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Wednesday, 18 October


Australia - where the rich get richer as wealth & income inequality grows (interactive mapping) North Coast Voices

The Guardian, 12 October 2017

Australia is among countries with the highest growth in income inequality in the world over the past 30 years, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Vitor Gaspar, the IMFs director of fiscal affairs, has told an audience at the launch of the IMFs latest Fiscal Monitor that Australias income inequality growth has been similar to the US, South Africa, India, China, Spain and the UK since the 1980s.

Last month the treasurer, Scott Morrison, said that income inequality was not getting worse in Australia.

Morrison told the Business Council of Australia in late September that Treasury and the Reserve Bank had found, in specific analysis of current wage fundamentals, that Australian wages were growing slowly across most industries in the economy, and most regions of the country, so the slow growth was evenly shared.

However, he would not release the Treasury analysis.



Australian Human Rights Commission does not support expansion of the Cashless Debit Card Trial North Coast Voices

Excerpts from Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs Senate Inquiry into Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017:

Human rights concerns
As a form of income management, the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017 raises a number of human rights concerns, specifically around the right to social security, the right to a private life and the right to equality and non-discrimination. [my yellow highlighting]
The Commission has previously reported its concerns about the cashless debit card (also known as the Healthy Welfare Card) in our submission to the Inquiry into the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Debit Card Trial) Bill 2015 and in the Social Justice and Native Title reports for 2015 and 2016. 2
The Commission has particularly been concerned about the effects of these income management measures in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, whom we have previously identified to be a group that are disproportionately impacted by such measures.3 As at September 2016, 75% of trial participants in Ceduna and 82% of trial participants in the East Kimberley were Indigenous.4
Whilst the Explanatory Memorandum acknowledges that trials of the cashless debit card are already underway in areas with high Indigenous populations, it proposes that future sites will give priority to locations with lower pro...

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Tuesday, 17 October


Lush The Channon Craft Market

Mish Songsmith & Peter Lehner combine their formidable musical talents in Lush. Promising to take you to the moon and back with beautiful harmonies and passionate songs youll love.


An Espresso Martini Festival comes to Byron! 23rd of October 6th of November 2017 Byron Bay Blog

For years Balcony Bar & Oyster Co has been known as the best place in town to grab a drink with friends. The cocktail list is extensive, the wine list is exquisite, the beers are fresh, local and on tap but above all else, the espresso martinis are always flowing and only $12 each from 9:30pm. So to celebrate their love for espresso martinis, Balcony Bar & Oyster Co. will be hosting the first ever Espresso Fest in Byron Bay from the 23rd of October to the 6th of November 2017.

A specialty cocktail menu has been carefully crafted by their expert cocktail masters featuring flavours like:

The Orangetini  Vodka, aperol, espresso, burnt orange sugar syrup and dehydrated orange

The Cocospresso  El Jimador tequila, Malibu and espresso with desiccated coconut rim

The Cookies and Cream  Jameson, Baileys, Frangelico & espresso with a cookie crumble rim

The Rahspresso  Baileys, vodka, espresso, muddled raspberry & an edible glitter rim

The Chilli Chocolate  Chilli rum, Espressocello, chocolate sauce, honey & coffee

The Caramello Koala  Butterscotch, butter vodka & espresso with a glazed caramel shard

The Slowspresso  Featuring local distillery Brookies Slow Gin, pomegranate liqueur, espresso and berries

Yum! Now for the purists simply looking for a classic espresso martini, theyve got you covered at just $12 all day every day, plus if you have a local members card, the price of espresso martinis will stay at just $12 for the rest of the year after espresso fest. Or if you are a true cocktail connoisseur and are looking for the finest espresso martini in town, they can offer you The Top Shelf Espresso Martini which contains only the finest ingredients including our top shelf vodka Kettle 1 and Byron Bay Coffee Companys finest brew.



Round up of local history stories across the New England media no 2 New England, Australia

Photo: patrol post, Greta Migrant camp
Over on my New England History blog I have begun a regular round-up of stories from the local media on local history. This is the second in the series.
My aim is to build another resource that can be tapped to by those wishing to explore the history of New England or of their specific region or locality.

By their nature, many of these stories cannot be relied upon to be absolutely accurate, but they are useful in providing information and ideas.    


Mike McClellan No Intermission October 21 Byron Bay Blog

Mike McClellan last played the Byron Theatre in August 2014. For many who were there that night it was the first time they had seen him in years. They left entranced, many commenting that he was singing and playing better than ever pretty remarkable given he has long been regarded as one of the finest of that generation of performers to emerge in the 70s.

