THE BYRON SHIRE ECHO
Nimbinâ€™s 16th MardiGrass
Advertising & news enquiries: Mullumbimby 02 6684 1777 Byron Bay 02 6685 5222 Fax 02 6684 1719 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Available early Tuesday at: http://www.echo.net.au VOLUME 22 #46 TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2008 22,700 copies every week
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Locals commemorate Anzac Day in poetry and memory
Top left: Though the main Mullumbimby Anzac Day address was delivered by Mullumbimby Bloke, Ray Essery, he then introduced Ocean Shores storyteller Dean Travaskis. Dean recited a poem dedicated to his grandfather Hec Hetherington after
he had retraced Hecâ€™s war time steps on the Kokoda Track. Called â€˜ The Power of Kokodaâ€™ Mr Travaskisâ€™ words moved the assembled crowd, as it obviously had the judges of Tamworthâ€™s Blackened Billy Bush Poetry competition
who awarded him ďŹ rst prize this year. Top right: Frank (Franny) Mills and John Maslen remember the friendships and the hardships of war after the Brunswick Heads dawn service. In July Mr Mills will travel to Canberra to
meet Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as part of the 60th anniversary of the Australian Armed Forces (then known as the CMF). Franny was the ďŹ rst volunteer from this region to sign up in 1948. Photos Jeff Dawson
Writersâ€™ centre funding under threat Jann Gilbert A review of Arts NSW Cultural Grants Program funding may have significant ramiďŹ cations for the Northern Rivers Writersâ€™ Centre (NRWC). In September 2007, NSW Minister for the Arts, Frank Sartor, commissioned an independent review of the program, although Byron Writersâ€™ Centre Director Jeni CafďŹ n and her counterpart at Lismore, Lois Randall, say they received no notiďŹ cation of the review. â€˜I actually found the review by accident,â€™ says Jeni. â€˜I was going to the Arts NSW website and I saw this hot news item, â€œArts NSW to strengthen cultural grants programâ€?, and I thought, great, more money in the pot!â€™
Unfortunately Arts NSWâ€™s deďŹ nition of strengthening the cultural grants program did not include more funding for regional writersâ€™ centres. On the contrary, one of the ďŹ ndings of the review states that â€˜consideration should be given to ceasing to fund the smaller NSW Writers Centres or devolving them to local government.â€™ The relevant recommendation is that â€˜funding for regional Writers Centres be reviewed and that better outcomes may be achieved by addressing the needs of regional writers online.â€™ More remote-control government from Macquarie Street. â€˜The only stated exemption to this is Varuna, which is the Blue Mountains writers centre,â€™ says Jeni. â€˜One of
the people commissioned by Frank Sartor to perform this review is Sandra Yates, who is named as Director of the Sydney Writers Festival, but itâ€™s not mentioned that sheâ€™s also on the Board of Varuna. I just think this is very wrong. Itâ€™s such a Sydney-centric review, as though culture stops at the Harbour Bridge. I thought weâ€™d moved beyond that but apparently now funding stops there too.â€™ Similarly consultation, regional interests, past performance and a host of other democratic rights stop there also. â€˜They havenâ€™t even spoken to their own regional body, Arts Northern Rivers,â€™ says Jeni. â€˜Thereâ€™s no analysis; itâ€™s all supposition, hearsay and opinion. Thereâ€™s actually no
deep analysis at all.â€™ In fact, Jeni believes the recommendations in the review directly contradict the NSW State Plan, which is supposedly about building audiences and cultural pathways, and supporting regional arts programs. The NRWC plays a valuable role in the community and one of the most puzzling elements of the review is, of all the funding cuts that might be ďŹ‚oated, why writersâ€™ centres? â€˜Thereâ€™s no mention of anything other than writersâ€™ centres,â€™ says Jeni. â€˜It just seems so bizarre and inaccurate. It mentions what a marvellous job the Australian Writersâ€™ Centre is doing with online services but nooneâ€™s ever heard of it. It doesnâ€™t exist.â€™
The current grant funding represents less than 10% of the Centreâ€™s total turnover but it is an essential component of its sustainability. Like other smaller arts bodies, the funds are used to pay staff wages and administration costs. And, as Jeni points out, the cuts in funding will also affect other regional arts bodies such as Screenworks. Arts NSW maintains that the review is just that, however, itâ€™s difďŹ cult to believe given that Sartor has endorsed the ďŹ ndings and writersâ€™ centres across NSW have been put on notice that 2008 is a â€˜transitionâ€™ year. Presumably this means a transition to no funding. The NRWC has created a submission and enlisted the support of local members
