Crimes against nature
JAMES Hansen, the head of NASA, is quoted as saying that "CEOs of fossil-energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of the long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature".
I agree. Make the fat cats responsible for their actions and their unsustainable practices.
In Venice they use the garbage from all their tourists and the locals to create the energy to run their city. This CSG rape and pillage of the land and people's properties is terrifying because it shows that the big guys are totally crazy and think they can get away with it.
If ever there was a time for people to come together to fight, this is it.
Threat to fish stocks
THE letter by Ken Thurlow (BSN, January 24) with regards to the Tallow Creek fish kill should be seen for what it is: a political attack on marine parks motivated by anger at not having unrestricted access to all fishing grounds.
The assertion that marine parks "don't protect any marine organism or ecosystem from the real threats" is simply untrue and is refuted by a large and growing body of scientific evidence from around the world. The single largest threat to fish stocks is unregulated fishing, especially from recreational fishers.
Marine parks are an effective mechanism to protect marine ecosystems and diversity, with obvious benefits flowing on to fishers. In choosing to ignore this, Ken reveals his true motivation, which can be summed up very nicely by a bumper sticker popular among fishers in northwest WA: "Fish for the freezer, not the future."
Ken's implication that the Marine Parks Authority was in some way responsible for the fish kill is libellous scaremongering.
There are plenty of examples of forced entrance openings resulting in fish kills (including in Belongil Creek), which highlight the very complex nature of fish kills in our coastal estuaries, creeks and lagoons. Fish kills are naturally occurring phenomena that are made worse by human activities in the catchment and by entrance management.
Far from being some sort of Labor/Green conspiracy, marine parks are the result of years of hard work by teams of professionals with no agenda other than to preserve marine diversity.
This work is ongoing, and rather than simply laying blame on the MPA, Ken and his fellow fishers should get on board to collect data and observations that will help scientists and managers reduce the occurrence of fish kills in the future.
South Golden Beach
Getting out of trouble
BYRON Bay is in trouble. This is the clear message that has been resonating around the coffee shops, hotel bars and kitchen tables since the events of New Year 's Eve past. A packed public forum lamented over how things were done in the glory days of the past.
Many believing that what's happening now is taking the lustre off the - "jewel in the crown" on the north coast - Byron Bay is clearly in danger of losing its mojo.
Another public meeting to continue the community discussion is being held at the Byron Community Centre on Thursday, February 7. This is a good thing. But rather than just talking about the problems confronting Byron Bay I believe it's time to make some things happen.
To make Byron Bay a better and happier place we should:
1. Reconvene the Byron Bay Community Safety Committee to oversee major events such as New Years Eve.
2. Lobby federal and state governments for funding that addresses the special needs of a major tourism town such as Byron Bay - for example, police and emergency services staffing formulas.
3. Develop a Byron Bay town centre plan that promotes community safety, local economy and social interactions. The plan to include a Byron Bay safer streets strategy.
4. Develop a Byron Bay community website highlighting the people, activities and cultural life of Byron Bay to inform visitors before they arrive of what the town is all about and how to respect the bay.
5. Create street signage that reflects community values and not just the commercial interests in the town.
6. Fix up the town's infrastructure (public amenities, seating, waste bins) to not only make it more functional but also more "funky and people friendly" by incorporating public art into the design and construction.
7. Develop a VIA Byron marketing strategy focussing on what Byron Bay realistically has to offer rather than seeking to use crude mass marketing techniques aimed at increasing tourism numbers while ignoring residential amenity.
8. Develop a Byron Bay Liquor Accord Safer Streets collective approach to venue management and security issues.
9. Create a $1 levy on all ticketed shows or entry fees at commercial alcohol venues. Revenue from the ticket levy to fund the Byron Bay Street Cruise program.
10. Conduct a community visioning process that identifies 100 things to do to make Byron Bay a better and happier place.
To bring back the shine to the Byron Bay township it will take an immense cooperative effort. Let's not use a divide and conquer approach to the issues facing our community, there's too much at stake. Like most people who live here, I love this place - so don't give up on it but rather let's work together to keep it a special and unique area of the planet to live in, share and enjoy.
Byron Shire councillor
A BIT of a worry that folk are using the KFC debate to recruit Facebook members, an online tool that many government workers don't use for myriad reasons. The data may be skewed.
This successful food outlet provides inexpensive sustenance to modern families, who, when visiting our town, are already contributing their hard earned to the local economy.
"Dan's" didn't make it (sad), however, I wish the new KFC franchise owners the very best when the business initiates.
South Golden Beach
Tourism isn't everything
IT was laughable to hear the tourist representatives talking at the public forum as if they were the only business in town and Paul Waters telling us it is our responsibility to support his mates' businesses.
