detail, pulling the reader headlong into the sights, life, culture and beauty of each place they visit.

This j...

06:45

Woman charged over Tabulam bushfire Local News Echonetdaily

As fires continue to burn out of control across the Northern Rivers, a Tabulam woman has been charged in relation to a blaze which has so far burned over 4,000 hectares and destroyed several homes.

Police will allege about 8am yesterday (Wednesday, 13 February) the 40-year-old woman set fire to rubbish located in a large steel container in her backyard.

The fire was then left unattended and proceeded to spread to bushland behind her home.

When the woman discovered the fire had spread, she rang Triple Zero (000) and unsuccessfully attempted to extinguish the flames with a backyard hose.

The woman has been charged with intentionally causing fire and being reckless to its spread and setting fire during a total fire ban.

The woman is due to appear before Casino Local Court on 27 February 2019.

Police are reminding the public that NSW remains the subject of a total state-wide fire ban. If you see any unattended fires please report them quickly to Triple Zero (000).

The post Woman charged over Tabulam bushfire appeared first on Echonetdaily.

00:15

How the National Party of Australia attempted to ruin Australias largest river system North Coast Voices


IMAGE: Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group Ltd.

Former Accountant and banker, Nationals MP for New England (NSW) Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce was deputy Prime Minister of Australia from 18.2.2016 to 27.10.2017and again from 6.12.2017 to 26.2.2018
.  He was also Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources from 21.9.2015 to 27.10.2017 and returned as minister once more from 21.9.2015 to 27.10.2017.

This particular politician is likely to go down in history as one of the worst leaders that the National Party of Australia ever had.

The Northern Daily Leader, 9 February 2019:...

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Wednesday, 13 February

14:23

Emergency warning issued over Bruxner Highway fire Local News Echonetdaily

The fire swept through Jubullum village yesterday, coming perilously close to houses. Photo NSW Police

Updated, 10pm, Wednesday November 13:  The fire burning to the west of Tabulam continues to burn on the northern and western edge.

It is spreading in bushland near Sugarbag Road and properties are under threat.

Firefighters continue to work in the area in an effort to slow the spread of the fire.

Advice as at 10pm

If you are in the area of Sugarbag Road, it is too late to leave. Seek shelter if the fire impacts on your property or location. Protect yourself from the heat of the fire.

If you are in the area of Old Bruxner Road, Paddys Flat Road or Tabulam, continue to monitor the situation. Ensure you know what you will do if the situation changes.

Bruxner Highway is closed between Tambulam Road and Bruxner Road.

An evacuation centre is being set up at Bonalbo Bowling Club on Woodenbong Road.

A number of schools will be closed on Thursday including Tabulam Public School and Drake Public School.

The Bruxner Highway is now closed in both directions between Tabulam and Tenterfield.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Motorists can consider using the New England Highway, the Gwydir Highway and Summerland Way as an alternative route.

Emergency services and traffic crews remain on site.

Motorists are advised to exercise caution and follow directions of emergency services and traffic crews as conditions can change quickly.

For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com.

Updated, 2pm, Wednesday November 13: There is an increase in fire activity across the western edge of the Bruxner Highway fire this afternoon, with more than 2,700 hectares burnt out in the last 48 hours.

Strengthening winds are pushing the fire across the Timbarra River in the direction of Ogilvie Drive.

Emergency alert text and phone messages have been sent to people in the area a...

14:18

Council failed to engage community over transport hub, say residents Local News Echonetdaily

Byron Shire Council has been accused of poor community consultation over plans for the proposed Byron Bay transport hub (pictured). Photo supplied

The Byron Bay Residents Group called three times for the opportunity to discuss the proposed transport hub and interchange on exhibition for the site opposite Byron Bay Railway Station. They claim they were actively refused the opportunity to contribute to the proposal.

This is a dreadful indictment on Council, said Paul Jones, president of the Butler Street Community Network.

He claims that Council refused the communitys attempts to engage on the project and that they left residents out of the planning process.