Don Page and Janelle SafďŹ n to plead the case for writersâ€™ centres. â€˜The problem is, we donâ€™t know whether itâ€™s already happened,â€™ says Jeni. â€˜We donâ€™t know whether weâ€™re going to have funding next year or not. As far as this Sydney-centric report is concerned, regional equals marginal.â€™ You can help the NRWC campaign by writing to the Director General of the Department of Arts Sport and Recreation, Ms Carol Mills, at email@example.com. au putting Ms Millsâ€™ name in the subject line. Your voice is essential to ensure continued funding of the Centre as a valuable, and hitherto healthy, expression of arts and culture in the Shire.
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Festivals gather for a cuppa and chat New $1 Sushi Tuesdays bu Bmm!puifs!ebzt!fwfsz! qjfdf!pg!opsj!%2/61+
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Posing, from left, are artist and comedian Mandy Nolan, Dee Tipping from FEHVA, and Byron Bay Writers Festival director Jeni CafďŹ n, not to mention Elvis the dog. The girls donned their pinnies and lippie to promote the FEHVA session sponsored by writers festival titled â€˜ Once Upon a Pictureâ€™, in which Ms CafďŹ n will have a cuppa and a chat on Saturday May 31 with artist and author Sally Swain. Sallyâ€™s book Great Housewives of Art sold thousands and became an international bestseller. Her other picture books include Great Housewives of Art Revisited, Oh My Goddess and Once Upon A Picture. Sally will talk about her own journey as an artist and the rollercoaster ride of a book achieving big international success. Sally has kindly offered up several limited edition prints of images from her Great Housewives of Art series for
the FEHVA art auction and sale â€“ you can see them in the www.fehva.com gallery. As a panelist in the FEHVA ďŹ nale â€˜The Struggle to Createâ€™, Sally will talk about nurturing the creative spirit through good times and bad. Ms Tipping also wanted to remind artists that if you
wanted to put down the feather duster, shelve the chainsaw and pick up the paintbrush for a day there are still spaces left for those wanting to paint Mandy Nolan or depict artist Ken Johnson who will be freshly returned from a trip to Syria. FEHVA early bird dis-
counts ďŹ nish on April 30, however artists and art lovers can just purchase single session tickets for $16.50/ students $12.50 if there are only a couple of sessions that are of interest, as well as one and two day passes. Tickets from Jetset Travel Byron Bay. Photo Jeff â€˜Pinny Fetishâ€™ Dawson
Suffolk residents urged to attend meeting Suffolk Park residents are urged to attend a public meeting on Thursday May 1 at 7pm at the Suffolk Park Community Hall. The meeting has been organised to inform the community about the LEP process and get community input about a number of items affecting Suffolk Park % #!$! % $ $! % %" ! ! Phone: 6621 2734
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residents. On the agenda so far are the LEP and community consultation; rezoning of 183 Broken Head Road; rezoning of South Byron Treatment Works; rezoning of Suffolk Park caravan park; Council elections; and rates. Councilâ€™s Director of Planning and Acting General Manager
Ray Darney has conďŹ rmed his attendance. Suffolk Park Progress Association President Bernie Petry believes that itâ€™s in the interests of all residents to attend the meeting. â€˜The future of our village is being decided right now so have your say before itâ€™s too late,â€™ says Bernie. â€˜The
recent saga of the Mullumbimby Woolworths development should be a lesson for all of us. We need to vigilant from the very start or we face a serious erosion of our quality of life in Suffolk Park.â€™ Enquiries to 6685 3565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council greenhouse action strategy changes go on exhibition Recently Byron Shire Council adopted a revision of its Greenhouse Action Strategy for public exhibition. The 2008 Greenhouse Action Strategy is designed to guide Council and the wider Byron Shire community in implementing practical actions to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions. Councilâ€™s Sustainability OfďŹ cer, Graeme Williams, said it was important to
review the original 2004 Greenhouse Action Strategy, as â€˜our whole understanding of climate change is moving at a rapid rate and Council needs to keep pace with all opportunities to reduce greenhouse emissionsâ€™. Byron Shire Mayor, Jan Barham said Council has already begun implementing actions contained in the 2008 Greenhouse Action Strategy.
