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Byron Bay News

Award nominations roll in for Byron bus interchange

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Award nominations roll in for Byron bus interchange

Byron Bay’s centrally located bus interchange has won a string of prestigious awards in recent months and this week received a nomination for the Premier’s “Putting Citizens at the Centre” award.

“This precinct was the first to roll out from the Byron Masterplan and delivers significant outcomes in terms of removing heavy traffic from the centre, improving pedestrian and cycleways, creating beautiful new community spaces and celebrating our town’s heritage,” Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon said.

“There is always uncertainty and scepticism when we talk about change in Byron, but we are thrilled that the feedback we’re getting is that these projects have given the community confidence that Council can sensitively and respectfully improve the way the town centre looks and feels, and how it’s used,” Mayor Lyon said.

That was always the aim and we feel like it’s been achieved in this precinct,” Cr Lyon said.

In addition to the Premier’s recent “Putting Citizens at the Centre” award nomination, in June the Byron bus interchange received Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture Awards (AILA) for:

  • NSW Excellence Award in Infrastructure
  • Regional Achievement Award for Northern NSW

The interchange was a partnership project delivered by Transport for NSW and Council as part of the Byron rail precinct upgrades completed in 2021.

The vision was to transform a disused and unsafe area of town into a place where community could gather, that could be accessed safely and easily.

The area had consistently received negative community feedback due to illegal camping, rubbish dumping, community safety and flooding.

The project teams worked together to address these issues while celebrating the site’s rail heritage and link it with significant local Aboriginal heritage.

The old Green Frog jetty engine, which chugged around Byron Bay from 1923 to 1983, has been restored and will be permanently housed on the rail platform, a reminder that long before it was a tourist destination, it was a working-class town with a meatworks, butter factory, whaling station and sand mining operation.

The planning, design and delivery of these projects involved a collaborative process with a broad range of stakeholders including Transport for NSW. Sydney Trains, Heritage NSW, design teams, engineers, local building contractors and the local community through the Byron Masterplan Guidance Group, Byron Historical Society and the local Arakwal people.

“We will soon see the next round of Masterplan projects roll out, with construction of the new skate park at Sandhills beginning in August and the proposal to move the markets to the centre of town later in the year,” Mayor Lyon said.

“We know there’s both excitement and nerves around these next projects too and hope the community will continue to work with us to deal with any issues as they arise and hopefully celebrate a great result at the end,” he said

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Byron Bay News

Byron Shire Council Unveils Inaugural Furry Friends Festival

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Byron Shire Council Unveils Inaugural Furry Friends Festival

 

Byron Shire Council is thrilled to introduce the Furry Friends Festival, a vibrant community event celebrating pets and their owners. Scheduled for Saturday, June 15th, at the Bangalow Showgrounds, this inaugural festival promises a delightful array of activities, expert advice on pet care, and opportunities for socializing—all while promoting responsible pet ownership and environmental stewardship.

Byron Shire Council is delighted to announce the launch of its inaugural Furry Friends Festival, set to take place on Saturday, June 15th, at the picturesque Bangalow Showgrounds. From 9am to 12pm, pet lovers and their furry companions are invited to join in the festivities and partake in a day of fun, learning, and camaraderie.

“This is a fun community event to celebrate the Byron Shire’s furry friends and their owners while providing some practical advice and assistance with pet ownership,” remarked Ms. Sarah Nagel, Council’s Manager of Public & Environmental Services, highlighting the festival’s dual focus on enjoyment and education.

The Furry Friends Festival boasts an exciting lineup of attractions, including complimentary face painting for children, enticing giveaways and stalls, a mouthwatering sausage sizzle, and a captivating photo booth for capturing cherished moments with pets. Attendees can also avail themselves of nail clipping services for their furry companions and engage with local veterinarians for expert advice.

Moreover, the festival offers a unique opportunity for pet owners to learn from experienced dog trainers, with informative talks scheduled throughout the morning. “Bring your furry friends along for some nail clipping, talk to our local vets and sit in on dog trainer talks happening throughout the morning,” encouraged Ms. Nagel.

As a ‘dog on lead’ event, the Furry Friends Festival prioritizes the safety and well-being of all attendees. “Having all our pets on leads will help everyone enjoy a safe space and the morning’s activities,” emphasized Ms. Nagel, underscoring the importance of responsible pet ownership.

In alignment with Council’s commitment to environmental conservation, the festival also aims to raise awareness of the Dogs in Public Places Strategy. “We’ll also be promoting our Dogs in Public Places Strategy, reminding people how to find information on dog areas and why it’s important to stick to the rules to avoid fines, but most importantly, to protect our beautiful environment and wildlife,” Ms. Nagel affirmed.

In essence, the Furry Friends Festival promises to be a delightful celebration of the bond between pets and their owners, fostering a sense of community spirit and promoting responsible pet ownership and environmental stewardship.

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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14 projects share in $300,000 Community Building Partnership pool

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14 projects share in $300,000 Community Building Partnership pool

 

STATE Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin today (Friday, 7 June) announced that 14 projects had been successful under the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnership program for 2023.

Ms Saffin congratulated this round’s recipients and encouraged local organisations developing worthwhile projects to applicants to sign up for alerts about the CBP program so they are notified when information about the next round is confirmed.

“Remember that there is only $300,000 to be spread across the entire electorate each year so please be realistic with the amount of funding sought,” Ms Saffin says.

“The Premier’s Department has introduced strict probity measures around this grant program, including the overlay of independent assessment.”