We were blindsided, he said of the latest plans that are on exhibition by Transport for NSW.

Residents called a meeting last week to see how they could be included in the discussion. Both Greens member for Ballina and Labor candidate Asren Pugh attended to hear the communitys concerns.

No right of appeal

According to Mr Jones the only way that the residents now have to contribute is through Heritage NSW.

We have no rights of appeal in relation to the proposal put forward by Transport for NSW, he said.

Our only avenue now is through Heritage NSW because they must give approval for the development to go ahead.

While the residents believe that there are better options for the transport hub they have decided to look at how the bus interchange could be better located in the railway precinct. They are asking for it to be moved 100m north of the currently proposed site.

We are asking for positive intervention that improves both local and traveller experience with moving this site to this new location, he said.

Responding to questions from The Echo MLC Ben Franklin said he had taken advice from Council on what the community wanted in relation to the transport hub and even taking mayor Simon Richardson to Sydney to meet with relevant ministers including minister for Roads Melinda Pavey.

My view is that we worked closely with Council and we have listed to them as the voice of the community, said Mr Franklin.

Pugh tackles Nats

But Labor candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh, has placed the blame squarely on Mr Franklin and the Nationals.

We know the National Party promised this bus interchange over four years ago, before the last election. They did nothing for three and a half years and so now are trying to rush s...

13:54

PENNY ARCADE: The Faghag and Her Friends in the Summer of Love Byron Bay Blog

BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE EXCLUSIVE
Created by Penny Arcade and Steve Zehentner | Conceived, Written and Performed by Penny Arcade | Designed and Directed by Steve Zehentner and Penny Arcade

A new play in development with Richard Jordan Productions.

I am nothing if not the dutiful daughter of New Yorks criminal intellectual, homosexual, psychedelic avant-garde

Penny Arcade is New Yorks undisputed queen of the underground and the grande dame of downtown performance art.

Hot on the heels of Adelaide Fringe sensational revival of Penny Arcades infamous sex and censorship show Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!, Penny returns to Brunswick Picture House after her sell-out appearance in 2016 for an exclusive showing of her newest work, now in progress.

The Faghag and Her Friends in the Summer of Love blends personal memoir and oral history with the rich tapestry of art and criminality that was New Yorks queer underground. From teenager on the mean streets of 1960s New York City, to the stages of The Playhouse of the Ridiculous and into the mythology of Andy Warhols Factory where she became a real-life Superstar, Arcades evocative and aural experience evokes fabulously disenfranchised worlds of queers, junkies, poets and queens, and the magic and memory of the gay men who raised her.

Set in a fomenting time in modern culture, where the ridiculous met the sublime, criminality forged with intellectual innovation, low art met high art and where the outsider status of homosexuality created a threshing ground for unique world views. Presiding over this disappearing world were the old queens: flaming creatures who were self-individuated, erudite and uncompromising.

The Faghag and Her Friends in the Summer of Love travels from 1967 Summer of Love Provincetown; to the gay cafes and night clubs of New York City; to the milieu of New Yorks celebrated demimonde; and later its AIDS ravaged streets: where tragedy and transformation walked hand in hand and created a breeding ground for revolutionary thinking and artistic innovation.

At the peak of her powers after an unbeatable 50-year career, expect Arcades classic blend of trenchant wit and political humanism.

Penny Arcade climbed out of her window at the age of 13 to live on the streets of New York. By the age of 20 she had thrown bricks at the Stonewall Riots and become a darling of Andy Warhols Factory. Part of the counter culture rock n roll circle of Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, and the Velvet Underground, Penny Arcade was named by Quentin Crisp as the woman he most identified with. 50 years since Stonewall and her debut with Andy Warhol and John Vaccaro, Arcade, the little sister of the American avant-garde, remains among the most influential performers in the world.

Arcade is magnetic
San Francisco Chronicle

Hot and hysterically funny
New York Post

Discount: For Housemates

Adult $45 |...