Fact 1: The biggest employer in town is a manufacturer. He won't want me mentioning his name but you probably know him. He was going to relocate to Tweed specifically because his employees can't find places to live here due to houses being illegally holiday let.
Fact 2: Film and television, sound and effects businesses are aching to operate here, with an excellent staff pool at SAE. The illegal letting and the distortion of the town by the tourist industry hold them back.
Fact 3: If you can't make a profit without cheating, if you don't pay commercial rates, and if you move your profits out of town, you are not a local industry. You are a shyster and a financial drain on the community.
Fact 4: The tourist industry costs me $120 per week in increased rates, travel costs because they stole the town, lost time, and inflated prices. My staff travel from as far as Lismore. I'm not alone. This bloated scam takes money away from more people than it supports.
Fact 5: The illegal operators aren't business people. They are a joke. Cheats. Losers, taking money out of town because the regulations have not been scrupulously applied.
Fact 6: Reduce that industry, and it will become more profitable. Residents' costs will be lower, but visitors will once again pay a premium for a Byron experience.
Fact 7: Byron United says their customers come here for "the beaches". Which shows how low-minded their customers are. People used to come here for the culture. Clear out these losers, renew the culture, and the real tourist industry - which is about "visitors" - will return. Sometimes you have to mow down or tear out the weeds to let the grass regrow.
Advertising and BU
I AM surprised that no one has responded to Paul Waters' letter of two weeks ago, especially in regards to his comments on advertising.
In saying that Byron United advertising is directed only at people who respect our environment he is being either fatuously naïve or disingenuous.
Advertising is a very blunt instrument: it doesn't matter who it is targeted at, it is broadcast to a great diversity of people, not all of them welcome in the town as shown by schoolies and New Year's Eve.
I suggest a moratorium on advertising Byron for three to five years. BU will scream blue murder that to do this is anti-business but why do they think they need this huge influx of day trippers?
Maybe they should look to the contents of their shops. You would be very hard pressed to find anything Australian made, let alone locally made in any of Byron's shops.
Their stock is nearly all from third world countries and can be bought in nearly any affluent town or city in the world.
Byron businesses are dependent on the Byron "brand" to sell anything. Greater and greater numbers only tarnish that brand.
Excessive holiday letting only displaces those people who make Byron an interesting and diverse community.
All business owners in Byron should be required to read the tale of the goose that laid the golden eggs" every night before sleeping.
SES needs volunteers
IN the aftermath of New Year's Eve, much has been made of the battle to retain community spirit in Byron Shire.
We have also just witnessed a storm and flood event which has affected buildings and properties around the shire with people cut off by floodwaters, trees falling on houses and floodwaters threatening low lying areas.
The Mullumbimby (Byron Shire) SES has the responsibility to respond to requests for assistance in events such as this.
In this recent event our own SES flood and storm teams were assisted by an SES team from Albury, other agencies such as the Mullumbimby Rural Fire Service, Volunteer Rescue Association, NSW Fire & Rescue, and also by private tree contractors who all helped to complete the tasks required.
Apart from the teams in the field who are working long hours in sometimes dangerous situations to help householders and businesses, organising all these teams and following up on each of the requests for assistance, 270 in this case, also has to be done by our local SES unit.
This requires people on the ground and our small, dedicated team needs more volunteers to help do this important work. If community spirit is important to you and you feel you have something to contribute, you can help your community by volunteering for the SES. Check out the SES website or by calling 1800 201 000.
Abbott's mini campaign
TONY Abbott's Seinfeld Solution amounts to this: No policy, no costings, no ideas. Like the Seinfeld show, it's all about nothing.
David Garsed, Byron Bay
Join the CSG-free movement
DURING February three local communities are preparing surveys to oppose coal seam gas.
Ocean Shores, Bangalow and Byron Bay will show their levels of opposition, as many other towns have done. The average for surveys already done shows 96% of us (the public) oppose coal seam gas and fracking.
If you feel we all need to co-operate in this coal seam gas issue, and urgently, please attend the public meetings to find out how to join in.
Ocean Shore's meeting is on Saturday, February 16, 3pm at the OS Community Centre.
David HallOcean Shores
REST in peace the wildlife corridor, wildlife habitat and indigenous heritage at Marshall's Ridge, Jones Rd, Yelgun.
The bulldozing and destruction of all the above will go down in this shire's history of how Splendour in the Grass consortium and the State Planning Department disrespected the natural environment.
For all those people over the last 21 years who worked so hard to protect Marshall's Ridge, I applaud you.
Splendour in the Grass consortium may have won the right to have their festival site, but morally they and the State Planning Department should hang their heads in shame, shame, shame.