His new album No Intermission continues the exceptional consistency of Mikes late career revival. Yet again he has delivered an album of wonderful new songs his third in 6 years. In reviewing his 2011 album If Only For a Moment Pat Drummond wrote in Country Update, stunning new CD. In the context of a long and illustrious career this is a very special album for one of Australias most influential country/folk legends. And the album that followed, Dancing In The Rain, was regarded by many as even better. So, where do you rank No Intermission? Steve Britt, writing in Rythms magazine wrote, I regard this album as the strongest of his latter day albums and easily the equal of his 70s work. 

It is now over 40 years since Song and Danceman was a national hit and voted Song of The Year by the music industry at its annual awards. His songs have earned him an honoured place within the history of Australian music and youll still hear Song and DancemanThe One I Love and Rockn Roll Lady on radio, along with several others from his extensive back catalogue but until the release of If Only For a Moment in 2011 it had been 20 years since Mike McClellan had released a CD of new songs. A best of collection (Time. And Time Again) was released back in 2001 to the joy of many whose vinyl collections were wearing rapidly.

It has surprised nobody who knew his early work that his three albums of new songs since returning to his music full time should be so good. He remarked in a recent interview:When I made the decision to return to performing and writing again I didnt want to come back and just play the old stuff, as good as it might be. And I didnt want to release any new material unless I felt it was at least the equal of, and preferably better than, the songs I had recorded all those years ago. I think No Intermission lives up to the standards I set myself and Im my harshest critic. I hope others believe so too.

Its doubtful any will disagree. No Intermission easily sustains the exceptional quality of his much-loved early work while richly reflecting his growth as a writer and is ample testimony to his enduring talent. And hes one hell of a guitar player. The energetic first single from the album, Not Yet, finds him in tongue-in-cheek good humour, loudly declaring that he aint ready to quit. Not Yet. Many hope he never does.

Buy tickets and...


No coronial recommendations over North Coast PTSD officers death Local News Echonetdaily

Detective Sergent Ashley Bryant (pictured here in 2007) wanted his death investigated, a coronial inquiry has heard.. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Detective Sergent Ashley Bryant (pictured here in 2007) wanted his death investigated, a coronial inquiry has heard.. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)


The wife of a former police officer who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he took his own life is dismayed the NSW coroner hasnt made any recommendations following an inquest into his death.

Ashley Bryant, 44, made a triple-zero call requesting an inquest before he fell to his death at Minyon Falls in Nightcap National Park in December 2013 after battling for several years with a multitude of mental health problems brought on by exposure to traumatic events at work.

Magistrate Michael Barnes said in his inquest findings there was a causal connection between Mr Bryants psychological disorders and his service in the police force.

He found NSW Police Force (NSWPF) is actively and effectively engaging with the issues brought into focus by the death of Ashley Bryant, he said on Tuesday.

More still needs to be done but I accept the NSWPF has identified the difficulties in ensuring the psychological safety of officers and is committed to addressing them.

For that reason, he didnt make redundant or duplicative recommendations.

Mr Bryant had suffered from PTSD, alcoholism and anxiety for several years and was medically discharged from the police in 2012.

His condition was managed by the NSWPF Death and Disability Scheme, with insurers making entitlement determinations based on their investigations.

Mr Bryant had to repeatedly recall incidents that exacerbated his PTSD, and his willingness to undertake study was misconstrued as a capacity for work, Magistrate Barnes said.

These processes added to the stress Ashley was already undergoing, he said.

He acknowledged the difficulties the scheme caused Mr Bryant and his famil...


Bush stone-curlew numbers increasing in Tweed Local News Echonetdaily

Bush stone-curlew with chick. Photo Theo Spyker.

Bush stone-curlew with chick. Photo Theo Spyker.

The bush stone-curlew was once common throughout mainland Australia but with development, loss of habitat and the impact of foxes and cats their numbers have reduced significantly in the northern rivers region and are now an endangered species.

Tweed Coast holiday parks have been working with Tweed Council to help assist the bush stone-curlew population in monitoring the population and managing threats to the birds in the parks. Issues were identified, including birds nesting on or in very close proximity to high use camp sites, disturbance of nests by park visitors, nesting in areas of high vehicle and pedestrian traffic and limited areas away from park users where the birds can roost.

In Northern NSW, the Bush Stone-Curlew breeding season begins around July and August and finishes around March.