12:23

No agreement reached in West Byron mediation Local News Echonetdaily

Chris Dobney & Aslan Shand

The locals (R&D Group) plan for West Byron. Image supplied

Yesterday the Land and Environment Court (L&EC) conducted a mediation meeting over the West Byron R&D development application (DA) that is currently before them as a deemed refusal.

After the court conducted a site inspection and heard from a range of objectors against the proposal, the developers and Byron Shire Council staff met in closed session for the court ordered mediation.

Back to court

A Council spokesperson told Echonetdaily this morning that as no in-principle agreement could be reached on the expert evidence the conciliation conference was terminated.

The matter will now go to back to the Land and Environment Court for a further directions hearing, the spokespersons said.

The application was last week refused on 20 grounds by the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP previously known as the JRPP).

But L&EC commissioner Paul Adams told those present at the site inspection that the NRPPs decision would have no bearing on the courts decision, according to BayFM journalist Jim Beatson, who attended.

Mr Beatson said the L&EC have made it clear that the court will be judging the case on its merits.

Objections restated

However, key speakers at the mediation, including Dailan Pugh, were able to re-state their arguments against the DA.

They specifically highlighted the fact that the developers had not addressed the causes of concern particularly in relation to the lack of water control and management issues.

Dr Mary Gardners presentation (read by Veda Turner on her behalf) focused particularly on the changed hydrology and water conditions across the West Byron site.

One of the issues since the reports were made eight years ago is that the hydrology across the Byron site is different and it is not clear what the current picture is, according to Ms Gardner.

The post No agreement reached in West Byron mediation appeared first on Echone...

10:57

Sue Higginson, Environmental activist and lawyer in Armidale "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

[ Sunday, 17 Feb; 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. ] A conversation with Sue Higginson Meeting Room, Legacy House, 89 Faulkner Street, Armidale 2350 2-3pm Sunday 17 February, 2019 Sue Higginson is a former CEO and Principal Solicitor of the Environmental Defenders Office NSW. As a litigator, she was responsible for many high profile public interest environmental legal cases; including acting against Rio Tinto, which resulted in their massive open [...] full article 

00:16

Australian Tax Office Excess Franking Credits: When people next receive their dividend refund cheque from the government, remember the government has had to borrow that money North Coast Voices



The Australian Government's public debt stood at an estimated $541.73 billion and growing on 8 February 2019.

On 8 February 2019 in Sydney economist Stephen Koukoulas made a short three minute statement before the House of Representatives Economics Committee inquiry into the Labor Federal Oppositions policy to eliminate excess franking credits.

Excess franking credits are refundable to a shareholder who receives a dividend but has no tax liability to use those franking credits against. 

It is free money - money for jam - granted to shareholders for the last eighteen years under a Liberal-Nationals federal government tax policy.

By 30 June 2015 these excess franking credit refunds were costing the federal government an est. $2.54 billion annually and, are currently estimated to be costing the Australian Government well in excess of $5.9 billion each year.

Below are the notes Koukoulas used for that oral ...

00:15

Australian Marine Life: lovely to look at but do not touch North Coast Voices


ABC News. 10 February 2019:

A striking blue dragon sea slug, that eats bluebottles and can give a powerful sting, has been washing ashore and capturing the imagination of residents on the north coast of New South Wales.

The unusual, soft-bodied nudibranch is sometimes described as resembling a dragon in flight, a Pokemon or a blue lizard, and goes by the official name of glaucus atlanticus.

Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Service director, Dr Lisa Gershwin, said it was a fascinating little creature..

...

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Tuesday, 12 February

11:01

Join the kids making history to stop climate damage "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

[ Friday, 15 Mar; 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. ] This is one of those moments when you can feel history being made. On Friday 15 March, thousands of kids across Australia will strike from school to demand our government take urgent action to stop climate damage. Theyre part of a global movement of young people speaking truth to power and showing whats at stake if we [...] full article 

06:43

What the Australian Parliament might look like after May 2019 North Coast Voices


The second Newspoll survey of the year polling 1,567 voters was conducted from 7 February to 10 February 2019.

