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Program Artwork for the now-cancelled 2021 Byron Writers Festival

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Byron Writers Festival cancelled

SYDNEY’S COVID-19 OUTBREAK CLAIMS FIRST REGIONAL NSW FESTIVAL

The 2021 Byron Writers Festival has been cancelled in light of Sydney’s unpredictable COVID-19 outbreak.
Devastated organisers made the announcement this morning after an emergency meeting of the Byron Writers Festival board.
“It is with a heavy heart we have made the decision to cancel Byron Writers Festival 2021, which was scheduled to run from 6-8 August. We have come to this extremely difficult decision in light of the developing Covid-19 situation in NSW as well as border and travel restrictions,” an official statement from Edwina Johnson Festival Director and the team at Byron Writers Festival read.
Escalating case numbers, the virulence of the Delta strain and Byron Bay’s popularity as a destination for metro visitors were all factors considered in the decision.
“We have been following Covid developments in Greater Sydney and nationally very closely over the last few days. As positive cases continue to emerge and borders are closed to NSW, it has become clear that the current restrictions will push too close to the festival to make it feasible to proceed in early August. Especially given a large portion of participating writers are located in either Greater Sydney or interstate and are subject to travel restrictions. In addition, of course, is growing community hesitancy to travel in such volatile circumstances,” the statement added.
“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 believe cancellation is the only responsible course of action.”
In what was meant to be its 25th anniversary year of the festival, more than 150 authors, commentators, entertainers and powerful new voices were scheduled to appear at the 2021 Byron Writers Festival across 115 panels during the three day event.
According to the 2021 program, at the core of the festival is,
‘ .. the belief in the power of story as a means to connect, heal and make change,’ it read.
The 2021 Byron Writers may reschedule programming for later in the year, a decision is still pending.
Anyone with a ticket to Byron Writers Festival 2021 will automatically receive a refund within the next 14 days. Tickets to satellite events or festival workshops are asked for patience as refund arrangements are worked through with event partners and venues.
“We offer our sincere thanks for your support and please, stay safe.” Edwina Johnson Festival Director said.
It is the second time in two years Byron Writers Festival has been forced to cancel due to risks from Covid-19.
Photo: writers cancelled program
Caption: Program Artwork for the now-cancelled 2021 Byron Writers Festival
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The cancellation of Writers Festival comes as Regional NSW recorded its first case of COVID-19 in Goulburn in the Southern Tablelands, after a construction worker travelled from Sydney to work in a regional hospital.
The male worker was deemed an ‘essential’ worker permitting him to travel to the region.
NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said Sydney workers can’t be complacent when working in regional areas and reminded all workers of the requirement to return to their accommodation straight after work,
“You can’t go to pubs, clubs, hospitality, anything else, you can only go there and do your essential work and get your essential food and groceries, the restrictions in greater Sydney apply to you.” Dr Chant said.

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Take part in this year’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count

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Aussie Backyard Bird Count and Lismore City Council

Take part in this year’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Next week marks the start of the week-long Aussie Backyard Bird Count and Lismore City Council is once again encouraging the community to get involved.

You can take part anywhere – your backyard, local park, botanical gardens, or schoolyard – wherever you might see birds.

Council’s Environmental Strategies Officer Wendy Neilan said the count not only helps identify trends in our bird activity, but it also enables the public to make an important contribution to citizen science from their own home.

“The bird count results in a nationwide snapshot of how birds are tracking with wonderful citizen scientists out there counting birds using the same method at the same time of year, each year, which is creating a picture of our bird communities and whether there are any changes over time,” she said.

“Most importantly it’s about getting out, having fun, and enjoying nature as we are so lucky to live in such a biodiverse part of Australia with so many opportunities to see native birds in their natural habitats, including our own backyards.”

Download the free Aussie Bird Count app, walk outside and look to the sky, the trees, the ground and the water – and start counting.

Just spend 20 minutes in your favourite outdoor space and count the birds you see.

