Blog 23


Calling all R’s.

Recently, I was lucky enough to find myself in a circle with some inspiring and extraordinary change makers from both Australia and the US.  We were brought together to share ways we could see how our society could make the transition to the next economy-one based on fairness, empathy and sustainability.

One person from Oakland, California outlined that to make any transition and to best manage the changes currently facing us, we needed to honour and invoke the 4 R’s- the Resistors, Reformers, Re-creators and Re-imaginers. Each played a role, and each needed to be active. The Resistor seeks to fight against the change we don’t want; the Reformer seeks to work within the current system to change it; the Re-imaginers seek to conceive of new systems that can serve us, and; the Re-creators seek to build new systems and new ways to replace the current one.

Each has its role, but importantly, none must dominate too much. When asked in the circle how this fits within and can be seen within the Byron context, I outlined that in our case, we do the easier two: Resist and Reimagine incredibly well, but are in need of more support for the harder: Reform and Recreate.

Resisting against what we don’t want is a time honoured tradition in the Shire and has ensured we have maintained an integrity and wholeness that other places long for. We should always honour our resistance successes. However, outlining the problem does not and cannot actually create anything or provide a solution. Likewise, here in Byron we love reimagining our future, and we all know of the wonderful conversations we’ve shared about how society could and should be. However, this too, does not and cannot actually make anything or get us to where we need to go.

The two ‘doing’ aspects-reform and recreate-actually take us from thought and idea, into action and change. For me, what our community could benefit from is more microphones in front of reformers and recreators, and more space and support given to these two aspects of transition.  If our community focuses on solutions and actions, we have the reformers and re-creators to take us on the journey. They can be aided by resistors highlighting and alerting us to the unwanted pitfalls, with our party shone bright by the re-imaginers. Then, we can truely be that exemplar community who can show others how to manage change and to transition to a sustainable society.

We all generally have one or two dominant R’s and exercise these as default responses when faced with responding to changes in our own lives, and so too, does our community. Our challenge as individuals and as a community, is to balance all 4R’s, and while acknowledging our challenges, set ourselves the task to create our solutions.


 Holiday Let Challenges Grow

Now we delve into the details to seek wins

Like the guy in the pic-I usually try and make sure my placard waving and angry protest days stay in my past, but ‘geez’, the State Government’s recent acceptance and provision for the investment model that takes a house that is a home for locals and transforms it into an investment house used by visitors stirs plenty of emotions.

There was nothing especially unexpected in the government’s moves, and now, we need to  push for solutions and to try to do whatever we can within the ground rules set to minimise the growth of holidays lets and to free up houses to once again, become homes. I have already written to the Minister, seeking a meeting and we will still look for big picture opportunities to push back, but we will also focus on small wins that may have big effects, like in the fees we may charge, DA conditions enforced and other measures.
Stay tuned as we roll these out.



Car Sharing Revs Up

New Solutions 2 Old Problems

Car sharing should soon be coming to Byron. At the moment, Council has an Expression of Interest (EOI) process underway for car share companies to start a pilot program here.

Car sharing can be a great option for people who need a car (or a second or third car) on occasions, just a few times a week or sporadically. For every car share vehicle used, 10 vehicles are taken off the road,  assisting Council in it’s aim to reduce emissions. Oh, and in keeping with my initial spiel- it is an example of working on solutions as we transition towards a sustainable traffic, emissions and transport future.

Skatepark Set to Soar

Momentum Grows

A skatepark in Byron Bay is in our sights-and we are rolling towards what looks to become an amazing space. Within the Sandhills area surrounded by the library and YAC, it is envisaged to be part of a wider community focus area.

Our vision includes the construction of an all abilities, regional-size skatepark. The precinct will also include a playground with equipment for all abilities, wetlands boardwalk, BBQs, toilets and picnic areas.

Imagine, walking from the Rec grounds, on a new board walk and via a wetland pond, and arriving at an amazing  park to skate and hang. We are always looking for more help to bring it to life-get in touch and join the action team.

Fix More-A Capital Idea!

A Budget Buffet for Boffins

Of $130M, $50.9M is proposed for capital works, including:

$18.4M on road reconstruction

$4.2M on open spaces & recreation

$200,000 gravel re-sheet program

$200,000 heavy patching program

$5.5M bridge replacement programI$2.1M upgrade to Railway Park

$6.97M for water & sewer

Expansion to existing solar farms

Updates to bike and pedestrian & access mobility plans

Public art strategy

“Byron model” for deliberative democracy

Place and precinct plans

It’s not too late to make a submission or take our survey here.


