THE BYRON SHIRE Volume 26 #14 Tuesday, September 13, 2011 Mullumbimby 02 6684 1777 Byron Bay 02 6685 5222 Fax 02 6684 1719 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.echo.net.au 23,200 copies every week
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Pub and drive-through approved for Sunrise
Cape Byron Steiner blossoms Saturday
important Council made its position clear on pokies and the effect it has on Sunrise is set to get a hotel, restaurant the community. Cr Tucker was the only councillor and a drive-through bottle shop on who voted against the foreshadowed Bayshore Drive, Byron Bay. Council’s decision, however, at motion to oppose any future pokies. Thursday’s meeting came with a foreshadowed motion opposing any Residents in support Also at the public access on Thursfuture pokie machines from Greens Councillors Simon Richardson and day’s meeting, eight residents and local business owners – including the Tom Tabart. The DA (development application) architect for the proposal – addressed Council in favour of the development. does not include gaming machines. Some spoke of the high costs of goDA with conditions ing into town by taxi and that Sunrise John Anderson – aka Fast Buck$ doesn’t have a place where residents – addressed Council on the pub’s can socialise. The site is just under two acres and DA submission but steered clear of opinions regarding another alcohol is located next to the unused train tracks. The proposal is being put foror pokie outlet. ‘I’m not opposed to the pub or pok- ward by the North Beach owners (for‘Blossoming’ is Cape Byron Steiner School’s 2011 Spring Fair theme, in celebration of the beginning of spring and the ies,’ he said, setting the stage for a mally the Becton site). North Beach continuing blossoming of the school. Students Jayden, Phoebe, Jarrah, Rosabella, Luka, Fergus and Alexandra are well-worn tirade on Council conduct. is associated with mining magnate just a few of the 300 students from Kindergarten to year 12, who have created a unique flower which will form part ‘Council has an obligation to clarify Brian Flannery, as featured in The of a wondrous blossoming garden bed of colour and variety showcasing just a part of the creativity of the school. its power to attach conditions to DAs.’ Echo on November 30, 2010. For more The ‘Blossoming’ Spring Fair will be held this Saturday at the school in Ewingsdale. Photo Eve Jeffery Cr Tabart told the gallery that it was visit www.thesunbistro.com. Hans Lovejoy
Lennox residents take Ballina Council to ICAC
Residents in Lennox Head have taken Ballina Shire Council to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) over a recently erected Optus tower in their street. Spokesman for the group living in Basalt Court, Sue Hetherington, says that after reading information provided by the council under Freedom Of Information Act (FOI), she maintains her group were provided misleading documentation by Ballina Shire Council. Speaking from Sydney, Ms Hetherington told The Echo she has taken her and her neighbours’ concerns to state parliament on Macquarie Street. She says there is missing council documentation in relation to the process of allowing Optus to take possession of the site. ‘When the document was originally
sent, it was only addressed to four residents and addressed Skennars Head as the location, not Lennox Head. ‘Documents were also sent to the wrong government member as per the telecommunications code. Justine Elliot should have been notified; instead it was was sent incorrectly to Janelle Saffin. ‘The application’s drawings were also incorrect, describing there were no antennas, and now we have three antennas protruding.’
New signage A sign erected Monday September 5 has resident Rob Godwin worried. Mr Godwin is perhaps most affected by the tower. ‘It’s six metres from my bedroom and over-shadows the house virtually,’ he told The Echo. Through its new signage, Mr Godwin says Optus have indicated that most of his house, including the bed-
rooms, have been placed in an RF (Radio Frequency) Hazard Area. ‘It’s in an insane position and shouldn’t be that close to any house.’ Although the tower did not need a DA for approval, Ballina councillors were unanimous in opposing Optus’s insistance that it be located within the residential area.
Now a federal matter MP Don Page told The Echo it has now become a federal issue, and as such, should be taken up with the federal member, Justine Elliott. ‘I have written to the federal minister responsible, senator Stephen Conroy, seeking his advice.’ Ballina Council General Manager Paul Hickey told The Echo, ‘We are not aware of anything incorrect in regards to the tower’s application process.’ He also encouraged the residents to contact Council with their concerns.
Lennox resident Rob Godwin’s house been placed within a RF (Radio Frequency) Hazard Area. This photo was taken as the tower was being erected and clearly demonstrates its proximity to the house. MP Don Page is seeking advice from the Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and says it is now a federal matter.
