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Advertising NSW Northern Rivers

Save Wallum campaigners ready to fight off bulldozers

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Save Wallum campaigners ready to fight off bulldozers

Save Wallum campaigners ready to fight off bulldozers

By Sarah Waters

Supporters of the Save Wallum campaign ensure there will be ‘a big community presence’ if developers try to proceed with earthworks on the unspoiled coastal heathland in Brunswick Heads.
Byron Shire Council staff will issue the subdivision works certificate for early stage one works to begin on the major and highly controversial housing estate, the developer has named as ‘Wallum.’

Save Wallum campaigners ready to fight off bulldozers

Images show koala scratching on large scribbly gums taken at the Wallum site marked for development.

Wallum, or wallum country, is actually, a coastal ecosystem along south-east Queensland, and northern NSW, characterised by flora-rich shrubland and heathland.
Developer Clarence Property Pty Ltd plan to build 124 residential lots, three medium density lots and supporting infrastructure on the culturally sacred and ecologically significant land at 15 Torakina Road, Brunswick Heads.

It is home to numerous threatened species, including nine federally listed Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) such as the critically endangered Swift Parrot and Mitchell’s Rainforest Snail.

More than 5000 people have thrown their support behind the Save Wallum campaign since it started more than six months ago.
Campaigners have spent countless hours combing through environment and planning laws to try and stop what they call a ‘zombie development’ which was approved due to a loophole in NSW planning legislation.

The proposal for the Wallum housing development was approved by the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) in May 2023.
Save Wallum spokesperson and local ecologist James Barrie said the development did not reflect current environmental or cultural concerns and requirements.
At last week’s Byron Shire Council meeting he told councillors if they approved the subdivision works certificate, they were perpetuating known, incorrect information and allowing destruction of a precious environment.

“Corrections by expert (independent) ecologist David Milledge need to be heeded in detail and the plans updated to include the statutory requirements for the threatened species concerned,” he said.

Mr Barrie said Eucalyptus Signata at the site had been previously misidentified as Eucalyptus Racemosa.

“Significant koala feed trees have not been identified in the plans.

“We still don’t know the actual number of koala feed trees to be removed.

“This demonstrates the basic information that was requested, can’t be answered from the expert reports.

“So how can a VMP (vegetation management plan) address impacts on threatened species such as the koala when we don’t even know the number of koala feed trees to be removed,” he said.
Mr Barrie also slammed the developer’s ‘revised froglet management plan’ and stated there was no scientific evidence that artificially constructed frog ponds have ever worked.
Hundreds of community members were present at the meeting, voicing their disapproval – as they have done for months – about the development.
Councillors went into deadlock with four voting in favour to approve the subdivision certificate and four against.

After hours of debate, Mayor Michael Lyon used his casting vote to determine the matter, voting in favour of approving the application.

Save Wallum campaigners ready to fight off bulldozers

The ecologically and culturally significant Wallum heathland

Mr Lyon said he had made it ‘crystal clear’ from the beginning that council were limited in their power as the Northern Rivers Planning Pannel (NRPP) had already approved the development.
He said it would be better to have discussions with the developers about preserving parts of the site rather than ending up in court and potentially coming out with nothing.
The early stage one ‘ecological rehabilitation works’ certificate for the subdivision to start was subject to discussions to clarify some potential errors including, the VMP being updated.
Councillor Peter Westheimer, who was against the subdivision certificate being issued, asked ‘how much are the community willing to risk for Wallum.’
“I’d say a considerable amount,” Mr Westheimer said.

“Risking that the council has to go to court and the council will have costs, that’s just the way it is.
“I’ve been involved in lots of these issues since the early nineties, and it takes guts for the community, and it takes energy … but the community can win.
“Let’s look at some of the terms being thrown around in the environmental management plan, we have a ‘habitat translocation plan’ a ‘revised froglet management plan’ these terms are increasingly dystopian.

“They are all about humans trying to manage an environment which they want to destroy but trying to make themselves feel better along the way,” he said.
Supporter of the Save Wallum campaign Maria Lloyd said she and many others were left ‘really disappointed’ by the decision.
“We really hoped council would step up and support the community,” Ms Lloyd said.

“We’ve had incredible community support for this issue for months, council have received thousands of emails from members of the public.
“The issues of the environmental significance of the site and cultural values of the area have been brushed aside in favour of negotiations with a developer who has shown no respect for the area,” she said.

The Northern Rivers Times was unable to contact the developer before this story went to print.

But they told ABC they rejected claims from Save Wallum that environmental and cultural assessments carried out were inadequate.
Clarence Property’s managing director Peter Fahey has stated they have been rigorous and recent and gone through all the processes set out by the state government and the council.
A follow up on the developer’s comments will be in next week’s edition.