A number of effective mitigation measures have been adopted including the implementation of signposting nests and roost sites to warn visitors of the nesting birds and their expected defence behaviours, fencing off areas around roost or nesting areas, relocating fallen timber to a nearby area or chipping larger branches and spreading this mulch in identified habitat areas. Where Bush Stone-curlews appear to be nesting on or adjacent to a popular camp site Tweed Coast Holiday Parks Fingal managers have adopted an effective policy of vetting the occupants of the site and only choosing those that are sympathetic to the birds and willing to act as unofficial wardens.

The endangered bush stone-Curlew now has a recorded 26 breeding pairs in the Tweed Shire.

The post Bush stone-curlew numbers increasing in Tweed appeared first on Echonetdaily.


A great walk for a great cause: Walk for Brain cancer Local News Echonetdaily

David Greiner is coordinating the walk for brain caner from Lennox to Byron for the third year running. Photo supplied.

David Greiner is coordinating the walk for brain caner from Lennox to Byron for the third year running. Photo supplied.

David lost his wife Christine to brain cancer in January 2015 and knew that he wanted to do something not only to remember her but also to raise awareness about the disease. So in 2015 he started the Lennox library to Byron Bay Walk 4 Brain Cancer.

I wanted to do something so I decided to start the walk. Off the cuff I went to the Lions Club meeting  and said I just want support to run this thing. Without the Lions Club it wouldnt happen, they do all the water stations and co-ordinate the start and finish lines and the BBQ at the end.

David and Christine Greiner had moved to Lennox Head in 1980 and brought up their three children. Catherine was a key fixture in the local community as the first Lennox Head librarian.

When the first public library opened in a room of the school Catherine was the the first librarian. She was part of the library team when it grew and became part of the community centre, said David proudly.

For the last two years the walk has raised around $25,000 each year towards brain cancer research and has had between 150 to 200 walkers and runners.

The walk is 21 kms so it is a half marathon and the runners said it was just great fun, continued David.

Some people want to do the walk in memory of someone they love and have a great sense of achievement when they finish the walk.

Starting from the Lennox Head library participants then make their way along seven mile beach. The middle part is a hill run or walk over a dirt road to Broken Head, then once again along the beach to Cosy Corner then finish on the esplanade along Byron Bays main beach.

The walk will be taking place Sunday, 26 November and participants can increase the money raised by getting friends and family to s...


Nat joins Greens in opposing Bangalow food precinct site Local News Echonetdaily

Ben Franklin meeting with local residents John McIntosh, Linda Sparrow, Bill Hutton and Ean Jones at the site on 15 September. Photo supplied

Ben Franklin meeting with local residents John McIntosh, Linda Sparrow, Bill Hutton and Ean Jones at the site on 15 September. Photo supplied

A second MLC has spoken out against the mega food hub proposed for Lismore Road, Bangalow.

Ben Franklin, Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW has confirmed that he does not believe that the proposed Rural Industries Food Precinct should proceed at 201 Lismore Road.

Mr Franklins statement follows an announcement by Greens MLC Dawn Walker yesterday that she will move a motion in parliament calling on the Joint Regional Planning Panel to reject the development.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith and Byron Mayor Simon Richardson, both Greens, have also spoken out against the 20-acre industrial food processing facility proposed for the narrow, winding road between Bangalow and Binna Burra.

Mr Franklin said that after receiving overwhelming negative feedback from the community and following a meeting with a range of local residents at the proposed site on September 15, it was clear to me that the size of the project is not in line with community expectations,.

The village community of Bangalow is unique and its character and amenity must be preserved, Mr Franklin said.

For me, there are just too many concerns about the potential impact on the local environment, extra traffic, and the general impact on the local community for it to be supported, he added.

But Mr Franklin said he strongly supports the development of a food precinct elsewhere in the Northern Rivers.

This is an emerging growth industry and could potentially be one of the keys to our economic success in this region.

I have had a range of discussions with community leaders across the northern rivers and am advised that there are other shires that have shown a high level of interest to have this precinct within their borders, he said.

I hope that the proponents of the project look seriously at moving the food hub to anothe...


Celebrating the regeneration of Goonengerry Local News Echonetdaily

Byrangery grass reserve volunteers enjoying the fruits of their labour. Photo supplied.

Byrangery grass reserve volunteers enjoying the fruits of their labour. Photo supplied.

The Byrangery grass reserve is a 15 hectare reserve in Goonengerry, set aside exclusively for wildlife habitat. Volunteers have been carrying out restoration work since 1997 planting native species and controlling weeds. This has seen a dramatic change to the reserve from a weed dominated landscape to a diverse haven for local plants and animals.

Val Hodgson, President of the reserve trust says Through the hard work and fundraising efforts of the local residents and the Trusts volunteers, with the addition of grants from the Department of Lands and other government grants we have been able to make a real difference to this important piece of community land.

