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Byron Bay News

Brunswick Heads helps to combat plastic waste

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Josie Richardson for the Bring it Back Bruns campaign.

Brunswick Heads helps to combat plastic waste  

 

By Sarah Waters

Close to 6000 takeaway items have been saved from the landfill after a nation-first litter reduction campaign in Brunswick Heads encourages residents to simply return their cutlery.

The ‘Bring it Back Bruns’ campaign was a six-month trial, which involved five environmentally conscious businesses serving food and drinks in reusable containers.

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After customers finished eating, they returned the reusable items, including straws, containers and smoothie cups, to the shop or a public collection bin for washing.

Over the trial period 2907 reusable items were collected and washed from the public collection bins by contractor Green My Plate.

A similar number of items were returned and washed by participating businesses – Brunswick Heads Health Food Shop, Cadeau, Bernardis Gelato, In the Pink and Rosefina’s Place.

Byron Shire Council’s Resource Recovery Strategy and Engagement Officer Sarah Child said surveys of litter before and during the trial of ‘Bring it Back Bruns’, indicate that takeaway litter had reduced by 30 per cent.

“Because this is the first time in Australia that anyone has run this sort of project, we didn’t know what to expect but the results are terrific,” Ms Child said.

“While people can still borrow and return containers to Bernardis Gelato, Rosefinas Place and the Brunswick Heads Health Food Store, we are now assessing all the data and have reported back to the NSW Environment Protection Authority

“This project was all about getting people to think about the waste they generate – businesses and consumers – and encouraging them to play their own roles in reducing single-use takeaway litter.

“The response from the Brunswick Heads community, businesses included, was very positive and what we were able to do in Bruns will no doubt be trialled and replicated in other parts of Australia as we collectively continue to prevent litter and reduce waste,” she said.

Josie Richardson servivng food at the bring it back bruns campaign.

Owner of Rosefina’s Place Josie Richardson encourages dine-in customers to bring back their plates and cups so they can be washed and reused.

Owner of Rosefina’s Place Josie Richardson said she wanted to become involved in the campaign after realising how much rubbish she was taking out each day over the busy summer period.

“We’re a mobile vendor – last summer we were very busy, and I just couldn’t believe how often I would be emptying the bins that the customers use and seeing all the takeaway containers in there,” Ms Richardson said.

“It felt like I might be emptying the bin three or four times on a busy day, it seemed like so much waste and it frustrated me a lot to see that.

“When I saw there were other businesses in town involved in the campaign, I wanted to get on board,” she said.

Rosefina’s Place uses bioplastic cups and cardboard trays, but Ms Richardson said she was still conscious of the amount of energy and resources it took to produce those items.

She has continued with the reusable scheme and customers have been more than happy to return their ceramic trays and cups to the bins for washing.

“One of the major issues was that we had to make it really clear that the reusable items didn’t go in the recycling bin.

“I think the more widespread the program is, and the more people are seeing these (reusable) bins and understanding their purpose, the better it is going to be.

“Someone was saying that they had heard of a festival in Europe where they only had reusable containers in the whole festival – I think we need a situation like that where there is no overlap and you’re not accidentally throwing the wrong thing away.”

The ‘Bring it Back Bruns’ campaign was funded through a NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) litter prevention grant.

Bring the plate back as part of the bring it back bruns campaign.

Bring the plate back.

The problem with Plastic

Single-use plastic accounts for the majority of plastic thrown away worldwide.

According to The Minderoo Foundation it is the most likely of all plastics to end up in the ocean and it is estimated that five to 13 million metric tons of it enters the ocean each year.

Single-use plastics will eventually only break down into microplastics which cause great harm to the environment and is often consumed by marine life.

Microplastics have been found in plankton, whales, commercial seafood and even drinking water.

Everyone can help by avoiding single-use items and recycling waste properly.  

 

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Byron Bay RDE – Regional Disability and Seniors Expo 2024: Call for Exhibitors

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Byron Bay RDE

Byron Bay RDE – Regional Disability and Seniors Expo 2024: Call for Exhibitors

 

In regional New South Wales, individuals with disabilities and seniors, along with their caregivers, often encounter difficulties in accessing the essential resources and support that are more readily available in larger urban centres. This disparity is frequently due to a lack of awareness about the local services and support systems, compelling many to undertake unnecessary travel to metropolitan areas or, worse, to forego critical assistance altogether.

Sharon Fulwood, an event manager, and parent to two children with disabilities, understands these challenges from personal experience, particularly in navigating the complexities of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) within her community. To bridge this gap, Sharon is spearheading the inaugural Byron Bay Regional Disability Expo (RDE), which will also feature a Seniors Expo, providing a much-needed platform for accessing a plethora of services locally.

Set for July 5, 2024, at the Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay, the expo aims to empower, educate, and connect individuals with disabilities, seniors, and caregivers with the latest resources, technologies, and services available to them. This event promises to be a pivotal resource, eliminating the need for long-distance travel by consolidating a wide range of services under one roof.

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Exhibitor Invitation: To ensure the success of this vital initiative, Sharon invites providers of products and services related to developmental delays, health conditions, congenital disabilities, aging, and more to participate in this enriching expo. Exhibiting at the Byron Bay RDE offers a unique opportunity to network with other organisations, collaborate on solutions, and engage directly with end-users—thereby playing an active role in enhancing the lives of the local disability and senior communities.

