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Letters

Council’s approach to climate change In response to Mr Pugh’s opinion piece on March 17, Byron Shire Council would like to clarify a few points for the community. The issue of climate change and the resulting sea level rise is a hotly discussed topic in the public and scientific communities and is taken seriously at Byron Shire Council. While there are a multitude of sea level figures being discussed throughout the media, Council’s flood parameters pertaining to climate change are based on data supplied by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and CSIRO – the peak bodies for the provision of data relating to climate change. Council has adopted to review the parameters presented by the IPCC and CSIRO as

they become available and update future planning scenarios as appropriate. Byron Shire Council staff and the Belongil Creek Floodplain Risk Management Advisory Committee recently completed a climate change flood analysis for Belongil Creek. The study detailed two planning scenarios and it was presented to Council in April 2008. The two planning scenarios, ‘Belongil Large Development Flood Planning Level’ and ‘Belongil Minimum Small Development Flood Planning Level’ were adopted by Council as an interim measure until the final flood study is reported to Council in May 2009. Byron Shire currently has a policy of planned retreat for development in the coastal areas which is guided by Part J

of Byron Shire Development Control Plan (DCP) 2002. Council is unable to translate Part J of Byron Shire DCP into the new shirewide Local Environmental Plan (LEP) as the NSW Standard Template LEP is restrictive in this regard. However Byron Shire is not planning to ‘decimate the 20 year old policy of planned retreat’ and will include any provisions that it is unable to include in the new LEP within the new shirewide DCP currently being prepared. It is anticipated both the new Byron Shire draft LEP and DCP will be publicly exhibited for comment later in 2009. In addition, Council recently resolved to write to the NSW Premier expressing their concern that the recently released Draft Sea

Level Rise Policy Statement does not include regulatory and statutory requirements for building developments to comply with stated sea level rise benchmarks. Council has also recommended to the NSW Department of Planning that the identified benchmarks should become a statutory requirement for incorporation in the NSW Template LEP. Council will continue to work with the NSW state government to include better provisions for coastal areas in the NSW Standard Template LEP that will better support Council’s planned retreat policy and the protection of coastal values.

Disappearing trees

have become a problem over recent years, then you ain’t seen nothing yet! How about the extra 1,000 plus a day traffic movements that there will be along Left Bank Road, past the High School and through the centre of town that the full development will eventually generate? By releasing the land in stages the developers not only get to maximise the price on their land released, but may also avoid the scrutiny that the overall impact that such a large development may have, with planning authorities being forced to take the myopic view of looking at each separate development application on an individual and piecemeal basis. As a community we need to recognise the full impact that such a development will have on our town. Are our local and state planners ensuring that there will be a third more school places for the possible 500 or more extra children that the development will bring? Has the North Coast Area Health Service planned and budgeted for the extra doctors and nurses that will be needed at our local hospital? It is not only the Woolworths development that threatens to undermine our quality of life and the small town, community feel of Mullumbimby. If the developers get their way Woolworths for one will be happy. Then again they probably know a lot more about where this town is headed then most of us do!

tives on the unfolding global financial crisis. I issued an invitation to Echo readers to join a reading/discussion group in Byron – three people responded. Instead some Echo letters naively admonish readers in simple, vague, abstract terms of the causes of this crisis, and how humanity can live ‘harmoniously’ by correcting/ changing the ills of capitalism with contradictory utopian notions. It seems the solutions are simple enough – stop being ‘greedy’, or redefine it, reinvent a new age paradigm of living based on ‘corporate entrepreneurial business lines’ – ironically the very same reasons why the capitalist system is in crisis. Obviously their values, ideas and aspirations are in another parallel universe to mainstream capitalist society. Nowhere is there any attempt to critique the realpolitik of capitalism. This crisis is the biggest since the 1929 Great Depression, the end of capitalism’s longest economic ‘boom’, with working people and the poor now experiencing the unravelling economic and social consequences ‘bust’ in the capitalist system cycle – rising un (under) employment, increasing poverty, collapsing markets and bankruptcies, contracting consumer spending and a dramatic decline in global productivity. Is this ‘inevitable’, or do we take the time in trying to better understand why in the 21st century working people and the poor continue to bear the brunt of these crises, or is it just too hard, in our self interested complacency?

Green revolution

Council recently issued permission for 26 trees at one site and six more at another, 30 in all at Ocean Shores, to be removed. Every time I look at the determined certificates issued there are trees being removed at a rapid rate at Ocean Shores. Soon there won’t be a native tree to be seen, only exotics. If Byron Shire Council is an environmental council, then it doesn’t appear that is the case, unless this is all going under the radar of the elected councillors and Council staff have taken it into their hands and heads to issue these tree removals and for what purpose? Paul Brecht

Mullumbimby

Tallowood plans So the advertising is now out for the proposed Tallowood Ridge. Although only 31 blocks are currently being advertised, the local community needs to be aware that this is the just the begining of a gigantic new development. It will eventually comprise 250 dwellings and fill in a large area of beautiful greenfield space between Left Bank and Main Arm Roads. Many of us living nearby have already had to experience the sight of distressed black cockatoos flying around lost, a few weeks ago, when the land clearing began and their habitat was destroyed. The entire development will singlehandedly increase the size of Mullumbimby town by one third. I really wonder if due consideration has been given to the effect on the quality of life this will have for those of those who currently live here in Mullumbimby. If you think that traffic congestion and parking

Tony Heath

Mullumbimby

Understand the crisis Amid all the global economic turmoil, it appears few are interested enough to take seriously, by giving their perspec-

Boyd Kellner

Newrybar

Letters to the Editor Fax: 6684 1719 Email: editor@echo.net.au Deadline: Noon, Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut; letters already published in other papers will not be considered; pseudonyms not acceptable. Please include your full name, address and phone number.

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The Byron Council is to be commended for making more land available for community gardening, this time outside its office as a demonstration plot. It is a pointer in the right direction for enhanced community health and stability, especially in the context of environmental and ecomomic crises. Russia has gone from a red revolution to a green one after Putin made land available free. It now produces over 80% of its vegetables and 80% of its fruit from private family plots (ringingcedars.com), providing many with a living or partial income. Typically one hectare plots are carved out of unproductive former collective farms and quickly turned into very productive plots by copying nature. They combine native trees and shrubs with food producers, closely planted continued overleaf

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ANNA WEATHRUP The Byron Shire Echo April 7, 2009 11

Byron Shire Echo – Issue 23.43 – 07/04/2009  

Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire in northern NSW, Australia.

Byron Shire Echo – Issue 23.43 – 07/04/2009  

Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire in northern NSW, Australia.