â€˜Iâ€™m pleased to announce that Council is about to launch a Community Solar Hot Water Heating Campaign. The campaign will feature discounts worth hundreds of dollars for Byron Shire residents to switch from electric to greenhouse friendly, solar hot water heating systems â€“ making reducing our environmental impact more affordable than ever,â€™ she said.
For more information on the campaign, visit www. byron.nsw.gov.au/solar. The 2008 Greenhouse Action Strategy can be viewed on Councilâ€™s website at www.byron.nsw.gov.au/ PublicExhibition or at any library in the Shire. Submissions close Thursday May 22. For more information, contact Graeme Williams on 6626 7305.
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Byron Shire Echo April 29, 2008 3
Local News Gordon Syron painting supports fatherhood
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Scott Longden and Colin George with the painting Gordon Syron has donated to the Fatherhood Festival. Photo Jeff Dawson
Paintings are the new investorâ€™s choice, Aboriginal paintings are the most sought after, and Gordon Syron is a foremost contemporary Aboriginal painter. His most famous painting, Judgement by his peers, is valued in excess of $1 million. However, Echo readers have the opportunity to bid online (info@father-
HOODCOMAU OR BY PHONE FOR THE HUGE NEW WORK METRES wide) pictured above. Proceeds will go to furthering the work of the Fatherhood project whose community progras include Expectant and New Dads, The Fatherhood Festival, Dads and Kids Play groups and activities which engage fathers in their childrenâ€™s lives.
Organiser Colin George says, â€˜The research is clear â€“ actively engaged fathers means less child abuse and better social, academic and emotional outcomes.â€™ The Fatherhood Project is interested in hearing from those who wish to volunteer their organisational expertise. 0HONE FOR MORE DETAILS
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Byron Shire Council has voted to join other local councils across the state in calling for a Parliamentary Inquiry into the NSW State governmentâ€™s â€˜pro-developerâ€™ laws. Mayor Jan Barham said the draft planning changes will have serious implications for the community. â€˜The Stateâ€™s pro-developer laws are taking control away from local communities, which is why weâ€™re calling for a freeze on the implementation of the changes as well as a Parliamentary Inquiry,â€™ Cr Barham said in a press release on Monday. â€˜These laws will not only add more layers of red tape and cost ratepayers millions of dollars to implement, but they will also impact on councilsâ€™ ability to collect contributions from developers to provide crucial services. â€˜As a result, rates and
pro-development laws.â€™ Councilâ€™s acting general manager and planning director Ray Darney said that while Council agreed with a philosophy to improve the planning system, all the Ministerâ€™s proposals do is make it more complex, while at the same time taking away citizensâ€™ rights. Mr Darney said that primarily the system had become too complex by successive amendments over the past 15 years to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, which was gazetted in 1979. â€˜The Department of Planning over the years had caused simple legislation to become too complex, to the stage that most citizens found they needed support from planning consultants to assist them through the process of making an application,â€™ Mr Darney said.