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‘Another ArtsCape’ is how Byron Market and Community Centre manager Paul Spooner describes Council staff ’s recent decision to reject the Byron Artisan and Beachside market. For the past three years the Artisan markets have been held at Railway Park in Byron Bay on Saturday nights over summer. The Beachside markets have also been a permanent calendar event, with Mr Spooner claiming they are the longest-running markets in the area. ‘[The Beachside markets] has been operating at various times since the early 1980s. ‘In fact this was the original Byron Market site. When the market grew in size it moved to the present site at Butler Street.’
Waiting on policy The market’s temporary licences and a yet-to-be-announced Council Market Policy, along with NSW state government approval for land use, appear to be the issue for staff. A recent letter from Council staff advised the market managers, ‘that Council is unable to issue a new temporary licence for the period October 1, 2011 to April 7, 2012.’ The letter continues, ‘All nontemporary licences will be issued by Council through a competitive tender or expression of interest process under the new Market Policy currently under development by Council.’ No suggestion by Council staff as to how the markets could operate was offered. Council’s executive manager of corporate management Mark Arnold told The Echo that as this is now the third year for artisan markets, a permanent licence needs to be approved. ‘NSW state legislation requires permanent licences on
Council-owned or -controlled land to undergo a competitive process such as an expression of interest or tender.’ Unfortunately, Mr Arnold noted, the current Markets within Byron Shire Policy does not provide for a competitive process to establish a market licence for permanent occupation of council-owned or -controlled land. ‘The Beachside Market is in the same situation. It is no longer temporary having applied for the same activity at the same location.’ A last-minute motion to allow the markets to continue by Cr Simon Richardson at last Thursday’s meeting was voted down; however, Cr Richardson told The Echo he will be putting the licence extension up to be discussed as a matter of urgency at Council’s next meeting on September 22. ‘The Saturday night market is a perfect blend of economic stimulus for stallholders, a creative outlet for musicians and a vibrant and colourful experience for locals and visitors,’ he said. ‘Importantly, it doesn’t take from CBD shop owners, as the the shops in competition with types and styles of merchandise sold at the artisan markets are closed as darkness falls on a Saturday night.’ When asked if well-established events such as the markets could be fast-tracked in future, Cr Richardson said, ‘This is certainly what I am trying to do now. ‘When finally enacted, the new markets policy will hopefully provide clarity. ‘As far as events, I will be organising a meeting with event organisers to shape what changes are needed, in order
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Story & Photo Eve Jeffery
On Sunday afternoon the winners of the 2011 Simple Pleasures Photo Competition were announced at the Brunswick Heads Bowling Club. The theme this year was ‘Happiness is…’ and the overall prize went to veteran competition winner Rod Thom with his photo entitled ‘Happiness is Beating The Incoming Tide’.
Ocean Shores teenager James Russell, pictured, won the the youth section with his photo ‘Happiness is Low Tide Fun’. The 16-year-old took his photo in spring 2010. It was the first photo of the day taken on an Olympus 810 ‘Tough’ and it was also his first entry into the competition. For his efforts James won $150 and a haircut.
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While market management and vendors wait until September 22 to see if tenure for markets can be approved, Mr Spooner says the bureaucratic process needs addressing. ‘At no time have council staff notified market managers that
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both these markets would not be able to continue this year, until this week. ‘The inability to grant licences to conduct artisan markets in Byron Bay is beyond belief. ‘With numerous complaints that Byron has lost its uniqueness and while the economy is in a massive downturn the Council has the ability to support local artisans by allowing them to trade at local markets. ‘This is good for the artisans, good for the town and good for the tourists. ‘It is time that Council staff remove the obstruction created and enable new licences to be issued. ‘People’s livelihoods are being jeopardised due to bureaucratic backflips, confusion and inactivity.’ The next Council meeting is September 22 from 9am.
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to then give staff something to work with; hopefully this will speed up the process which is not scheduled to start until next year.’ Mayor Jan Barham told The Echo that the issue is complex and that market management and vendors will have to wait for the next council meeting. ‘But there is support for the artisan markets,’ she said, ‘I originally moved to establish (them) and think it is a great support for local creatives – as is the beachfront market.’
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Local produce shines at Sample food festival Victoria Cosford
Happy with food and sunshine – Renae Denny, Julie Hardy and Karen Hirst at the Sample Festival in Bangalow on Sunday.