The results were:

Primary vote Labor 39 per cent (up 1 point) to Coalition 37 per cent (unchanged).

Two-party preferred vote Labor 53 (unchanged) to Coalition 47 per cent (unchanged).

The two-party preferred result represents a 31 month long losing streak for the Liberal-Nationals Coalition to date.

If a federal election had been held on 10 February 2019 the swing to Labor would have been 2.5 percent.

This would have given Labor 82 seats in the House of Representatives to the Coalitions 63 seats (Liberal 38, LNP 16, Nationals 9).

Based on these percentages then at the May 2019 fede...

00:16

New South Wales State of Play February 2019: widespread drought North Coast Voices


The bad news just never ends.

All of New South Wales is drought affected to varying degrees in February 2019, incliuding the Northern Rivers region.

https://edis.dpi.nsw.gov.au/


00:15

The lies Liberals tell on the subject of aged care North Coast Voices



The Australian, 7 February 2019:

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt was handed a departmental briefing report showing the winners and losers from the Coalitions $2 billion savings drive in the aged-care sector shortly after Scott Morrison announced a royal commission and denied funding cuts.

Documents obtained by The Australian under Freedom of Information laws show the proportion of losers almost tripled to 53 per cent following the budget savings revealed in late 2015.

In the three-year period to 2018, aged-care services that had been classified as winners almost halved to 47 per cent, according to the brief sent to Mr Wyatt.
A series of hot issue briefs, question time briefs and general briefs sent to Mr Wyatt last year acknowledged the budget hit to the Aged Care Funding Instrument which is the basic taxpayer care subsidy paid to all nursing homes together with increasing cost pressures will be putting pressure on the sector.

...

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Monday, 11 February

22:25

This Valentines Day Speak to the trees "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

[ Thursday, 14 Feb; 1:00 pm; ] Valentine's day is coming up! Let's show the trees on campus some love 1pm Ingrid Moses courtyard on Thursday - love letters to the trees. All UNE staff are welcome to come along. This event coincides with the grounding story conference on campus this week. You are invited to listen, write and read: love letters to [...] full article 

22:07

An Artist, Farmer, Scientist and Planner Walk into A Bar "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

[ Friday, 15 Feb; 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. ] Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation Roundtable Oorala lecture theatre, UNE, from 11.30am-12.30pm on Friday 15th February. The Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation was formed as an art cooperative in 2016 to support projects that aim to achieve cultural change in the world. As an entity that has its origins in a fictional depiction of Kandos post-industrial evolution, [...] full article 

21:49

Climate Matters: Reducing Waste One Bag at a Time "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Much of what we eat and drink comes in some kind of plastic packaging.It is estimated one million, single use, plastic bags are used worldwide every minute amounting to a staggering 3.5 million tons of waste per year. Recycling is once again in the spotlight with China recently deciding to no longer accept imports of [...] full article 

13:53

Byron Bay Surf Festival Art Show Byron Bay Blog

Friday, February 22, 2019 at 5:30 PM 7 PM
Lone Goat Gallery
28 Lawson St, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481

BYRON BAY SURF FESTIVAL ART SHOW

22 FEBRUARY 19 MARCH 2018
OPENING 5.30 PM 7.30 PM Friday 22 February

Byron Bay Surf Festival Art Show returns to Lone Goat Gallery for 2019 with a group of 8 hot artists from around the globe and Australia, all on the cutting edge of surfing culture.

Special Surf Festival Opening Hours:
Open 10 AM to 4 PM Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February

Featuring:
LUKE DAY
FILIPPA EDGHILL
TED GRAMBEAU
DUNCAN MACFARLANE
JAMES MCMILLAN
NANDA ORMOND
JALEESA VINCENT
KENTARO YOSHIDA
+ MORE TBC

MORE INFO HERE FACEBOOK PAGE

The post Byron Bay Surf Festival Art Show appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.

00:16

Liberals taking yet another leaf out of Donald Trump's election campaign play book North Coast Voices


During the 2016 US presidential election campaign the Internet was littered with pressure groups which were not who they said they were and whose aims were not those they publicly stated.