Water Wise Lush Lawns

Great green win for parks

Soon, Council will going underground. We will be installing underground irrigation across Apex, Dening and Railway Parks and Byron Rec Grounds and the Cav. The 5 schemes will use approx. 465,660 litres of recycled water each day!

An additional benefit for the parks is that this will remove the need for manual watering- keeping the turf nice and loved even in peak and dry periods. This equals less costs for labour and materials and no more fencing off areas for re-turfing. Some of the best environmental outcomes can’t be seen-but our feet will feel them!

Bruns River to Flow FreeOnce Again

Best River Win in 100 years?

We recently secured a grant to match our funds to open up 7km of upstream habitat and allow 27.4km of fish passage. This will benefit native fish species including the iconic Australian Bass, which live in the upper freshwater reaches of the river and migrate to the lower Brunswick Estuary for breeding. Currently, they can only migrate to the upper reaches of the Brunswick River for around ten days every year when high rainfall drowns out the crossings allowing fish to swim up and over them.

These grants will ensure that native fish will have access to 90 per cent of the river for 100 per cent of the year- a biodiversity bonanza for the Brunswick River. It is one of the proudest achievements I have been a part of in my 10 years on Council.

Bus Interchange Win

Super Outcome for Byron

Remember when, in my last edition,  I outlined that some staff and I made a last minute dash down to Sydney to get in front of the Roads Minister and Transport NSW boffins to ensure the bus interchange goes where we want it?

Well, not only did we get a commitment they would locate it out of the rail corridor and near the water tower whilst protecting the tower itself , we’ve seen the designs that achieve it.

Sit, Chill, Watch…….Get Inspired

This time lapse video shows the creation of a new bridge to replace the old Durrumbul Road causeway over three months and including a period of heavy rain.

Click on this video, and you will join nearly 7000 others who have watched this really short and cool inside look at how bridges are made. Hard hats not required when watching.


Where and When?

Each edition of the bulletin provides a test for even the most old school of locals.  Big Up’s to those who guess correctly!

Scroll to the bottom for the answer…


Where in the Shire?

Each edition of the bulletin will test even the most observant.  Big Up’s to those who guess where this pic was taken!

Scroll to the bottom for the answer….


Let The Info Flood In

Council is working on the North Byron Shire Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan. If you live in the northern part of the Byron Shire and have seen floods over the years, please share your on the ground knowledge and complete a survey that will provide important local flood information and/or your thoughts on various mitigation options.

Click to go to the survey

Say Yes to a Skate park

Have your say on Council’s proposal to transform the existing, under-utilised Sandhills Estate in Byron Bay into a revitalised space for community connection and recreation.  Council’s vision is for the space to become a multi-generational precinct featuring a skatepark, playground with equipment for all abilities, wetlands boardwalk, BBQs, toilets and picnic areas.

Click to go to the survey

Words Change Worlds



Open Heart/ Big Spirit

Wow all know and love Santos for its organic produce and products, well, now there’s even more to love-the Santos Organics Staff Charity Fund.  The team are given the option to donate 1% of their wage to the fund which Santos Organics matches dollar-for-dollar. At the end of the fundraising period, those of the team who donate to the fund vote on who should be the recipient of these funds.

Just recently, over $40,000 was donated to: Byron Youth Theatre, Byron Hinterland Seed Savers, Byron Bay Homeless Alliance, Future Feeders, Australian Rainforest Foundation and Plastic Free Byron.

Santos is now a fully registered not-for-profit organisation with a purpose to enhance the natural environment.


Byron Bird Buddies

The name says it all

pastedGraphic.pngByron Bird Buddies (BBB) is a green jewel of the shire. Involved with avifauna monitoring, conservation and education in the Northern Rivers since 2004,  Byron Bird Buddies conducts a number of monthly monitoring and education activities with the aim of improving the conservation and knowledge of birds within our Shire.

BBB  members conduct regular shorebird counts at five different locations guided by the Birdlife Shorebird 2020 project. The locations are: Belongil Estuary, Byron Wetlands, the north side of the Brunswick River known as Marshalls Creek, the southside of the river known as the Saltmarsh and at Vallances Road.


A calendar of events for the next six months can be found if you click on the image above.

click on images for more info


Stay in Touch

Read previous bulletins
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on Instagram

Where and When?
 Mac’s-now Byron General Store, 1940’s
Where in the Shire?  CUBE, the smallest gallery in the southern hemisphere, located in the foyer of the Byron Shire offices in Mullumbimby-work by Jen Grainger

Share this newsletter with friends so they can subscribe here
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s