Thursday, July 31, 2008

newsletter no 18

STATE-WIDE PROTEST: SARTOR’S PRO-DEVELOPER LAWS Sunday 3 August. We will be having our own gathering and photoshoot after the Mullum-to-Bruns walk/run on Sunday, at about 11.30 am.

MULLUMtoBRUNS WALK/RUN: Sun 3 August – walkers depart Apex Park, 8.30 am. See p20 this week’s Echo for details or call Mehil 0419 220 897 This event is non-political. However, with the Statewide Sartor protest happening on the same day, we can’t ignore it; as Jan B said at the demo “We have been shafted by Sartor” (visit our website to hear her speech its in the video of the demo) MCAN and protesters can gather after the raffle prizewinners are drawn at the Bruns Soundshell (opp dolphin cafĂ©) for our separate photoshoot for the press. Bring yer banner!

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD printed an article about Mullumbimby, the demo and our campaign on Sat 26 July. Taking almost a full page, the informative article by local journalist Kate Hamilton gave the background to the Wws proposal as well as a fantastic picture of marchers at the recent demo, with plenty of colour & placards. View article on-line (no picture) Article with picture will be at our info table on Sunday at Bruns Soundshell, with DVDs for sale.

ABC STATELINE (REGIONAL NEWS): “Bega Valley councillors have decided not to challenge the State Government's approval of new supermarket projects at Merimbula. This week the Council knocked back a proposal for a referendum on the proposed developments. Earlier, the Planning Minister refused to let the Council put a cap on the size of retail development in the town.” (from ABC on-line).

WOOLWORTHS PLANS – what’s going on? Phone Paula Tomkins at Department of Planning (02) 9228 6397 or email her at for update on Sartor’s decision-making process. Remind her we care – she is the one to present recommendations to Sartor. Remind her that the Mullumbimby Settlement Strategy 2003 states on p17 “NO STAND-ALONE SHOPPING CENTRES WILL BE PERMITTED”

IAN COHEN’S QUESTIONS TO SARTOR (in newsletter 17 last week)

2. Q: Were you aware that this proposal contravened the Mullumbimby Settlement Strategy adopted by Byron Shire Council to not allow any stand alone supermarkets? A: I am advised by the Department of Planning that the approved development does not contravene the Mullumbimby Settlement Strategy 2003.

The Minister is mistaken!!
This could be a theme for placards on Sunday. This is a splendid opportunity to come up with some original artworks – the standard of banners at the demo was brilliant! Thanks to everyone who showed up with their creations. The photo in SMH was so vibrant with a sea of colourful people and at least 14 placards on view. The Mullum message about Woolworths has reached across NSW and will soon go on national TV (more news about that soon). Let’s get a message out for Sartor!
See you Sunday.
Regards, Deborah

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead 1901-1978

Saturday, July 26, 2008


SYDNEY MORNING HERALD printed an article about Mullumbimby, the demo and our campaign on Sat 26 July. Taking almost a full page, the informative article by local journalist Kate Hamilton gave the background to the Wws proposal as well as a fantastic picture of marchers at the recent demo, with plenty of colour & placards. View article on-line (no picture)

THE MULLUM DVD made by Jane Swallow and Gene Kulic recently, is currently being sent to Frank Sartor “Private and Confidential”. We will be getting it on our website soon and more copies will soon be available at Eden’s Landing veg shop (Stuart St) for a donation of say $5 each. It’s a delightful squizz at Mullum and features local speakers – just the thing to send to your family OS.

BYRON WOOL LIES to the rear and north and south Plaza is, according to the Tidy Town Crew, the most rubbished area of the whole town. Similar story is mentioned on P14 of Byron Shire News.

ORANGE ROUGHY (endangered fish) is apparently on sale there.

MALENY WW – story and pics on WW visibility due to last of bamboo coming out is now online: >>