Its 20 years since the Reserve was formed and its wonderful to be able to celebrate this milestone with our community, said Alan Goldstein, Byrangery grass reserve trusts treasurer.

The open day will be held on Friday 20 th October from 9am to 3pm. For more information contact Alison on 6626 7028 or email


Clunes-based business nominated for export award Local News Echonetdaily

Spectrum Message Services Managing Director Gerard Vos. Photo supplied

Spectrum Message Services Managing Director Gerard Vos. Photo supplied

Clunes company, Spectrum Message Services has become a finalist in the 2017 Premiers NSW Export Awards.

Spectrum works out of an office at the Clunes Old School on Walker Street.

Their interactive messaging technology called MoneyGuard is used by banks around the world to assist in preventing fraud and communicate with their customers in real time. It has been recognised in the Digital Technologies category of the awards.

Credit card fraud totalled nearly $22 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach more than $31 billion in 2018, according to Spectrums managing director Gerard Vos.

In Australia last year, more than three quarters of the $530 million netted by fraudsters was from transactions made using stolen credit card details, Mr Vos said.

MoneyGuard created a new way to send interactive alerts between the cardholder and the financial institution to prevent fraud, he explained.

Connected to the banks fraud system, it sends a message to the customer to ask them to confirm or deny a transaction. Based on the response it can re-enable the card, allow the transaction to be repeated, or block the card and stop further fraud. It replaces the often-inconvenient process of manual calls

It is used by banks in a range of countries such as Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, Poland and Hungary to let their customers know when there might be a suspicious activity regarding their account, and it asks them to confirm or deny the transaction by response message Vos said.

Export Council of Australia CEO Lisa McAuley said the NSW Export Awards being announced next week are about rewarding businesses that have shown a commitment and determination to grow their global business and who seek new innovative ways to compete on the international stage.

To acknowledge and celebrate the success of NSW companies is an important part of encouraging more companies to think global and this year at the awards ceremony we will be celebrating and recognising the great opportunities emerging for NSW companies in Latin America.

As Australia enters negotiations over a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Pacific Alliance, an excellent opportunity emerges to pl...


Free Hendra virus information session Local News Echonetdaily

Photo supplied by Zoeitis/ Health for horses.

Photo supplied by Zoeitis/ Health for horses.

There have been three cases of the Hendra virus in horses in the northern rivers this year. On rare occasions the virus can be passed from flying foxes to horses if the horses are not vaccinated and usually results in death. The disease can also be transmitted from horses to humans during close contact.

The Lismore Central Veterinary Hospital is holding a free public information night on the Hendra virus this Wednesday, October 18 at the Lismore city hall, starting at 6pm. They will be discussing all aspects of the Hendra virus and have three speakers to address the topic Dr Richard LeStrange from Zoeitis, Dr Phil Kemsley from the local land services and horse owner Vanessa Cotterill.

To reduce the chance of contracting the Hendra virus horses should be kept away from flowering and fruiting trees that attract bats and water and food troughs should not be kept under tress and kept covered. Hendra virus can cause a range of symptoms in horses. Usually there is a sudden fever and either respiratory or neurological illness. If a horse is unwell other animals and people should be kept away and your vet called immediately. If your veterinarian is unavailable you can call a District Veterinarian with the Local Land Services or the Animal Biosecurity Emergency Hotline on 1800 675 888.

For more information contact the Lismore Central Veterinary Hospital on (02) 66 22 00 44 or email

The post Free Hendra virus information session appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Elderly womans foot severed in crash after car mounts pavement Local News Echonetdaily

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a serious motor vehicle crash in Maclean yesterday (Monday, October 16).

At about 9.35am a 53-year-old woman was driving her Holden sedan south along River Street when it crossed to the wrong side of the road, mounted the footpath and struck a pedestrian who was standing on the footpath and the building behind her.

Bystanders assisted the 81-year woman who was struck by the car and the driver who appeared to be suffering a medical episode.

The pedestrian was airlifted to Lismore Hospital with a partially severed foot and will undergo surgery for multiple fractures to her leg and pelvis.

The driver was taken to Maclean Hospital for mandatory blood and urine tests. She will also undergo CT scans.

Police from Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command attended and established a crime scene.

River Street was closed whilst the police operation was underway.

Engineers closed the building after they inspected it for structural integrity.

Crash Investigation Police have commenced their inquiries into the cause of the crash and have appealed for anyone who witnessed the crash to come forward.