Donald Trump and/or his supporters appeared to be behind many of these groups.

It seems the Liberal Party is also forming these faux pressure groups ahead of the 2019 federal election campaign in Australia.......

The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 February 2019:

A lobby group masquerading as a grassroots organisation of disgruntled retirees is actually a network of professional lobbyists involved in the trucking industry and the Liberal Party, with a history of campaigning against Labor government policies.

Defenders of Self-Funded Retirees says it was formed by "hard-working Australians who reject Labor's proposal to impose double taxation and to demonise us". 

However, the association is managed by Liberal Party member and ACT Senate candidate Robert Gunning, along with a numb...

00:15

Morrison & Co off to the Australian High Court to defend the indefensible - Centrelink's robo-debt North Coast Voices



The Guardian, 6 February 2019:

Centrelink has now wiped, reduced or written off 70,000 robo-debts, new figures show, as the governments automated welfare compliance system scheme faces a landmark court challenge.

Victoria Legal Aid on Wednesday announced a challenge to the way Centrelink evaluates whether a person owes a welfare debt under the $3.7bn system. It will argue the crude calculations created using tax office information are insufficient to assess a persons earnings and, therefore, are unlawful.

Victoria Legal Aids court challenge was also welcomed by the Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie, who said the scheme was a devastating abuse of government power..

Alternative Law Journal. Emeritus Professor of Law (Syd Uni) Terry Carney, ...

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Sunday, 10 February

11:10

Dave Graney and Clare Moore play Brunswick Picture House Byron Bay Blog

Dave Graney and Clare Moore are gonna paint up 2019 with a new album called ZIPPA DEEDOO WHAT IS/WAS THAT/THIS?

Its approximately their 30th and is a killer set of rock music. Made properly, like theyve always done. It has eight songs done thirteen ways and ranges from pop gems like Baby I Wish Id Been a Better Pop Star to their homage to Stones Lore in ULTRAKEEF and then the 8 1/2 minute West Coast epic jam that is served up twice that is Is That What You Did?.

They play music drawn from a lifetime in rock n roll culture. They didnt learn their licks in school, they made their own mistakes and set up their own standards.

Whatever they do, whatever they play, they bring their ace game. Their primo strategies. Their stellar grooves and street wise lyrical fire.

Brunswick Picture House, Saturday 30 March. More info and tickets online.

The post Dave Graney and Clare Moore play Brunswick Picture House appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.

00:16

Former banker and now Australian Treasurer promises market sensitive Banking & Finance Royal Commission final report would not leak - then it did North Coast Voices


On 1 February 2019 the Commissioner, Kenneth Haynes, submitted his final report on the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry to the Governor-General of Australia.

Then this happened...... 

The New Daily, 5 February 2019:

Last week Josh Frydenberg guaranteed the royal commissions final report would not leak while the government sat on it for three days.

About $22 million says that guarantee wasnt worth anything.

The welter of news in Kenneth Haynes report has tended to overshadow what appears to be some rather obvious insider trading.

...

00:16

And now for some good news...... North Coast Voices



David Morris, CEO of EDO NSW: Our argument was based on science, economics and we argued - the proper application of the law. The climate contention as a ground for refusing this mine was innovative; the first time climate change has been addressed this way in an Australian court using the concept of a carbon budget as its basis.
Like so many great ideas its strength was its simplicity. While there was lots of necessary evidence and discussion about the carbon budget, geopolitical climate policy and Australias legal framework for climate change, ultimately our argument was simple:  if you accept the science, then the local legal framework compels you to refuse the mine because its clearly not in the public interest to increase emissions.
As Professor Steffen said its one atmosphere, its one climate system, its one planet - and so we need to start thinking more carefully about the net effect of wherever coal is burnt, or oil or gas The projects contribution to cumulative climate change impacts means that its approval would be inequitable for current and future generations. ...