(Answers are following the questions: coloured type is not available in this format)
Mr Cohen to the Treasurer, Minister for Infrastructure, and Minister for the Hunter representing the Minister for Planning, Minister for Redfern Waterloo, Minister for the Arts
1. Were you the consenting authority for the 2 Stage Development of the 2,500 square metre Station Street supermarket on railway land surrounded by residential land in 2006 under SEPP 8 Surplus Public Land? Yes.
2. Were you aware that this proposal contravened the Mullumbimby Settlement Strategy adopted by Byron Shire Council to not allow any stand alone supermarkets? I am advised by the Department of Planning that the approved development does not contravene the Mullumbimby Settlement Strategy 2003.
3. Were you aware of the Byron Shire Council's ("BSC") moratorium on new connections to the sewerage system in the Mullumbimby and Brunswick Head shires when the DA was given? Yes.
4. Was the reason for the approval of the two staged development so as to allow sufficient land to be available for an on-site waste water system? Yes.
5. Are you aware that Woolworths have purchased that DA and that the current S96 is an attempt to circumvent the existing moratorium on new sewage connections in the Mullumbimby and Brunswick catchments as imposed by BSC? I am advised that Woolworths Limited has purchased the land to which the development consent applies. The amendments to the development consent proposed by the current section 96 application will be assessed on their merits.
6. Does BSC maintain this moratorium in the Mullumbimby and Brunswick Head shires due to deemed over-load and that there is no estimated project completion date for sewer infrastructure upgrades to allow new connections? This question should be directed to Byron Shire Council.
7. Are you aware that no contracts have been entered into and that there is no final price or completion date for work secured for the STP? Yes.
8. What measures will the Minister take to ensure and verify all information submitted to the Department of Planning by Woolworths or associated proponents in relation to its Section 96 Modification Application is correct? I have asked the Department of Planning to assess this application rigorously. The Department is currently assessing the merits of the proposed modification in consultation with a range of agencies, including Byron Shire Council.
9. What is the veracity of information produced by the proponent considering the proponent made a representation to BSC notating on a document that 1800 sqm would be set aside for on-site sewerage, when in fact it is only 180sqm? The veracity of the information provided with the application will be subjected to a rigorous merit assessment.
10. Are you aware that a Section 96 Modification currently before the Department of Planning requests the approval of a 2,500 square metre building without an interim connection to sewer being available? The Department of Planning has advised that initially the application proposed an interim connection to reticulated sewer. However, amended plans have been lodged with the Department of Planning that propose on-site effluent disposal.
11. If permission is given to build the full Stage 2 building without connection to the sewer, how can you be confident that a sufficient on-site sewerage facility can be effectively operated on the 180 sqm set aside for the on-site facility which contravenes the NSW Governments own guidelines for on-site sewage management ? I am advised that the applicant has lodged amended plans with the Department of Planning that now propose on-site effluent disposal. The proposed on-site system will be subjected to a rigorous merit assessment prior to determination of the application.
12. Do calculations using the guidelines indicate that 2700sqm is required? These calculations will be made during the assessment of the application.
13. Will you seek expert advice from Byron Shire Council regarding the feasibility of this? Yes.
1. If not, why not?
14. What recourse will citizens of Mullumbimby have and what processes will be undertaken if approval is given for the Section 96 Modification and an adequate onsite sewerage facility cannot be operated? Appeal rights, if applicable, are determined under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. The proposed amendments to the development consent relating to the provision of sewerage services to the site will be rigorously assessed prior to determination of the application.
15. In respect to the lack of any viable current sewage management option for the Woolworths S96 proposal for a 2500sqm store, how could the application before the Minister meet the criteria of a S96 in that it must be substantially the same development as granted in the original DA? The sewage management system proposed for the site will be rigorously assessed prior to determination of the application.

The Minister is wrong in his answer to q2 as the Mullumbimby Settlement Strategy 2003 clearly states “NO STAND-ALONE SHOPPING CENTRE WILL BE PERMITTED” on page 17 under “Mullumbimby Town Centre” and this is quoted by Mayor Jan Barham in Stateline item 27.6.08

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Whats wrong with Woolies new amendments?

The most outrageous aspect of the S96 Amendments to the Woolworths proposal is their sewage plan. The flowchart calculations for their 2500 m2 supermarket are based on a single bedroomed dwelling! Furthermore the storage and irrigation area is underneath the carpark and access road; there will be no transpiration/evaporation possible through the tarmac. I’ve been told that noxious gasses such as hydrogen sulphide and methane will accumulate in the anaerobic environment and it will have the festering smell of rotten eggs similar to a waste dump; gasses which are 21 times more global warming that CO2.

Drainage is a problem in Mullumbimby, especially on the floodplain where the Woolworth’s proposal is. The Station Street ditch is still full of stagnant water two days after last week’s rain. Where will Woolworth’s treated sewage go when the ground is sodden with rain? Frank Sartor needs to check out these proposals very carefully; please keep onto him (submission deadline is 18 July). Whether you are for Woolworths or not, this sewage scheme is not good enough.