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


The post Elderly womans foot severed in crash after car mounts pavement appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Question Time in the Australian House of Representatives reveals the arbitrary nature and downright absurdity of the National Broadband Network rollout North Coast Voices

In Australia where the dead have better Internet access than the living

Hansard, 16 October 2017:

Ms McBRIDE (Dobell) (14:53): My question is to the Prime Minister. We are now in the fifth year of this Prime Minister's mismanagement of the NBN. Is the Prime Minister aware that students at the Central Coast Rudolf Steiner School in Fountaindale can't connect to the NBN, even though Fountaindale has supposedly had the NBN since September last year? What sort of incompetence means that the cemetery behind the school has an NBN connection but the school doesn't? [my yellow highlighting]

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:54): I thank the honourable member for her question. I'm certainly happy, if she's able to raise the specific customer's details with me, to make sure it goes to the minister and to NBN Co. What I can say, if honourable members care to pay attention to the NBN's weekly rollout report, which I doan example of transparency on the part of my government which had no counterpart under the Labor Party, I might sayis that every week the numbers go up, and there are currently over six million premises that are able to connect, and just under three million have services that are connected. So the rollout is going at great pace, and I'm sure the matter that the honourable member...


This is how Nationals MP for Dawson is using your tax dollars North Coast Voices

Almost every person is Australia pays some form of taxation, even if payment is confined to the Goods & Services Tax (GST).

These taxes can result in a little or a lot of dollars ending up in government coffers rather than finding a home in the household kitty .

So Im sure readers in the Northern Rivers region where household incomes are on the lower end of the national scale will be really impressed with the fact that yet another Turnbull Government MP is spending taxpayer dollars on publicly attacking the Australian Broadcasting Commission this time in defence of a foreign multinational of dubious repute.

I give you George Robert Christensen, former local government councillor, former journalist/newspaper editor and current Chair of the Joint Committee On Publications.

5 OCTOBER 2017: I am publishing (in North Queensland newspapers) an open letter to the Head of Current Affairs at the ABC. Mondays attack on jobs with a program called Digging into Adani demonstrated beyond doubt the national broadcaster is overly influenced by the extreme green movement. On behalf of North Queensland families desperate for jobs, I have demanded the ABC provide balance with another story focusing on the Townsville, Bowen and Mackay communities relying on the Carmichael Coal Project going ahead.

The program avoided facts, preferring the green movements stock-in-trade: allegations, accusations, and unsubstantiated claims. But no matter how many activists the ABC turns to for comment, repeat...


High Court of Australia sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns ends federal parliamentarians eligibility to stand hearings and considers its judgment North Coast Voices

The Court reserves its decisions in these matters. It is hardly necessary to say that the Court is aware of the need to give its answers to these references with or without reasons as soon as possible. As counsel and instructing solicitors would appreciate, it is not always possible for the Court to do so immediately. No doubt, they will explain this to their clients.  [Chief Justice of Australia Susan Mary Kiefel AC, 12 October 2017]

On 10-12 October 2017 the full High Court of Australia sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns heard arguments as to why five members and two former members of the Parliament of Australia should or shouldnt be found to have been ineligible to stand for election prior to the 2016 general election and sit as an elected members thereafter.

While the country waits on the resolution of this matter, here are links to relevant documents and transcripts.

High Court of Australia Justices



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Monday, 16 October


House prices in New England 2017 New England, Australia

 Interesting piece by Jennifer Duke and Kate Burke in Allhomes, Out of breath': Newcastle, Wollongong join Sydney property price downturn. I have referenced it here because it includes housing price data for twelve New England locations over the last twelve months.

The results, summarised in the following table, show changes in the median house price for regional NSW. Armidale Dumaresq (1.7%) had the lowest percentage increase in New England, Ballina (14%) the highest.The table also provides an interesting snapshot of differences in median house prices.


Sept. 2017
June 2017
Sept. 2016
Quarter growth
Annual growth


Ballina airport attracts $3m in federal funds for upgrade Local News Echonetdaily

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport. (file pic)

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport. (file pic)

The Federal Government has chipped in $3 million towards the $6.7 million construction of new roads to service the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport.

Ballina mayor David Wright welcomed the $3 million contribution saying the project would also open up 30 hectares of industrial land adjacent to the airport.

He said businesses that service the airport as well as major retailers had expressed great interest in establishing in the Precinct.

Mayor Wright said it would complement the major refurbishment of the terminal building.

Page MP Kevin Hogan said the construction of Airport Boulevard at Ballina would improve access to the airport and create jobs.

This is great news for the entire Northern Rivers community, he said.

