Letters ▶ Continued from page 13 a banana’ and his witty observation that ‘the warrior two pose was the worst thing to happen to surfing,’ he had as much fun with words and imagery as he did the water. But the one expression he valued and was his mantra, that he knew how to say in a variety of different languages and wanted to know if we could teach it to him in another language, was ‘look at the trees.’ To ‘look at the trees’ meant to look up from your board, and, on a literal level there were trees on the shoreline, but it was more than that. It meant face the world assertively (a word he told me to apply to my surf moves) because it was by ‘looking at the trees’ that you would find balance. If you didn’t look up, you were sure to plunge into the water, and he was right. I think that to ‘look at the trees’ is a wonderful way to capture my first (of many) visits to Byron Bay.
For North Coast news online visit Your community reminded me that balance comes with confidence, with holding your head high, and to always strive to ‘look at the trees’ so that you can ride any wave, find your peace, and see all the things this wonderful world has to offer. Rachael Ward Bermuda
Sewer rates Comments by utility manager Cameron Clark (Echo, July 31, p4) indicates lower ratepayer fees brought about by lower licence administration fees by the EPA owing to ‘the low nutrient loading of pollutants at council’s sewerage treatment plants (STPs) means lower ratepayer fees, say staff’. This is connected with licence charges by the EPA. These charges are quite small so the saving passed on will be minuscule. But good on the sewer operators for a job well done. I hope this report showing the STPs are performing so
well will cause the council to rethink the proposed closure of Ocean Shores sewerage treatment plant by 2027. Byron Council adopted a reuse policy where effluent from STPs would be available for reuse, but this hasn’t been pursued with any vigour. The northern part of the Shire has never been given the opportunity to have access to reuse, thus removing the impact on potable water. With the closure of Ocean Shores STP this potential access to reuse for the north of the Shire will likely disappear. Director of infrastructure Philip Holloway or general manager Mark Arnold, as you’ve halved the outdoor staff numbers and replaced them with people from labour-hire organisations, the methodology seems to be labor hire staff are more cost-effective. If this is the case why is the same methodology not applied to salaried staff positions, which are all employed
as permanent positions and number close to three hundred? Alan Dickens Brunswick Heads
Atomic madness The atomic power push have become active again. Like the climate-change deniers the atomic-power pushers just keep coming back, no matter how often they are smacked down by good sense. The facts once again: Firstly atomic power is not carbon neutral. It produces enormous quantities of carbon in the production and construction of the power plant and its ongoing operation continues to produce carbon for the length of the limited life of the plant. Secondly it produces relatively large amounts of extremely toxic materials that cannot be safely stored. To the toxic waste product outputs must be added the disposables used in the power plant: gloves, overshoes, protective garments,
tools etc are all carriers of nuclear contamination; all must be stored safely. Thirdly the power plant itself is only a machine and will eventually have to be decommissioned and made safe for future generations. Engineers and scientists will need to be employed for hundreds of years to make sure that deadly contamination is contained. They will need to be paid by someone (probably you the taxpayer and your children) until the waste and the decommissioned equipment cease to be a danger. This time frame runs into thousands of years. A very big wages bill that I can’t see the owners of the power plants paying. Fourthly the waste materials and contaminated items make ideal weapons for terrorists or even gangster elements to use as a basis for blackmail and other forms of extortion. The contaminated items will need to be guarded carefully for, once again, thousands of
years. You can bet that the companies making money from energy production will not be paying the bill for a thousand years of security. Once again it is you the taxpayer and your children who will foot the bill. Fifthly there is a whole raft of legal, technical, moral and ethical problems that will surround the plants. Most of these have not been solved and are not capable of solution. Sixthly the plants have shown a definite capacity to pollute the environment, ranging from relatively small leakages to the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima disasters. We are expected to accept the technocrats’ assurances that modern plants are safe. Unfortunately their record does support this. Quite obviously the atomic power plants are not an economic proposition. Companies can only make a profit if they grab their shortterm profits and shift their
The weather was kind to the story creators, idea makers and lovers of books from near and far who came together at the Byron Writers Festival for an entertaining and thought-provoking program on the weekend. 1. Gabrielle Chan, Paul Bongiorno, Helen Pitt and Maddison Connaughton on the ethics of journalism. 2. Bruce Pascoe. 3. Tim Costello. 4. Kerry O’Brien. 5. SL Lim. 6. Morris Gleitzman entertains the youngsters at the Kids Big Day Out. 7. Funny writers Mandy Nolan, Hung Le and Mark Swivel. 8. Artistic touches and natural beauty made for a delightful backdrop to all that talking and thinking. Photos by Jeff ‘Life is a Picture Book’ Dawson
18 The Byron Shire Echo ƖīƖƆƐǮǽǩǧǨǰ
North Coast news daily in Echonetdaily www.echo.net.au
Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire in north eastern NSW, Australia.