Woolworths appear to have forgotten that the DA Approval was granted for a two stage development; Stage 1 with on-site sewage disposal, Stage 2 “relies on reticulated sewerage disposal being made available to the site” (MOD 22-3-2007 Conditions of Consent BSC’s Director of Planning, Development and Environment Services Ray Darney wrote to Woolworths on 16 June and omitted the contentious sewage issue ( see Woolworths application; Response from BSC) A recent Urgency Motion prepared by Cr Westheimer about the sewage situation has also been ignored, despite a Resolution to bring up the sewage issue with Department of Planning.

Even the Traffic Report prepared by Masson Wilson Twiney is riddled with inaccuracies; in the Introduction they state the DA was approved and omit the Consent Conditions. This could confuse people. P2 flouts BSC by calling it “Bryon Shire Council”, p3 states Argyle Street connects to Pacific Highway. Even if you don’t understand the technicalities, Sartor need to know that these Consultants are approaching this serious business with disrespect, the results of which could be disastrous for Mullumbimby.

A sample letter to Minister Sartor is available to download from our website, also at Eden’s Landing, Santos & IGA-Deli.


newsletter no 16 - acknowledgements

THANKS to everyone who helped to make our demo such an energetic, memorable and enjoyable event. Mullumbimby community is powerful! We pulled a rabbit out of the hat in just 9 days; good networking! It was a brilliant demonstration of Mullum’s commitment to stop the Big Box. The placards were imaginative, persuasive and made a “good show”. I feel encouraged, supported and connected.

Video of the demo is on (thanks to Robert Hart) and another one, featuring in particular the procession and ceremony (thanks to Stephen Turner) is on Articles & photo at and Northern Star

RAFFLE: thanks to lovely persons who donated the bike; Santos, Eden’s Landing and Raw Store for $50 gift vouchers, Vashti’s Body Bar for 1 hr facial and Deborah Lilly for donating a 2 hour Hawaiian massage. Raffle will be drawn on 3 August if anyone can sell tickets, please call Deb 66843723.

MULLUM TO BRUNS RUN & WALK: Sunday 3 August. I would like to organise a MCAN group of runners or walkers for this community event, which is to raise funds for the Brunswick Valley Rescue Squad and Oxfam Australia (for indigenous support). The cost is $20 pp or $30 on the day (family discounts available). Volunteers are also needed. Their raffle (and ours) will be drawn around 11 am in the Soundshell at Bruns. Check

CLIMATE ACTION PROTEST IN NEWCASTLE - About 1000 people demonstrated and a dozen chained themselves to a coal train, delaying it for 6 hours. See

VOLUNTEERS FOR INFO TABLE needed specially this week as the submission period ends this Friday 18 July. Download sample letter from website


“Apathy isn’t it”: John Lennon

“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance”: RSL (Thanks Liane Simons)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Community is coming together for our rally; excitement is picking up and offers of support are trickling in steadily.

SPEAKERS: Mayor Jan Barham, Mark Cochrane, Garry Scott, Giovanni Ebono, Jeanette Martin (Community Gardens) and Magenta Appel-Pye (who will recite her poetry).

ENTERTAINMENT: Magenta & Mates, Toby & Jim Blues Duo, David Hall & Choristers will each be doing a couple of numbers.

KIDS STUFF: Face Painting by Sharon Shostak; Milli the Fairy sprinkles magic with wishes, stories and games.

RAFFLE: Magnanimous donations of a bicycle from Magenta and a $50 voucher from Paul at Eden"s Landing. I will offer a 2 hour Hawaiian Lomi Mana massage. If anyone else is willing to offer goods or services, that would be great.

REFRESHMENTS: About 6 offers of cakes/savouries so far – more needed please, also mandarins. (This is for fundraising). Paul at Eden"s Landing will supply some apples. Richard IGA is offering soft drinks. Does anyone know someone who could do teas/coffees? Can anyone lend some tables/chairs?

PA SYSTEM – Pip has offered to set this up for free.

HELIUM BALLOONS: we shall be putting them up on Sat morning, on or near the site, to indicate size of Big Box. Any offers to help do this? (Luis C is doing the plan for us to follow).

PERCUSSION FOR THE PROCESSION: We will be taking a Big Box down Station Street for a ritual burning. Bring your percussion instruments and dancing shoes.

PRIZE FOR THE BEST PLACARD: Any offers of a prize, please? Donator can be the judge, or we could ask the speakers to judge.

AEROPLANE BANNER FLY BY: We are working on this one with Andrew Polidano.

OTHER IDEAS: will be welcomed, call 66843723.

It"s going to be a great day for Mullum community to get together.
Cheers and thanks to everyone for supporting our demonstration.
"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now." - Goethe.