It was a triumph of a day. The inaugural Sample food festival, held at the Bangalow showgrounds, drew estimated crowds of up to 10,000 people of all ages happy to queue for tasting plates or group on the grass enjoying the live entertainment. Restaurant marquees, farmers market stalls and ‘lifestyle’ tents offering tarot readings or selling locally produced goods were strewn across the grounds blow-dried by the windy sunshine. There were cooking demonstrations, baby animals and a lesson on knife skills, but the main object of the event was eating, with food the star. Many of the marquees had exhausted their supplies of $5 and $10 tasting plates by midday, having served up an average of 400 dishes, 700 in the case of Bangalow’s Satiate which, under new owner/chefs Carl and Katrina Kanetani, has fast acquired a reputation for its desserts in particular. A tent of four prominent food personalities was the site
for the judging of best $5 and $10 tasting plates. And to cap off the event there was a gala dinner in the evening at the Byron at Byron resort where eight local chefs spirited up a magnificent four-course feast and extensive appetisers to about 130 happy punters. Mid-meal they were in addition treated to a moving round of short songs by the young female members of the Scarlett School choir, and before the evening ended the winners of the best tasting plates were announced. Top honours went to Fleurs restaurant in Ballina for its $10 plate and Satiate for its $5 plate. People’s Choice award went to The Boardwalk restaurant at the Ballina RSL. Organiser Remy Tancred told The Echo that it had been a wonderful day. ‘It surpassed my expectations,’ she said. ‘It was such a fantastic opportunity to showcase all the great farmers and producers and produce we are lucky to have in the region.’ Ms Tancred plans to make the food festival an annual event.
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Mullumbimby museum launches Mentors available for small business exhibitions, website and book The Golden Gurus program does not matter what industry A new website – www.mullumbimbymuseum.org.au – is up and running, along with a new book and two new exhibitions at the Mullumbimby museum. Peter Tsicalas’s book, Mullumbimby: Foundation Events, 1848 to 1908, chronicles the efforts of European settlement when townships and farms in the region were being established. The Snake Tales exhibition describes the snakes of the Brunswick Valley and the trade in live snakes and numerous snake-bite antidote makers of the area.
The Chocolate-Wheel Dunny was Australia’s first ‘alternative’ toilet and was known to generations of kids before the 1970s. Designed and manufactured in Australia, over 60,000 Hygieas were sold. The Museum’s exhibit is a 1946 Deluxe Model and is displayed along with a collection of original documents, which was kindly given to the museum by the Powerhouse museum. The museum is located on Stuart and Myocum Streets and is open Fridays from 11am to 3pm and market day from 9am to 12pm.
is offering small businesses the opportunity to work with a group of experienced business mentors. Paul Jameson, coordinator of the program says, ‘These are experienced business operators who are, in the main, retired or semi retired and who have been successful in their business.’ He says they want to put their skills to work to help improve our local economy. ‘We would expect these small businesses to have traded for at least twelve months and have a real potential for growth. It
they are involved in, but the operators must realise that the mentoring process will require them to look critically at their business and perhaps make significant changes that may involve extra work and some soul searching. ‘This is a fantastic opportunity and all of our research shows that, for a small business, having a mentor can double their chances of success.’ The service is free and prospective mentees (or mentors) can contact Paul on 0408 866 651 or email paul@ rdrescue.com.au.
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Marine Rescue’s top boss in town Photo & story Hans Lovejoy
Commissioner of Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW (MR NSW), Stacey Tannos, recently stopped by Brunswick Heads while on a north coast tour. With only eight weeks in the top job, it was an opportunity to meet the Brunswick volunteers and get up to date on how the local operation is run as well as explain future statewide plans. Simplifying and consolidating the IT systems is a priority, he says, which includes vessel ID and incident reporting. ‘Once the new IT is in place, we’ll be looking for sponsorship, which will be focused initially online.’ He added an intranet IT system is expected to be launched in a few weeks.