Some of the major concerns that Council has with the proposals include: s THE LOSS OF RIGHTS OF CITIzens to object to many developments including dwellings erected upon adjacent lands which might affect views, privacy or sunlight; s THE INCREASED POWERS being granted to private certiďŹ ers; s THE PROPOSAL THAT -R Sartor or other authorities can make local environmental plans in any shire within the state; and s LOSS OF 3ECTION CONTRIbutions from developers to enable councils to upgrade facilities due to growth. Mr Darney said that while Council had submitted an urgent response to the Ministerâ€™s proposals, he had no high hopes that submissions made by local government would hold much weight with the Minister. â– Comment, Page 10
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Council wants inquiry into â€˜pro-developerâ€™ laws costs such as parking may need to increase so communities can still have essential services such as libraries and playgrounds. â€˜Byron councillors have voiced concern that these laws will mean that private companies will have the power to approve residential development applications and oppose these changes create a situation where the first time our residents know that their neighbour is undertaking a major renovation is not when the bulldozer arrives next door. â€˜The people of NSW deserve the right to have a say over local developments and these laws are stripping away those rights. I encourage all residents to check the information available on Councilâ€™s website [www. byron.nsw.gov.au] and write to the Premier and express opposition to the
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Whale’s tale in visual petition
New song, dance and music program at Byron YAC A new, free, music and dance program for autumn/ winter music is being launched for all young people 12-25 at the ByronYouth Activity Centre. TheYAC program, funded by Byron Shire Council, includes MC workshops from MC Ms Exotic, and hip-hop dance workshops from the North Coast Hip Hop School’s Dani and her crew, an extension of the DJ workshops from DJ Jackie Onassid. On Wednesdays 5pm7pm, BYS’s mentoring has begun the 2008 incarnation of the Riff music program the ‘Riff Jam Sessions’. Facilitated by local musician Nick Edin, the jam sessions are an opportunity for musicians aged 13- 24 to meet weekly to hang out and play music together – bring your own instruments and ideas, singers are also welcome. For more information on the Riff program contact Rosalie on 6685 7777 ext 4 and for all other inquiries contact Belle on 6685 5775. Don’t be shy, get involved, have a go and make the most of these fantastic free opportunities.
Towards the end of last year the locally based NGO, Surfers for Cetaceans (S4C), launched a petition with a difference called visualpetition.com. Since its inception, almost 5000 people from all around the world have uploaded a ‘petition photo’ to the site of themselves holding up an image of a whale or dolphin. The Visual Petition has received photos from people in all walks of life – young surfers on a beach in Portugal, 16 cops in a police department in California, families from the Czech Republic and students in China, as well as the likes of Jack Johnson, Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Michael Franti, Darryl Hannah, Ben Harper, Danny Wills, Captain Paul Watson and Dave Rastovich. Now S4C plans to present the Visual Petition on a 12 metre banner at the IWC60 meeting in Santiago in Chile in late June.
Leading up to this event, Dave Rastovich, local artist Howie Cooke and the S4C crew will travel up and down the Chilean coast, meeting with local surfers, school kids, artists, fishermen and marine scientists to exchange ideas on marine conservation and cetacean protection. Through these meetings S4C will also promote the Humpback Icon project along the Chile coastal community. Speciﬁc painting, mural and sculpture projects will take place (and in some places are already under way) in a cultural exchange celebrating our connection with the ocean and marine mammals. Surfers for Cetaceans invites everyone to visit surfersforcetaceans.com and add their photo to visualpetition.com and welcomes any sponsorship and support to enable S4C to get to Chile in support of whales and dolphins.