Ballina airport is one of the busiest airports in regional Australia handling close to half-a-million passenger movements last year and projected to handle 700,000 annually by 2020.

Mr Hogan said the Australian Government would provide $3 million towards the total cost of $6.7 million to construct a new access and link road system the airport.

The work involves extending two existing access roads and construction of a new road to enable development of the Southern Cross Industrial Precinct.

Ballina Shire Council will fund the balance of the $6.7 million and manage construction of the project.

The Airport Boulevard development is scheduled for completion in September next year.


The post Ballina airport attracts $3m in federal funds for upgrade appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Soaking rain ends record breaking dry on North Coast Local News Echonetdaily

Recent rains have broken a record-breaking period of dry weather on the North Coast. Photo Chris Dobney

Recent rains have broken a record-breaking period of dry weather on the North Coast. Photo Chris Dobney

With two months still to go, four weather records have been broken in the region this year, with Lismore Airport recording two of its heaviest ever months of rain and two of its lightest ever falls.

Soaking rain has re-greened the North Coast over the weekend, with falls of up to 150mm in some areas over the past 72 hours.

Some parts of the region experienced falls in excess of 50mm in the 24 hours to 9am today.

The welcome falls have ended a record-breaking dry spell but, despite the significant rain, all rivers in the forecast region remain well below their flood levels.

After the highest June rainfall on record (335.4mm), Lismore Airport recorded its lowest ever August and September rainfall totals, receiving 2.4mm and 0.2mm respectively.

The 806.8mm March floods also topped the scales.

According to the seasonal outlook, released on October 12, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts the region has around a 50 per cent chance of above average rainfall.

November to January nights are likely to be warmer than average.

Tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures may approach La Nia levels over the coming months. However, the corresponding warm sea surface temperatures that typically develop to the north and northwest of Australia during La Nia events are less likely to develop. This means that overall, effects upon Australia are likely to be reduced, the outlook predicts.

The post Soaking rain ends record breaking dry on North Coast appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Three Lennox artists to exhibit their work Local News Echonetdaily

A painting by Tricia Tait. (supplied)

A painting by Tricia Tait. (supplied)

The members of the Lennox Arts Collective are proud to host Kaleidescope of Colour an exhibition by three emerging local artists Robyn Day, Trish Tait and Michaela Murphy.

All three artists share a passion for life and a love of the Northern Rivers. They are inspired by its natural beauty and serenity, bringing diverse perspectives from living in this amazing part of the world.  These inspirations and interpretations, as well as their unique passion for colour is highlighted in this collection of works.

Every artist perceives the world through their own lens, and

A painting by Michaela Murphy. (Supplied)

A painting by Michaela Murphy. (Supplied)

Michaela sees the beauty of the world through colour.  Her work strives to be a celebration of life.

Having been inspired by the artist Henri Matisse, Michaela uses colour to convey different emotions and snapshots of life.  Michaelas vivacious character is reflected in her work, with her carefree fun-loving pieces, and using acrylics as her medium.

I choose subject matter that I feel convey a story, I want the viewer to feel something when they see my work. My art gives me great joy and is integral to my life, she said.

Trish considers herself to be one of the lucky people who has discovered a passion for art even if it came a little later in life.  Having lived in Western Queensland for over 40 years, it wasnt until moving to the Northern Rivers that she discovered her new favourite hobby.  She has a keen interest in watercolours and enjoys creating vibrant colourful pieces, in particular detailed flowers.

Robyn resides in Lennox Head and has enjoyed painting for many years. She paints in her studio looking out at the ocean tucked away in her happy place.

Inspired by a Cubism Art Course at the Brisbane Institute of Art she gradually found a style that spoke to her, and she continues to develop her passion for bright...


Victim kicked and punched during Casino brawl Local News Echonetdaily

Two men have been arrested after a brawl in the Casino central business district in which a victim was punched and kicked while he was on the ground defenceless.

Police allege the two Casino men aged 22 and 24 became involved with an argument with some people in the carpark of a Casino Service Station at 8.30pm on Saturday night.

This has resulted in a victim being tackled to the ground.

Police said the 22 and 24-year-old then kicked and punched the victim in the head while he was defenseless, and then fled the scene.

Both men were arrested and charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm In Company, and Affray.

The 22 year old was bail refused by police and granted conditional bail by the Courts.

He will appear in Casino Local Court in October.