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From the discussion, however, it was clear that the facilities in Brunswick were behind that of other regional units. Regional director Peter Campton explained how three north coast shires compared, which are similar to Brunswick in membership size. Kingscliff in Tweed is the best equipped, he says, with training rooms above a large undercover area that houses two boats. ‘We’ve built everything we’ve got through fund-
Most of the running costs for the rescue boats come from MR NSW funding; however, local fundraising – such as the recent Mullum to Bruns paddle – helps with replacing radios, training, lease fees, electricity usage and computer costs. Despite a recent Byron Council grant of $5000, funding for Brunswick Marine rescue remains scarce. A document prepared by MR volunteer David Gilmore and sent to MP Don Page MR NSW commissioner Stacey Tannos with Brunswick Heads claims that, since 1998/99, unit commander Owen Danvers and deputy unit commander grants to the Better Boating Lazlo Szabo. Program (NSW Maritime) ing, and have just covered the Waiting on state gov from Tweed Council were $595,805 and Ballina Council verandah.’ Ballina also has Currently the unit is waiting $369,880. Byron Shire Council training rooms and a 8.6 meto hear whether they can be is yet to contribute. tre catamaran. ‘Currently a lift given use of land at the Brunis being installed in the lookout swick boat harbour from the tower at the bar.’ The Bruns bar is reputedly As for Brunswick, it’s a much state government. Ideally, new facilities would the third most dangerous in different situation – there are no facilities for training (in- be built to house the new boat, the state. cluding showers) and no head and provide an office space, Vessels need to be registered office. Currently the office is training rooms and shower/ and skippers need a NSW boat licence or equivalent. being run from the home of toilet amenities. The new site could also be Life jackets must be worn unit commander Owen Danpurpose built to transfer those when crossing the bar. vers . Deputy unit commander of injured from the rescue boat to It is strongly recommended to contact the radio tower the Brunswick unit Lazlo Sz- a waiting ambulance. MR volunteer David Gilmore before crossing the bar (both abo added a new boat shed is says the current area for transfer outward and inbound) . also required urgently. ‘A new 9.5 metre boat will re- has limited access and is unsuit- Boat courses and licences are run regularly – phone place the existing 7.1 metre boat able due to space constrictions. ‘There is nowhere at present 02 6685 0148 or email within the next 12 months, but the boat won’t fit in the current to land injured persons without brunswickmarinerescuensw. com.au. great difficulty,’ he says. shed,’ he says.
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The Byron Shire Echo September 13, 2011 5
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Alternative options will be sought for administering Byron Shireâ€™s library services after Byron Council voted in a confidential session to look at options rather than Lismore City Councilâ€™s request to amalgamate and control the regionâ€™s four libraries. Tweed Shire recently agreed, while Ballina and Byron voted to look at options afforded by the Library Amendment Act 2011. This includes the County Council model. In a passionate speech to the councillors in public access on Thursday, Jenny Coman from Friends of the Library pleaded that Council not adopt Lismoreâ€™s model, which she says will be a disaster for all the Shireâ€™s libraries. Speaking after Councilâ€™s decision not acqui-
esce to Lismoreâ€™s requests, she told The Echo, â€˜Iâ€™m really happy with what our Councilâ€™s doing; Ballina seem to have finally woken up and I believe thereâ€™ll be further lobbying of Tweed and Lismore.â€™
Asset concerns She added that the concern has been mainly with retaining Byronâ€™s assets. â€˜I think this (model) would be much more expensive and therefore lead inevitably to a decline in services,â€™ she said. In related news, Byron Bay Friends of the Library are celebrating their twentieth birthday at Bangalowâ€™s Heritage House from midday on Wednesday September 21. For more, email email@example.com, or contact Sam on 0400 758 621.
The spring equinox heralds this yearâ€™s IncREDible art show, where eight local artists with disabilities unite to exhibit their unique creative talents in the Studio RED art space. Pictured are Zion Stewart, Pam Cordingley, Liam Bruce,
Adam Heining, Mathew Godwin and Mathew Wiggins with some of their work. The show begins on Friday from 6.30pm at the studio in Tasman Way in the Arts and Industry Estate. For more inf phone Mathew on 0423 208 605. Photo Eve Jeffery
North coast roads trump hospitals in state budget Chris Dobney
Roads in NSW are the big local winners in the state budget, with hospitals coming a distant second. But rail lovers need not despair â€” a feasibility study has been funded for the re-commissioning of the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line.