Recipients of CBP funding for this 2023 round include:   

Lismore City LGA:

The Lismore Soup Kitchen Incorporated – towards improving amenities for volunteers and the hundreds of customers of The Good Pantry Lismore – new cool storage will be purchased and installed. — $33,350.

Lismore Memorial Amateur Swimming Club Incorporated – towards capacity building of competitive swimming in Lismore – $19,353.

Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service Limited – acquisition of night vision goggles (NVG) for its Lismore base – $18,970.

RSL LifeCare Limited – towards commissioning a local artist to install a mural as a war memorial/commemorative space at Chauvel Village Goonellabah, honouring Sir Harry Chauvel, of the Australian Lighthorse. — $5,000.

Tenterfield Shire LGA:

Tenterfield Chamber of Tourism Industry & Business Incorporated – new Tenterfield Visitors Information Centre – shopfront fitout, purchasing and installing free-standing equipment in a newly-leased building – $30,000.

Mingoola Hall Management Committee Incorporated – towards enhancing facilities at Mingoola Hall (fire exit side access to toilets to building code, installing a water tank) — $29,439.

Kyogle LGA:

Kyogle PA&H Society (Kyogle Show) – towards repairing the showground’s three arena surfaces to make them safe for competitors and exhibitors as the ground has become uneven and sloping. – $30,000.

Bonalbo and District Community Hall Association Incorporated – towards removal of ceiling tiles which pose a risk to volunteers and hall users, replacing them with new ones – $16,000.

Country Women’s Association of NSW – Tabulam Branch – towards supplying and installing a 4.5 kw grid connect solar system including panels, inverter, mounting rail and balance of system — $7,700.

The Girl Guides Association of NSW – Kyogle Girl Guide Hall kitchen upgrade (purchase stainless steel materials to replace a kitchen which was destroyed by flood – $5,500.

Tweed Shire LGA:

Uki Sporting Horse Association – towards all weather multi-purpose sand arena (to resurface arena with long-lasting road base and sand, providing a flood-free, safe, all-weather, multi-purpose facility – $30,000.

Coolangatta-Wollumbin (Mount Warning) Dragon Boat Club Incorporated – Wollumbin Transport Vehicle (purchase a vehicle for towing dragon boats to training and regattas. Current 4WD vehicle is old and near the end of its life – $29,000.

Tweed Regional Museum – towards accessible drinking water for Tweed Regional Museum (provision of two accessible drinking fountains, indoor and outdoor, for visitors to the museum – $11,175.

Byron Shire LGA hinterland:

Federal Community Children’s Centre Incorporated – outdoor blind installation and soft fall repair and extension – $34,513.

Electorate-wide total — $300,000.

 

For more local news, click here.

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HOW TAFE NSW BALLINA IS HELPING FUTURE PROOF NORTHERN RIVERS NURSING WORKFORCE

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HOW TAFE NSW BALLINA IS HELPING FUTURE PROOF NORTHERN RIVERS NURSING WORKFORCE

 

The national peak body for nurses has highlighted the important role TAFE NSW Ballina is playing to address a skills shortage in the Northern Rivers region and helping future-proof the local nursing workforce.

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) said there was never a more important time to invest in the future of nursing, saying training providers like TAFE NSW were critical.

Research by Health Workforce Australia found that due to an ageing workforce and growing population, there could be a national shortfall of 100,000 nurses by 2025.

APNA CEO Ken Griffith described TAFE NSW Ballina’s role in training the next generation as a “positive sign for Australia’s health”.

“It’s essential that nurses entering the health system are trained well and can have the opportunity to develop their skills where we need them most, particularly in primary health care and in rural and remote settings,” Mr Griffin said.

“The increased interest in studying nursing at TAFE NSW is a positive sign for Australia’s health.

“We know that nursing is a fulfilling career. The role that Enrolled Nurses play in the health care system is vital and this will only grow over the coming years.”

The NSW Government is investing $3 million over the next three years to upgrade nurse training facilities at TAFE NSW campuses across the state.

Brett Swalling is one of many TAFE NSW Ballina graduates armed with the practical skills and work experience to make a running start into his nursing career. Brett graduated with a Diploma of Nursing in 2023 and now works as an enrolled nurse at Lismore Base Hospital, one of only 10% of Australian men in enrolled nursing. He is advocating for more young men to choose a career in health.

“Nursing is a great lifelong career that can take you anywhere and you meet so many new people. TAFE NSW offers practical, hands-on learning, and the teachers are so supportive. I want to help remove the stigma for men in nursing and I encourage more men to consider it as an incredibly rewarding career path.

“Through my placements during the course, about the complex issues faced by our ageing population and the practical skills to help me hit the ground running. Since graduating, I’m continuing to learn so much now working in orthopedics and acting as a leader and a mentor to other graduates coming through.

“There’s many opportunities for future leaders – like many industries, nursing is about knowing your personal strengths and finding a pathway that will fulfil your skills,” Brett said.

Data from Economy ID reveals the Health Care and Social Assistance workforce is the largest industry by employment in the Ballina Shire, generating over 4,000 jobs in 2022/2023.

TAFE NSW Nursing Lead Dr Zach Byfield said TAFE NSW worked closely with health providers and organisations such as APRA to help ensure TAFE NSW was keeping pace with workforce needs.

“We meet regularly with all our industry partners to come up with new and innovative ways to keep learners in communities and create a constant pipeline of new nurses,” Dr Byfield said.

“Nurses are an indispensable part of the healthcare system, as was again highlighted during the pandemic and TAFE NSW is committed to continue training the nursing workforce of the future.”

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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