Event Details:

  • Date: Friday, 5 July 2024
  • Venue: Cavanbah Centre, 249 Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay

Exhibitors at the Byron Bay RDE will gain invaluable exposure and direct feedback from the community, enhancing their ability to serve and support. This event is not just an expo but a community effort to bring local and regional resources to the forefront, ensuring that those who need them most are well-informed and supported.

For more information on how to participate or register as an exhibitor, please visit the official Byron Bay RDE website or contact the event management team directly. Join us in making a significant impact in the Byron Bay community—your expertise and services can make a real difference.

 

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2022 Floods

$300,000 funding agreement to help deliver flood resilient land in the Byron Shire

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Janelle Saffin, Paul Scully, Michael Lyon Resilient Lands Program Saddle Road Precinct

$300,000 funding agreement to help deliver flood resilient land in the Byron Shire

 

The NSW Government is providing Byron Shire Council $300,000 through the Resilient Lands Program to provide safe, flood resilient land for new housing at the Saddle Road Precinct in Brunswick Heads.

The funding from the NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA) will allow Council to complete a Structure Plan, Infrastructure Priority Plan, technical studies, and community engagement to investigate suitability for new housing and public infrastructure in the precinct.

Located on the western side of the Pacific Motorway, the site is just five minutes by car to Brunswick Heads and eight to Mullumbimby. It is well above projected flood heights which will provide opportunities for new homes off the flood plain.

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Saddle Road is the third site to be identified under the RA’s Resilient Lands Program (RLP). The site is also the first to be identified outside of the Lismore LGA under the program, and has also been flagged in Byron Shire Council’s Residential Strategy as a key site for future residential development.

It follows the recent announcement of 400 new lots in East Lismore and up to 50 new households in the Mount Pleasant Estate at Goonellabah.

While the final number of homes at Saddle Road will be determined following detailed planning and community engagement, based on site-specifications, it is estimated between 500-800 homes could be delivered.

The RLP is accelerating the delivery of new land and housing options, linking with the $700 million Resilient Homes Program (RHP), giving flood impacted homeowners a pathway to move to a safer location.

The RA will work with RHP buyback participants to secure suitable and affordable land and will provide further support to those eligible who wish to relocate their existing homes.

For more information, visit NSW Reconstruction Authority.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:

“This funding is a win-win for the community and Byron Shire Council.

“Not only will it help to unlock flood-resilient lots for people to build on, it also helps Council and the NSW Government deliver on its promise of more homes for our growing population.

“The land is positioned near existing services and an established community and will provide a beautiful, safe place to live for those affected by the nearby flood plain.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin said:

“The announcement of this third site under the Resilient Lands Program is the first one outside of Lismore.

“Locals communities and Councils can be assured that the wheels of the RLP are starting to turn right across the Northern Rivers.

“This announcement will be followed by others in our local government areas and will see more land become available, giving people accepting buybacks in the Resilient Homes Program a variety of places to choose from.”

Byron Shire Council Mayor Michael Lyon said:

“We are thrilled to receive this initial funding support which will not only benefit members of our community displaced by the natural disasters in 2022, but also address the housing crisis that has existed since before the floods.

“Council can now get on with the important job of structure planning for this site on The Saddle Road and get the land ready for building flood-resilient houses more quickly which is a huge win.

“The work ahead includes an Aboriginal Heritage and Environmental Sensitivity Assessment, a Structure Plan that includes a vision and concept plan for the site, a Planning Proposal to amend Council’s LEP and an Infrastructure Priority Plan that addresses the infrastructure required to support a new community such as roads, sewer and water.

“As these works are progressed, we look forward to working with our community to achieve the best outcomes.”

 

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Bangalow News

Have Your Say on Byron Shire’s New Active Transport Plan

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Byron Shire Active Transport Plan

Have Your Say on Byron Shire’s New Active Transport Plan

 

Byron Shire Council is inviting feedback from all residents who walk, roll, and ride within the community. The council has undertaken a significant review of its existing Bike Plan and Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan, both of which were initially developed in 2018 after extensive community input. Six years on, it’s time to evaluate the plans’ effectiveness, set new priorities, and celebrate the achievements thus far.

Shelley Currie, the Council’s Road Safety Officer, highlighted a major update in the review process: the merging of the two previous plans into a singular, comprehensive document dubbed the Active Transport Plan. “The goals, objectives, and outcomes of the previous plans closely align, so consolidating them into one unified plan is a strategic move to streamline our efforts and resources,” explained Ms. Currie.

Objectives of the Active Transport Plan include:

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  • Enhancing opportunities for active travel.
  • Boosting the connectivity of paths and cycleways throughout the Shire.
  • Designing and implementing high-quality infrastructure to ensure maximum safety and accessibility.
  • Providing amenities that enhance the attractiveness of walking, rolling, and riding.
  • Encouraging the use of bicycles for shorter trips.

A draft of the Active Transport Plan is currently on public exhibition, and Byron Shire Council is seeking input from the community to refine and enhance the proposal. Residents are encouraged to review the draft plan and contribute their perspectives and suggestions.

Details for Public Feedback:

  • Read the Draft: The draft Active Transport Plan is available for public viewing.
  • Provide Feedback: Residents can submit their comments and suggestions to help shape the final plan.
  • Deadline for Submissions: Feedback must be submitted by 31 May 2024.

For more information and detailed instructions on how to make a submission, please visit Byron Shire Council’s official website at Have your say on our Active Transport Plan – Byron Shire Council.

 

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