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Local News Writers Festival cancelled owing to COVID-19 The organisers of Byron Writers Festival have announced the 2021 event scheduled to run 6–8 August will be cancelled, owing to the developing COVID-19 situation in NSW. Festival Director, Edwina Johnson, said the decision comes with a heavy heart, and the ‘extremely difficult decision’ was in response to the developing COVID-19 situation in NSW, as well as border and travel restrictions. ‘Our primary and abiding concern is, as ever, the health of everyone involved in the Festival – presenters, attendees, volunteers, staff, and of course the safety of the wider Northern Rivers community. ‘We are devastated, and

we’re sure everyone associated with the Festival will also feel the disappointment and loss that comes with a second year of cancellation. We will continue to watch developments and consider all viable options for future programming, but for now, we believe that cancellation is the only responsible course of action.’ Ms Johnson says those with tickets to the event will automatically receive a refund within the next 14 days. ‘People who have purchased tickets to satellite events or festival workshops, are asked to be patient as organisers work through refund arrangements with event partners and venues’.

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Cr Basil Cameron announces mayoral tilt in Sept Independent councillor, Basil Cameron, has confirmed his candidacy for mayor at the upcoming September 4 Council elections. He said in a press release that he is Chair of Finance and Infrastructure Committees and a Rous County Councillor, and ‘Byron Shire’s longest serving councillor with five years experience as deputy mayor’. ‘I am standing for Mayor, offering new leadership as an experienced councillor and deputy mayor, who always has, and always will, put the community voice first. ‘Working directly with the community as a councillor is a great privilege. Together, we have delivered masterplanning and community facilities across the Shire, with more to come. ‘We need to do better. As mayor, I will expand

Photo supplied community engagement to help build a more resilient and sustainable future. ‘Infrastructure delivery remains Council’s greatest challenge in coming years, as transport, energy, waste and water systems are adapted to reduce emissions. ‘Council has also created a Community Land Trust, and adopted a suite of affordable housing policies that are ready to ramp up

on-ground projects. ‘And a major rethink is needed to tackle the emerging transport crisis, with our road system beyond capacity in places and rising concerns about safety on rural and neighbourhood roads.  ‘With so many challenges before us, it is time to put aside the ongoing factional feuds that have divided Council and diverted attention away from resident priorities for too long.  ‘I will bring fresh community first leadership to Council and encourage a respectful environment where all voices are listened to. The Youth Council and Business Roundtable will be reinstated and a new Creative Industries Roundtable established. ‘A focus will be on bringing people together so that we can move forward on

much needed projects, such as activating the rail corridor for all, and a faster rollout of safe connected bike and walking paths. ‘In consultations with the NSW Government, my voice will be your voice in advocacy for services such as public transport and returning a fairer share of state taxes for local infrastructure projects. ‘On planning, the message is one size does not fit all, and Council should be empowered to make the best decisions for our community. ‘Know who you are voting for. I am asking for your number 1 vote for mayor so that together we can build a sustainable path forward for our Shire’. Asked if he was announcing a ticket later, he replied, ‘I will be making further announcements’.

Health authorities remind of COVID-19 restrictions NSW Health authorities are reminding residents and visitors to continue to adhere to the current restrictions in regional NSW as Sydney continues in lockdown. Regional NSW restrictions

are: ‘no more than five visitors at any one time at your house; wear a mask when in non-residential indoor areas, or using public transport, hire vehicles, taxis and rideshare services; and remain seated

when consuming alcohol in an indoor area of nonresidential premises in NSW’. ‘Venues must adhere to capacity limits of one person per four square metres, or 25 people, whichever is greater.

Please continue to check-in using the QR codes when attending businesses or premises outside the home, and practice good hand hygiene by washing hands regularly or using hand sanitiser’.

Police seek legal clarity on mask signs in shops ▶ Continued from page 1 the lack of compliance was in relation to both staff and customers on the premises. He said police didn’t have the power to close businesses over non-compliance with public health orders, but that it was possible health authorities or Council workers had taken action. Police say they could fine business owners up to $10,000 for failing to comply with COVID-19 health directives, and Inspector Kehoe said local

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was legally obliged to provide proof, even to police. The inspector said the lack of clarity regarding mask enforcement was an issue for local officers, but that most buildings were privately owned and therefore nobody asked to leave for failing to wear a mask had the right to refuse the request. According to www.nsw. gov.au/covid-19/rules/facemask-rules, ‘Officers will only issue penalty notices if you clearly refuse to wear a mask

without a lawful reason’. ‘If you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you may wish to ask your registered health practitioner or disability care provider to issue a letter confirming this. ‘However, this is not a requirement under the Public Health Order. ‘In other circumstances, if you are eating or drinking, or there is an emergency, you will not be expected to continue wearing a mask’.

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officers continued to receive and investigate reports of breaches in the region. Inspector Kehoe said police were seeking clarification from State health authorities on whether or not signs displayed by some businesses in Mullumbimby stating ‘no mask, we don’t ask’ were considered legal. He said the onus was on property owners and business managers to enquire as to whether or not visitors had exemptions, but that nobody

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The Byron Shire Echo – Issue 36.06 – July 21, 2021  

Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire, on the Far North Coast of NSW, Australia.

The Byron Shire Echo – Issue 36.06 – July 21, 2021  

Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire, on the Far North Coast of NSW, Australia.

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