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The NSW Liberal-National state government will win plaudits with its road funding priorities. A billion dollars has been earmarked in this yearâ€™s budget to improve the Pacific Highway alone, including almost $300 million on the north coast. Completion of the Banora Point upgrade gets $135 million, there is $90 million to start construction of the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale upgrade, and a further $32 million to complete the Ballina bypass. Another $40 million has been set aside for upgrading the stretch between Woolgoolga and Ballina. Roads minister Duncan Gay said $114 million would also be invested in specific regional
road safety initiatives. â€˜This is in addition to the huge amount weâ€™ll also be spending on road safety improvements while building and maintaining regional roads around NSW,â€™ Mr Gay said. This includes $2.8 million for the repainting of Wardell Bridge over the Richmond River. There is even $2 million available for a local integrated transport study that will include the possible rejuvenation of the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line with a potential link to the Queensland rail system. By comparison, funding for local hospitals seems meagre but the local health district says this is because two major projects are still at the planning stage. Out of $10 million promised over the course of the governmentâ€™s four-year term, $4 million is set aside this year for final planning work on Stage 3 of Lismore Base Hospital and early planning work on the Byron Shire central hospital at Ewingsdale. Chief Executive of Northern NSW Local Health District, Chris Crawford, said, â€˜this will allow for all of the planning
work that we could possibly do this yearâ€™. â€˜We are about half-way through planning for Lismore,â€™ he told The Echo. â€˜Then it has to be assessed and a decision made on whether to commit to building. As is to be expected, it has to go through a rigorous process with Treasury.â€™ He said that it would probably take eight or so months before planning for Stage 3 is fully finished but a submission for Commonwealth building funds would be lodged within
seven weeks. â€˜We are looking to the Commonwealth Hospital and Health Fund which has $475 million available for bidding for actual building funds. â€˜If the bid to the Commonwealth is successful it will certainly move the project forward. â€˜The Byron Shire hospital is at the beginning of its planning process and it will take at least 18 months to two years to have it shovel ready. We will do this in consultation with the community.â€™
Chamber of Commerce GM Byronâ€™s Chamber of Commerce, Byron United (BU), held their general meeting last Monday night at the Byron Golf Club. President Sevegne Newton told members that achievements during the past year have included the launch of the Byron Naturally campaign, which just won a silver at the North Coast Tourism Awards. She also added that Tourism Australia had just advised of funding for the Byron Naturally as part of the â€˜Thereâ€™s Nothing like Australiaâ€™ campaign, which
she says will mean wider coverage for the TV commercial. Additionally, Destination NSW representatives will be visiting Byron Bay next week to discuss future strategies for Byron Naturally. The board remains largely unchanged, with Sevegne Newton as president; both Ed Ahern and Paul Waters are vice presidents, Adrian Nelson is secretary and Sam Stewart is treasurer. Ben Kirkwood and Paul Prior have also joined BU.
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Local News Surfing’s rich history told by elders
Vollies for Schoolies
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With an expected 10,000 school leavers from all around Australia coming to Byron to celebrate the end of Year 12 in 10 weeks, the Byron Schoolies Safety Response is once again recruiting volunteers for the Schoolies HUB. Co-ordinator Nicqui Yazdi said, ‘We would really like to encourage those that have had experience with working with young people to come and give it a go. And also those that might have done first-aid training, although it is not a prerequisite.’ For more, phone Ms Yazdi on 0402 013 177 or email byronschooliessafetyresponse@ yahoo.com.au.
NSW planning system review to tour the state
Kicking off the Byron Bay Surf Festival on October 21 at the Stone and Wood Brewery is Bob McTavish (pictured), one of international surfing’s most influential thinkers and presenters. Along with a live shaping demonstration, he’ll be spinning yarns about the earliest days of surfing in Australia. Other activities for the weekend include a display of iconic objects, photographic images and groundbreaking board designs from Surf World Gold Coast museum. On Saturday
October 22, Tim Edwards, lecturer in Surf History and Culture at Southern Cross University, will present ‘Louts, Larrikins and Layabouts’ at the Byron Bay Community Centre. The festival’s focus, according to co-organiser Vanessa Thompson, will be on current surfing styles, art, music, film and lifestyle with an array of workshops, gatherings, social events, demonstrations and surf sessions. For more visit www.byronbaysurffestival.com.
Community forums will be held across NSW from next week as part of a comprehensive two-month consultation and listening tour for the planning system review. Former environment minister Tim Moore and former public works minister Ron Dyer will be holding the forums, and will be at the Ballina RSL on September 29 at 3 to 5pm and 6 to 7.30pm. Murwillumbah Services Club will host a meeting on September 30 from the same time: 3 to 5pm and 6 to 7.30pm. For more visit www.planningreview.nsw.gov.au.
Vince Devine’s sausages have only missed a first prize once in the last nine years. This year in the national Sausage King Competition, held annually by the Australian Meat Industry Council, he won two awards at the regional level, taking him through to the state finals in Sydney on October 15.
The Mullumbimby-based butcher won first prize in both the Traditional Australian category for his beef sausages and in the Gourmet/Open Class category for his Pork, Fetta and Italian Parsley Sausages. Mr Devine told The Echo that there are six different categories for the sausages. ‘We’re aiming to get into the national finals this year,’ he said. ‘I’m sending two of the
other fellas down, Kev and Scotty, because I went last year.’ The goal is to become National Sausage King. Judges determine the winner by both visual appearance, cooked and uncooked, and palatability – aroma, texture and flavour – of the sausages. One of the aims of the competition is to promote the increasingly endangered species of independent local butchers.
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