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Saturday, 09 February

09:58

The Beasts The Northern, Byron Bay Byron Bay Blog

Former Beasts of Bourbon Kim Salmon, Charlie Owen, Boris Sujdovic, Tony Pola and Tex Perkins reinvent themselves in a recorded project entitled The Beasts Still Here.
THE BEASTS NEW ALBUM STILL HERE OUT 15TH FEBRUARY 2019 TOURING NATIONALLY FEBRUARY & MARCH 2019

Performing tracks from the new album Still Here and the Beasts Of Bourbon classics.

The Beasts play The Northern on Friday 1 March, tickets available online.

After an emotional final performance with the Beasts of Bourbon, Tex Perkins thought of getting the bands members, past and present into a recording studio just to celebrate the band and see what resulted.

Sadly, bassist Brian Hooper died a week after the show.

But weeks later former Beasts Charlie Owen, Boris Sujdovic, Tony Pola, Spencer Jones, Kim Salmon and Tex Perkins assembled without a plan, save for the crazy M.O. employed back in 1983 when the Beasts first recorded The Axemans Jazz in that fateful 8 hour session. As back then, they went at it!

Songs werent so much learned as ideas thrown together and recorded the moment they coalesced.

The result is a collection of pieces with names like Pearls Before Swine, My Shits Fucked Up, Drunk On A Train and On My Back in a raucous celebration of their own Beastliness.

Spencer was sadly only around long enough to make it onto one track .

But what a track witty observations from the hospital bed entitled At The Hospital.

This isnt The Beasts of Bourbon. It would need to have Jonesy on every track to be that!

But loudly and proudly this is:

the Beasts Still Here

The post The Beasts The Northern, Byron Bay appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.

00:16

Tweet of the Week North Coast Voices


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Friday, 08 February

07:31

Screenworks feeling the love in Ballina Ballina Echonetdaily

Lisa OMeara (Programs & Operations Manager, Screenworks), Mayor David
Wright, Ken Crouch (CEO, Screenworks) and Simon Scott (Strategic Planner, Ballina Shire Council). Photo supplied.

Having made the move from Byron to Ballina, Screenworks is feeling the love for filmmaking in their new home.

Screenworks only recently relocated their growing business to Ballina and already, in support of a flourishing film and media industry, Ballina Shire Council has signed up as a funding partner of Screenworks upcoming seminar The Business of Producing. 

Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch says the seminar, previously held in Byron Bay, is now in its fourth year and will see over 150 visitors converge on Ballina for three days of networking and hearing from industry experts about the practicalities of getting their films to screen or other platforms.

The seminar attracts producers at all stages of their careers, he says. It is ideal for early career screen producers, content creators and anyone seeking a career in film and television to connect with some of Australias best producers and film executives.

Crouch says its encouraging to have Ballina Shire Council as a financial supporter and demonstrates their confidence in what Screenworks are trying to achieve for the local film industry..

The Ballina Shire Economic Development Strategy identifies entertainment and creative industries as key industry sectors. A study by the Regional Australia Institute identified the region as having a greater prevalence of creative occupations such as media and arts.

Mayor David Wright said that often when we think of economic development we focus on the more conventional industries such as construction and tourism.  He says that there is untapped potential in the creative industries that can contribute significantly t...

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Thursday, 07 February

20:29

New England Writers' Centre You Tube Channel - an introduction to publishing and writing at the smaller independent end New England, Australia


Sophie Masson, French Australian writer and chair, New England Writers' Centre
I received an email today from Sophie Masson, writer and chair of the New England Writers' Centre. The heading to the letter email read: "Watch great interviews with fantastic Pitch Independent publishers on the brand-new NEWC You Tube channel!