Business support groups merge Recently two local not for proﬁt organisations, BETC and TETC, merged to form NORTEC (Northern Rivers Training and Employment Centre). NORTEC now has ofﬁces throughout the region from which they run a variety of programs connected to the Job Network and business incubators in Mullumbimby, Byron Bay, Ballina and soon in Lismore. Paul Jameson, Business Incubator Manager for NORTEC, said ‘We believe
that there are great opportunities for our local businesses in the areas of clean energy and environmental technologies and we certainly have a lot of enthusiasm, expertise and ideas. ‘Networking on an international level is really important in these cutting edge industries and we are now forming a global network of like minded Business Incubators: Gabiceet, The Global Alliance of Business Incubators in Clean Energy and Environmental Technolo-
gies. With members from around the world including in North America, India, China and Europe our focus will be on sharing information and technology to identify opportunities that we can exploit at the local level.’ Paul Jameson says he is always interested to talk to early stage businesses that may be suitable for the NORTEC Business Incubators. He can be contacted on 0408 866 651 or email@example.com.
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Training day for wildlife carers People who are interested in the care and conservation of local wildlife are encouraged to attend an upcoming training day being organised by Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers. On average Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers rescue 1,500 native animals a year and respond to 2,500 calls for advice and information. Many of the animals rescued are victims of increasing development and loss of habitat. â€˜Although development continues in the Northern Rivers, there are simple things everyone can do to ensure the survival of our native animals,â€™ says spokesperson Cheryl Cochran. â€˜That is what our upcoming training day is all about â€“ how we can live in harmony with local wildlife. We also explain the hands-on role Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers has in achieving that.â€™ Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers is a local, independ-
Christopher the koala in rehab with the wildlife carers.
ent network of trained volunteers who are licensed to rescue, rehabilitate and release native wildlife. Established in 1992 the Northern
Rivers Wildlife Carers is licensed to care for native animals across one of the largest areas in the state: from Ocean Shores in the
north to New Italy in the south, from Byron Bay in the east to Tabulam in the west. Local Ballina carer Angela Parr says sheâ€™s been bringing home injured wildlife since she was a child. â€˜I remember being out riding and ďŹ nding an injured bird. I tucked it inside my shirt and rode home. Sadly, back then there were no wildlife rescue organisations to consult, and the bird died. â€˜How different today. Through training with the Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers I have successfully released many creatures back into the wild. The most unusual was a large male echidna which had become firmly wedged in the sump pit at the Ballina bus depot.â€™ The training day will be held on Saturday May 3 at McLeans Ridge Hall, 9am4pm, and costs $20, which includes a yearâ€™s membership. To book or for further information please ring Jo after 9am on 6624 7778.
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What influences our children the most? What has more influence over our children: Paris Hilton, The Simpsons, Facebook, mobile phones, trendy brands, sexy media messages... or you? That is one of the questions that will be explored by Associate Professor Karen Brooks at a public lecture at Southern Cross Universityâ€™s Lismore campus on April 30. Professor Brooks, pictured, who took up an appointment in the media department in SCUâ€™s School of Arts and Social Sciences at the start of the year, has recently released a book Consuming Innocence: Popular Culture and Our Children. In the book, she explores the complex relationship that tots, tweens and teens, never mind adults, have with popular culture. She considers the roles popular culture and, more importantly, parents, play in creating childrenâ€™s ideas of themselves and the world they live in. Her book questions the involvement of corporations that target kids and promote sexuality, and the messages and values the other media surrounding them are imparting. Professor Brooks said the recent cases of cyber and real world bullying, where kids, desperate to become â€˜cewebritiesâ€™ (a cross between celebrities and the web), upload footage of themselves beating another young person or use their mobile phones to film fights and
sexual exploits, had parents and teachers reeling. â€˜We live in a world where we assume we have no control over the media, popular culture or the technologies that our kids are readily accessing and seem to be born using, but this isnâ€™t true,â€™ Professor Brooks said. â€˜My talk will discuss the changes in society brought about through digital technology and popular culture and our kidsâ€™ consumption of these things and examine the impact theyâ€™re all having on young people, families and communities and what we, as adults, can do about this.â€™ Professor Brooks has a national and international reputation in the area of popular culture and is a regular commentator in the media. The public lecture will be held at the Whitebrook Theatre, Southern Cross University Lismore campus at 7pm. For information contact Wendy Broome on 6620 3125.
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