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Advertising NSW Northern Rivers

NSW DEPLOYS EMERGENCY PERSONNEL TO ASSIST QUEENSLAND AHEAD OF POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE KIRRILY

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NSW DEPLOYS EMERGENCY PERSONNEL TO ASSIST QUEENSLAND AHEAD OF POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE KIRRILY

NSW DEPLOYS EMERGENCY PERSONNEL TO ASSIST QUEENSLAND AHEAD OF POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE KIRRILY

Emergency service personnel from NSW State Emergency Service (SES), Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), and the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) have deployed to Queensland to assist with potential Tropical Cyclone Kirrily.

The first contingent of 46 personnel departed Sydney today, included in-water rescue operators and incident management teams, as well as two NSW RFS helicopters to be prepositioned in Bundaberg and Rockhampton to provide search and rescue capabilities.

NSW DEPLOYS EMERGENCY PERSONNEL TO ASSIST QUEENSLAND AHEAD OF POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE KIRRILY

NSW DEPLOYS EMERGENCY PERSONNEL TO ASSIST QUEENSLAND AHEAD OF POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE KIRRILY

A low-pressure weather system, which is expected to develop into Tropical Cyclone Kirrily, is forecast to make landfall on Thursday night, impacting the Queensland coast between Cardwell and Bowen as a category two cyclone.

The NSW personnel will remain in North Queensland for five days, assisting with frontline emergency response to the forecast weather, which is expected to bring destructive wind gusts and intense rainfall to coastal communities.

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib thanked those answering the call for help across all of the emergency services and said NSW would stand shoulder to shoulder with Queensland during this emergency.

“Intense weather systems are something we’re all too familiar with in NSW and while our thoughts are with those in North Queensland, we are backing that up with action by sending this much needed help,” Minister Dib said.

“I thank our emergency response teams for their selflessness, bravery and resolve. I also wish to thank their families and employers for their support of this important mission.”

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York APM said the emergency service family’s desire to help communities went beyond state borders.

“I know this is a difficult time for many Queenslanders, and I’m confident our skilled NSW SES volunteers, and interagency partners will provide valuable assistance with the emergency response to Tropical Cyclone Kirrily,” Commissioner York said.

NSW SES in-water flood rescue specialists, incident management resources and jurisdiction liaison officers will be located in Mackay, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast as part of the deployment.

“At relatively short notice we’ve seen people put their hand up for this deployment – it wouldn’t be possible without the support of their workplaces, family and loved ones,” Commissioner York said.

“Our highly-skilled in water flood rescue operators are always ready to help communities near and far at their times of need.”

FRNSW Commissioner, Jeremy Fewtrell AFSM, said the deployment was an opportunity for teams to support communities in need while demonstrating their highly specialised skillset.

“FRNSW is deploying emergency management experts, a liaison officer and technicians who are experienced in urban search and rescue, general land-based rescue, and in water rescue, allowing them to seamlessly pivot between a range of challenging tasks,” Commissioner Fewtrell said.

NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers AFSM said their members were proud to work alongside other emergency service agencies to protect communities, no matter where they may be.

“In addition to Incident Management Team specialists, the RFS is also sending two multi-purpose helicopters with search and rescue capability to be positioned across Queensland,” Commissioner Rogers said.

“Whether assisting on the ground or from the air, the versatility of RFS personnel is testament to their professionalism and skill.”

Plans are underway to send a further 60 storm and chainsaw personnel from the NSW SES to assist with any clean up requirements.

The NSW SES is also continuing to monitor the forecast and progression of the potential cyclone closely with the Bureau of Meteorology and will provide information and warnings to the community as required. Personnel and assets have been prepositioned in northern NSW and are prepared and ready to respond if a cyclone eventuates.

While there is currently no threat to NSW from this potential tropical cyclone, Commissioner York said now was the time for the community to prepare.

“Simple things like trimming trees around your properties, putting away loose items, and having discussions with your family and friends about what you will do in an emergency if you ever need to evacuate are helpful in a severe weather event,” she said.

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

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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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The Northern Rivers Times Edition 188

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The Northern Rivers Times Edition 188

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The Northern Rivers Times Edition 185

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