The 24 year old was granted conditional bail and will appear at Casino Local Court in November

The post Victim kicked and punched during Casino brawl appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Food precinct could endanger Bangalows koalas: Greens Local News Echonetdaily

Bangalow Koalas campaigner Linda Sparrow (left) with Greens MLC and koala spokesperson Dawn Walker at the site of the proposed food hub. Photo supplied

Bangalow Koalas campaigner Linda Sparrow (left) with Greens MLC and koala spokesperson Dawn Walker at the site of the proposed food hub. Photo supplied

North Coast Greens MP and koala protection spokesperson Dawn Walker has raised the plight of Bangalows koala population in NSW Parliament and thrown her support behind the community campaign against the proposed mega food precinct at Lot 201 Lismore Road, Bangalow.

Bangalows dwindling koala population was heavily impacted by the construction of the M1.

The local community have been working hard to protect local koala habitat and food trees, many of which are along the busy Bangalow Road or on private land.

But Ms Walker said, like most koala populations across NSW, Bangalows koalas are under pressure from car strikes and urban development, including the mega food hub proposal at lot 201 Lismore Road, Bangalow that is currently before the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

I share the concerns of Ballina MP, Tamara Smith, Byron Mayor Simon Richardson and the community about the impacts of the proposed mega food hub at Bangalow, which will result in a significant loss of RU1 agricultural land, a large increase in local traffic and negative impacts on the local koala population; if it proceeds at the proposed scale.

Thats why Ive called in parliament for the JRPP to reject the Bangalow mega food-hub DA in its current form.

The develo...


Feedback sought on Tweed flying fox management Local News Echonetdaily

Grey-headed flying foxes. Photo Justin Welbergen, Wikimedia Commons

Grey-headed flying foxes. Photo Justin Welbergen, Wikimedia Commons

A series of community sessions are being held in the Tweed Shire to gain feedback on the councils proposed flying fox management plan, and a biodiversity plan.

A session will be held at the Canvas & Kettle Room in the Murwillumbah Civic and Cultural Centre tomorrow (17 Oct) from 2pm to 4pm, and another on Wednesday in the South Sea Islander Room, Tweed Heads Council Administration Building, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

The Councils Senior Program Leader Biodiversity, Scott Hetherington, said all members of the public are invited to drop in to ask questions or provide feedback on the plan.

The Shire-wide Flying-Fox Camp Management Plan, which is on exhibition until 28 October, aims to guide efficient and timely responses to manage community impacts from flying-fox camps.

It will also improve transparency, certainty and availability of information for the community, including residents affected by flying-fox camps, Mr Hetherington said.

The plan provides a framework to reduce potential conflict between humans and flying-foxes, while helping to conserve the flying-foxes and their habitat.

Further information is available from Mr Hetherington on 6670 2561 or

The Biodiversity Development Control Plan, being exhibited until 1 December, aims to ensure the planning and design of new larger-scale development helps to protect native vegetation and habitats for species in Tweed Shire.

The draft plan applies to primarily to larger developments and establishes particular objectives and development controls for habitat such as bushland, wetlands, waterways and significant flora and fauna species, the Senior Program Leader Biodiversity Policy, Mark Kingston, said.

Further information is available from Mr Kingston on 6670 2593 or


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Elder shocked by koala habitat destruction by RMS Local News Echonetdaily

A massive fig tree sacrificed for the highway upgrade. (supplied)

A massive fig tree sacrificed for the highway upgrade. (supplied)

By Sue Arnold
A field trip to the Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade site last week was an emotional and moving experience for Mickey Ryan, Chairperson of the Bundjalung Elders Council.

Horrified by the sight of hundreds of burned hectares in koala habitat, exclusion fencing to prevent animals moving back and forth from their habitats, Mickey was outspoken in his condemnation of the Roads and Maritime Services and the NSW government.

The site of the burned area along Old Bagotville road is one of the saddest things Ive ever seen, he said.

The fences appear to have been designed to ensure animals have no chance to escape. These fences are preventing koalas from getting to their food on the other side of the road.

Bundjalung elder Mickey Ryan. (supplied)

Bundjalung elder Mickey Ryan. (supplied)

Putting up exclusion fences in a burned area where everything is so dry, theres so much fuel and no escape route is plain wrong. Another major fire could break out any time. The way the fences are set up animals cant get over them. The escape hutches are ridiculous, no koala is going to use them. The RMS have created a death trap, the fences and escape hutches are amateurish. Animals that dont climb wouldnt be able to get over.

Witnessing the situation broke my heart, for this to be allowed is just not on. Seeing the reality here brought tears to my eyes. I m told that almost 600 feed and shelter trees have been ring-barked, I can see theyre dying. All these trees are to be clear-felled, Where are koalas going to get their food and moisture needs ? Its shocking to realise were in the middle of breeding season. What kinds of stress must be happening to these animals.

