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Byron Bay News

Byron Shire Council moving to phase out single-use packaging

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Byron Bay road as they phase out single-use packaging in Byron Shire.

Byron Shire Council moving to phase out single-use packaging

 

In its own war on waste Byron Shire Council has drafted a Single-use Packaging and Materials Policy to phase out single-use waste from its operations and facilities and in the open spaces it manages.

The draft Policy, which is on public exhibition until 28 November, is targeting a wide range of single-use items such as cups, plates, cutlery, and straws. This includes items deemed as ‘compostable’ or ‘biodegradable’.

It will apply to staff, Councillors and people using or hiring Council halls or spaces which will include events and markets.

The policy also aims to eliminate the use of balloons and decorations such as glitter and confetti at Council facilities and in parks and road reserves.

“Single use items are created without considering what happens to them at the ‘end of life’. They are used for such a short period of time but their impact on the environment lasts for decades,” Danielle Hanigan, Manager Resource Recovery, said.

Byron Bay road as they phase out single-use packaging in Byron Shire.

“As an organisation working towards zero waste to landfill, we need to lead by example and avoid unnecessary waste streams, and that is what we are aiming to do with this policy.

“Items like disposable cups (especially coffee cups) will be phased out in Council buildings, which includes our offices, pools, and sporting facilities.

“We want people to look at reusable alternatives which will result in less waste going to landfill, less emissions and importantly, less litter being washed into our waterways.

“This is also about behaviour change and showing the community what this change looks like, encouraging them to think about alternatives that are not only better for the environment but are much cheaper in the long run,” Ms Hanigan said.

People can find more information about the Draft Single-Use Packaging and Materials Policy and make a submission on Council’s website.

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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Electronic Flood Warning Signs and Cameras Installed in Byron Shire

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Flood Warning Signs Byron

Electronic Flood Warning Signs and Cameras Installed in Byron Shire

 

Three sets of automated flood warning signs and cameras have been installed on Main Arm Road, Left Bank Road, and Myocum Road in Byron Shire. These signs, equipped with solar-powered flashing lights, activate when water levels reach a trigger point, providing a crucial warning to drivers about dangerous road conditions.

Katie Hughes, Acting Infrastructure Planning Coordinator, emphasised the importance of these new installations, funded by a $300,000 grant from the NSW Government and the Commonwealth’s Disaster Risk Reduction Fund. “Main Arm Road, Left Bank Road, and Myocum Road are busy rural roads, and during significant wet weather events, drivers are regularly caught out by attempting to drive through flood water in these areas,” Ms. Hughes said.

“The SES has responded to countless calls to help drivers whose vehicles are stuck in the water, and sadly, some lives have been lost over the years,” she added. “The new lights will automatically come on when water reaches a certain level, indicating the road is closed and the situation is dangerous.”

In addition to the warning lights, cameras have been installed that update images every 15 minutes. These images feed through to the Council’s Emergency Dashboard, allowing people to assess road conditions before traveling.

“People can see the images from the cameras now by visiting the Byron Shire Emergency Dashboard website,” Ms. Hughes said.

This initiative aims to enhance driver safety and reduce the risk of flood-related incidents on these busy rural roads.

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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Eating, sharing knowledge and ideas…Farmers’ Feast a great success

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Farmers’ Feast

Eating, sharing knowledge and ideas…Farmers’ Feast a great success

 

Byron Shire Council’s Farmers’ Feast, held in collaboration with the Tweed Richmond Organic Producers Organisation in early July was a coming together of taste buds and ideas.

The event was designed to showcase the best of the region’s produce while bringing together organic and regenerative farmers and land managers to share information, stories, and conversation.

Andrew Cameron, Council’s Agricultural Extension Officer, said that because of the nature of their jobs, farmers don’t often get the opportunity to sit down and talk with other producers.

“Farming can be very hard and isolating, this was the perfect chance to get off farm to connect, share and learn with fellow like-minded farmers whilst feasting on the delicious food grown in our region” Mr Cameron said.

“Importantly it was also the chance for them to talk, get ideas, share information and hear and see what others are doing.

“Our climate and land in this region are so incredible and this coupled with the desire for producers to meet climate change, environmental and food security issues head on, was the foundation for conversations about looking after the land and feeding the community.

“We heard from a diverse range of speakers, from those who paved the way in the early years, to those flying the flag successfully today.

“It was great to hear farmers sharing their stories and learnings but most importantly hearing about their passion, commitment and purpose.

“Many thanks to everyone who took part in the event,” Mr Cameron said.

People in interested in regenerative agriculture and other events like the Farmers Feast can sign up to the Byron Farmers Network via Council’s website.

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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Belongil Creek and Tallow Creek both open

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Belongil Creek and Tallow Creek both open

Belongil Creek and Tallow Creek both open

 

Belongil Creek and Tallow Creek are both open and flowing into the ocean.

With last week’s wet weather Tallow Creek opened naturally while Council mechanically opened the mouth of Belongil Creek.

Council, in accordance with approvals from the NSW Marine Parks Authority and Crown Lands, used an excavator to dig a channel through the sandbar at the mouth of Belongil Creek to release water levels in the catchment due to low level inundation experienced on the floodplain and around the town centre.

Belongil Creek and Tallow Creek are naturally occurring intermittently closed and open lakes and lagoons (ICOLL) which open and closes to the ocean.

ICOLLS are regarded as highly sensitive marine environments and there are strict protocols and rules in place relating to any attempt to artificially open the creeks because of the high risk of fish kills.

Chloe Dowsett, Coastal and Biodiversity Coordinator, said that due to the low-lying and flood prone nature of Byron Bay, when water levels in Belongil Creek (and Tallow Creek) build up and wet weather is forecast the sand at the creek mouth sometimes must be shifted manually,” Ms Dowsett said.

“The sudden rush of creek water to the ocean can rapidly deplete oxygen levels and cause fish kills and we have detailed plans and processes in place to reduce the chances of this happening.

“I am pleased to report that there have been no signs of fish kills which is great news,” Ms Dowsett said.

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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