The email went on:
Dear members, 
A new year, and we have a new and exciting initiative! The brand-new New England Writers' Centre You Tube channel is now up and running, and features 13 fantastic interviews with 12 of the fabulous publishers and editors who visited our region during Pitch Independent in August last year. There's also a video interview with Michael Webster, Chair of the Small Press Network, who also travelled to Armidale specifically for Pitch Independent, from his base in Melbourne. 
The School of Arts in the Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education(HASSE) at UNE partnered with us in Pitch Independent, with the Small Press Network giving in-kind support. Dr Ariella van Luyn and Dr Beck Wise of UNE, who work within its Writing program, interviewed, recorded and edited the interviews, with the approval of all the interviewees. Many thanks to them for all their hard work, and to all our Pitch Independent for giving so generously of their time and expertise. 
This is an absolutely fantastic resource not only for NEWC and our region's writers and illustrators, but also for anyone interested in the publishing industry in Australia and its thriving small and independent sector. 
So head over to the channel, and have a look and a listen, there is much to enjoy and learn:
I did indeed head.to the new channel and think that it is valuable. I think, too, that it illustrates a little of the variety in modern writing, in part because of the thing the series misses out. We live in a world that has ever more opportunities for w...

19:45

Ocean Film Festival World Tour Byron Theatre 7 March 2019 Byron Bay Blog

With a vision to mesmerise and captivate, the Ocean Film Festival World Tour showcases more than two hours of sublime footage taken above and below the waters surface.

Featuring all new films this carefully curated selection of short films document the beauty and power of the ocean, and celebrate the divers, surfers, swimmers and oceanographers who live for the seas salt spray; who chase the crests of waves; and who marvel at the mysteries of the big blue.

The films feature captivating cinematography, complete with awe-inspiring underwater scenes and fast-paced wave sequences that have been captured from unbelievable vantage points.

Inspiring and thought-provoking, the Ocean Film Festival World Tour is filled with moving footage, touching interviews and insightful narrations. Each of the festivals films conveys a deep respect and appreciation for the worlds oceans and the creatures that call them home.

Byron Theatre, Thursday 7 March, 7pm 10pm
Find out more at www.oceanfilmfestival.com.au

The post Ocean Film Festival World Tour Byron Theatre 7 March 2019 appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.

Wednesday, 28 February

00:00

Vale Helen George "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Vale Helen GeorgeThe WIRES family was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Helen George late last year.


Helen was one of the few very important people who contributed to the inception of WIRES in the mid 80s.  In 1987 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to conservation and in 2010 the Australian Wildlife Society awarded Helen the Serventy Conservation Medal.



Helen was the WIRES go to person in those early days, always there for advice and support. WIRES certainly would not be the organisation it is today without Helens passion for wildlife, particularly in the areas of education and training, mentoring and support.  Helen was an invaluable advisor to the original WIRES committee and was respected and highly regarded by all who came in contact with her.


The WIRES extended family pass on our heartfelt condolences to Helens husband John and their family, our thoughts are with them and we will be forever grateful for Helens invaluable contributions to WIRES.


Below are some anecdotes about Helen from our founder, Mikla Lewis, and other WIRES members who have worked with Helen over the years.  We wanted to share these anecdotes to provide a glimpse into the history of our organisation and how important Helen was to our cause.


Mikla Lewis OAM (founder of WIRES):


I first met Helen in early 1982, long before there was even a concept of a wildlife rescue service in NSW. Our meeting, and indirectly the formation of WIRES, came about because of a baby Grey-headed Flying-fox called Luna that I had found and cared for in the north coast town of Bellingen where I lived in 1981. Unfortunately Luna died after about six weeks in my care my attempts to find information on how to raise a flying-fox had come to nothing.


Not long after returning to Sydney to live, I noticed an article in the local North Shore Times newspaper about an upcoming public talk being organised by the Ku-ring-gai Bat Conservation Society (KBCS) with Helen as the guest speaker. I was keen to go along to meet her, as she had successfully hand-raised orphaned flying-foxes where I had failed. After the talk I introduced myself to her (and Peter the flying-fox) and related my experience with Luna. Responding to my obvious passion for flying-foxes, she kindly invited me to visit her home in Mt Kuring-gai where she and husband John looked after an assortment of native animals, including a number of flying-foxes.


Later that year the first discussions about a wildlife rescue service took place between myself, Animal Liberation a...

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