To deliberately kill their food supply by ring barking trees is just slaughter. All I could think about what who would allow this murder of native...


Three arrested after milk theft racket broken Local News Echonetdaily

Three men will appear in court later this month after being charged with running a milk theft and redistribution racket in Grafton.

Between August and September, police from Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command investigated the large-scale ongoing theft of milk products from a premises at Grafton.

The premises in Dobie Street had milk, flavoured milk and assorted dairy products regularly stolen.

Investigators believed that due to the quantities of products being regularly taken that the items were being sold or distributed throughout the area.

Police will allege that three men used bolt cutters to cut locks from refrigerator doors on at least three occasions during August and September, requiring the doors to be replaced.

Following an appeal for information, three men were arrested last week.

The men, two aged 19 and a 20-year-old, were taken to Grafton Police Station on Wednesday (October 11) where they were each charged with aggravated, break enter and steal in company.

The men were granted bail to appear at Grafton Local Court on Monday 23 October 2017.



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Man charged with indecent assault at Lismore pool Local News Echonetdaily

A man will face court after being charged with an alleged indecent assault of a teenage boy at a Lismore swimming pool, while Tweed police are looking for another man who made indecent suggestions to a girl at her home.

Police say that at about 7am Wednesday (June 8), a 58-year-old man allegedly indecently assaulted a 14-year-old boy in the change rooms of a public swimming pool at Lismore.

The mother subsequently reported the matter to the police.

About 7.45am Friday (October 13) detectives from the State Crime Commands Child Abuse Squad arrested a 58-year-old man at Lismore.

He was taken to Lismore Police Station, where he was charged with aggravated indecent assault.

The man was granted conditional bail to appear at Lismore Local Court on Tuesday 24 October, 2017.

Man sought

The other incident occurred about 1.40pm on Friday (October 13), in Bilambil Heights, when a young girl answered a knock at the front door of her family home.

She was met by a male described as being in his late thirties or early forties, with an olive complexion approximately six foot tall, scruffy dark beard, jet-black scruffy hair, black circles around his eyes, wearing a navy t-shirt, brown coloured stretch jeans, no shoes and a large gold necklace.

The man, who spoke with an American accent, made inappropriate renarks to the child, but left when she alerted her mother.

Police are making further inquiries in relation to this incident and are asking for public assistance to try and locate the man.

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

The post Man charged with indecent assault at Lismore pool appeared first on Echonetdaily.

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Monday, 09 October


Tuntable Creek P&C Association The Channon Craft Market

At Tuntable Creek Public School we provide our students with exceptional learning opportunities in a beautiful, natural environment in the lush rainforests of the NSW North Coast. Our students learn to live and work cooperatively and we base daily school life around the 3 Rs Respect, Responsibilities & Rights. We have high expectations of our students and provide them with quality teaching experiences with a focus on literacy, numeracy, creative arts and technology.

Our parents & citizens association (P&C) brings the school community together. Parents, teachers and community members can help meet the needs of the school community and contribute to decisions about the school.

The P&C also raises funds that help finance improvements to our school and provide additional resources.

Sunday, 08 October


Monkey & The Fish The Channon Craft Market

A partnership between two singer songwriters Chris Fisher and Marcelle Townsend-Cross creates a special vocal harmony & presence in Monkey & the Fish. Presenting their own songs along with original renditions of classic tunes this act is popular at both Festivals and pub/club gigs. Uncle Keith always called his little sister monkey so when she started singing up and hanging out with Chris Fisher the cry began wheres Monkey & the Fish playin?

The name stuck and play they did. Their already dysfunctional families blended becoming something nothing like the partridge family but twice as talented. In Cahoots, Monkey & the Fishs baby & debut CD release came in 2001 and features several Dolphin Award winning tunes. Bundjalung (Song of the Year), a track written and recorded in collaboration with local Bundjalung Custodians, Mirror telling some of Marcelles story as a Koori woman and Wai:Bal (Best Environmental Message Song) written in acknowledgement of the Clan of the Bundjalung whos homelands includes Lismore and Nimbin NSW, have all been celebrated through awards.

These and other songs from In Cahoots have proved popular with FM radio and live audiences. Monkey & the Fish now perform as duo or band with the addition of George Urbeszeck on Bass and Dan Crandon on Drums. In addition to originals classic songs by Paul Kelly, Crowded House, Van Morrison, Goanna, Tracey Chapman, and many more are performed. Influences are diverse with oz rock, reggae, folk and country vibes present. Top musicianship and home grown creativity combine with a healthy audience rapport to make this a truly deadly act!! :)

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