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is among Australia’s biggest citizen science projects, and not only will you be helping science, participants also involved report feeling happier, more relaxed, and closer to nature after completing a count.

In addition to being able to count using the app on a smartphone, there is a printable form available at www.aussiebirdcount.org.au.

This annual Birdlife Australia citizen science event runs from 18 October to 24 October.

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Local News

Grants available to bring community together on Australia Day

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Council is encouraging community groups to apply for funding if they are planning to host a community event on Australia Day in 2022.
Council is encouraging community groups to apply for funding if they are planning to host a community event on Australia Day in 2022.

Grants available to bring community together on Australia Day

Applications open for Australia Day events

Council is offering financial assistance to community groups to hold small events on Australia Day 2022.

To be eligible for funding, the event must take place on Wednesday 26 January 2022 and be a public event which is accessible to the public.

Any community organisation requesting financial assistance for an event must be Tweed-based and provide an outline of the event.

The organisation must be incorporated and also hold Public Liability Insurance.

Funds are not to be used for a social activity for members of the community organisation exclusively and no financial assistance will be given to privately-owned businesses or companies.

There are 3 levels of funding available:

Category 1 – $300 for up to 149 attendees

Category 2 – $400 from 150 to 249 attendees

Category 3 – $500 for 250-plus attendees

Eligible applications will be assessed by the Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards Selection Panel on Wednesday 27 October 2021.

Successful applicants will be required to place event details on Council’s calendar of events whatsontweed.com.au to ensure the public has information of the event.

The successful applicant must also recognise Council’s support for the event on the day and in all promotional material.

All relevant approvals will need to be applied for and must be in place if the event is to be held on Council-managed land such as a park or beach.

The release of funding is subject to the organisers committing to keep attendees safe by following NSW Public Health Orders at the time.

To apply, please complete the application form on Council’s Australia Day webpage and return your application to Council by Friday 22 October 2021.

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Parking and landscaping coming to Mullumbimby’s Stuart St

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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Parking and landscaping coming to Mullumbimby’s Stuart St

The next stage of the Green Spine project in Stuart Street Mullumbimby will start on 11 October 2021.

The Green Spine was a key priority identified in the Mullumbimby Masterplan, produced in cooperation with representatives from community groups including the Mullumbimby Residents Association, Mullum Cares and Creative Mullum.

The aim of the project is to formalise parking on the southern section of Stuart Street along with an on-road bike lane in the residential area, as well as landscaping including the planting of what will grow to be an avenue of green, shady, native trees.

Council has advised residents and businesses on Stuart Street that 20 trees, including golden cane palms and invasive African Tulip trees will be removed as part of the work.

Phil Holloway, Director Infrastructure Services, said Council does not take the removal of trees lightly however many have been privately planted on Council’s road reserve and new landscaping plans will incorporate even more trees that are native and will provide better habitat for wildlife.

“Of course we know the value our community puts on trees and some will say that we should not be removing existing trees to plant more but nine of these are invasive species and toxic to some bees and the majority of the others are not native either.

“We will be building new garden beds and planting 28 trees that are mature nursery stock that have been selected because they are appropriate native species for this area and will grow up to provide shade and habitat for birds and animals,” Mr Holloway said.

The Green Spine project also includes:
Line marking for car parks in the commercial zone
A land-scaped transition zone to reflect the change in speed limit from 50km/hr to 30km/hr
On-road bike lane in the residential area
Footpaths extended on both sides of Stuart Street to Fern Street
Letters have been distributed to businesses and residents in the area and the Mullumbimby Residents Association and the Chamber of Commerce have been notified.

“This project aims to make this part of Mullumbimby a green, shady space that is safe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers while providing parking for people wanting to shop in the CBD,” Mr Holloway said.

The project will take approximately two months with the aim being to finish in early-mid December.

Information about the Stuart Street Green Spine project and the Mullumbimby Masterplan is available on Council’s website.

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