The Federal Environment Department said Clarence Property had been notified of its obligations under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

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Advertising NSW Northern Rivers

The Northern Rivers Times Newspaper Edition 208

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The Northern Rivers Newspaper Edition 208

The Northern Rivers Times Newspaper Edition 208

This Week’s Edition of The Northern Rivers Times out now
Featured Stories:
• Crime on the Rise
• Regional Crime Issue on the Table
• Internal Police Reviews Continue to Leave Women to Die
• July Carnival Getting Back to Its Best
• Council Seeks $8.9 Million in Ferry Compensation
• Going Agro for Acro
• Council Flood Plan Rules Out Lower Floor Heights
• Tweed Shire Council Seeks Community Input on Affordable Housing Plan
• RDA Northern Rivers Welcomes New Director of Regional Development
• Tweed Shire Council Adopts $283 Million Budget for 2024/2025
• Bruxner Highway Slope Stability Improvements
• Windara Communities Joins Forces with Achieve Australia for Future Growth
• Lismore City Council Approves Historic $301 Million Budget
• Survey Reveals Northern Rivers Public Schools Stretched to Breaking Point
• Wave of Cash for Evans and Yamba Surf Life Saving Clubs
• The Koori Mail Indigenous Art Award
• Broadwater Public School P&C Launches Save Broadwater School Campaign
This week’s featured Helen Trustum history of the ferries continues with the Swan Bay Ferry

And much more from across the Northern Rivers, including:
• Recipes
• Motoring
• Health and Seniors News
• Real Estate News
• Travel
• Business News
• Rural News
• Entertainment with Theatre Times
• Gardening
• Wine Column by Max Crus
• Sports Results and News from Across the Region
• Regular features by Nigel Dawe and Leemo’s View

All this for only $2, available at your local newsagents, Woolworths Supermarket, Ampol Foodary Service Station, and rural and general stores.
Please enjoy, brought to you by your dedicated NRTimes Team.

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Bringing the Spirit of Beef Week to Whiddon Casino: Residents vs. Chefs Cook-Off!

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Beef Week Cook-Off at Whiddon Casino

Bringing the Spirit of Beef Week to Whiddon Casino: Residents vs. Chefs Cook-Off!

Whiddon, a regional aged care provider, is embracing the spirit of Casino Beef Week, a celebration of Australia’s beef industry and rural heritage, by hosting a unique culinary challenge at its Casino Residential Care home on Wednesday, May 22nd.
In this friendly competition, the skilled chefs of Whiddon will go head-to-head against the eager residents, who bring years of cooking experience to the table.
The Cook-Off will unfold at the Whiddon Casino BBQ area, where marquees will be set up for the event.
Schedule:
• 10:00 AM: Whiddon Casino Coffee Club
• 11:30 AM: BBQs prepared for Whiddon Casino Cook-Off
• 12:00 PM: Official commencement of the Whiddon Casino Cook-Off!
During and after the Cook-Off, both participating staff and residents will be available for media interviews and comments.
At Whiddon, chefs often craft special meals to mark significant events or simply to delight residents who have specific cravings. According to Whiddon Area Chef Jason Watterson, the outdated stereotypes about food in aged care are far from accurate.
“Our team is continuously exploring innovative ways to serve nutritious meals made from locally sourced, high-quality ingredients, freshly prepared at our care homes every day,” Jason explains.
He emphasizes the importance of relationship-based care, stating, “The bonds formed around the kitchen table are truly special.”
Recognizing the significance of food for residents transitioning into care, Whiddon has implemented several tailored practices and programs across its 23 Residential Aged Care homes. These include homestyle kitchens, foodie groups, and cooking clubs.
For the Cook-Off, Whiddon is committed to sourcing local produce, thereby supporting the Richmond Valley and Northern Rivers community.

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The Northern Rivers Times Newspaper Edition 201

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The Northern Rivers Times Newspaper Edition 201

The Northern Rivers Times Newspaper Edition 201

The latest edition of is now available! Our 64-page special edition is packed with essential updates and captivating stories from the Northern Rivers region, and you can grab your copy for just $2 at leading newsagents, Woolworths stores, and service stations from Coffs Harbour to Coolangatta.
In this edition, you’ll find:
• Insight into the fate of the Ulmarra Ferry Service as the government makes a decision.
• Coverage of a grassroots movement against domestic and family violence, originating in Ballina.
• An exclusive look at MasterChef winner Brent Draper’s immersive journey through the Northern Rivers.
• Updates on preparations for the transition to the new Tweed Valley Hospital.
• Alarming discoveries of positive white spot detection in wild-caught school prawns south of Ballina.
• Details on the upcoming Lismore Zine Fair & Print Fest at Galaxy Underground.
• A school’s fascinating exploration of ancient history, sparking renewed interest among students.
• Lawrence’s embrace of lanterns illuminating the local community.
• Introduction of a new multi-purpose fire engine to bolster safety across the Northern Rivers.
• A call for exhibitors at the Byron Bay RDE – Regional Disability and Seniors Expo 2024.
• The vital role of the Kyogle Memorial Institute as a cultural hub for the community.
• News of a significant $4.76 million investment in flood-resilient infrastructure for Mullumbimby Road.
With these highlights and more, our 201st edition promises to keep you informed about the vibrant happenings in our communities. Don’t miss out – grab your copy today and immerse yourself in the pulse of the Northern Rivers region!

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