Tuesday, November 25, 2008

2 days left to lobby Councillors


POLLUTION AND MULLUM PIPES: I have today lodged an official complaint to EPA (now known as Dept of Environment and Climate Change) about the sewage pollution in the town and in the river.

VOTING ON STP THIS THURSDAY This week the councilors vote on whether to go ahead with the new STP (sewage treatment plant) or fix up Mullum’s broken pipes – or even delay the decision whilst exploring all options. Cr Staples has suggested piping (more) liquid wastes to fertilise farmland – this has been done usefully in Main Arm, and could well ease the pressure on the old STP.

For me the priority is to find out why the river is so polluted and whether the new STP will fix the problem. This fix seems doubtful to me as the ancient terracotta pipes under Mullum are leaky and have perished seals; when it rains heavily the water table rises and there is an exchange of rainwater and sewage. The sewage is diluted up to 15 times and overwhelms the old STP and ends up in the river (untreated). More gets into the river at Heritage Park near the end of Dalley Street, and some bubbles up into Susan Skyvington’s garden in Dalley Street, much to her disgust.

There is some rush to get the STP happening as a State Gov grant of $2m may expire soon. This is maybe 4% of the total cost of around $40-$50million; a massive capital expenditure about 5 times the cost of the Council Chambers which kept us in the red for some 5 years. This begs the question: will other projects like Lighthouse Road and Helen Street bridge still be attended to?

OPEN SLATHER: If the STP gets the green light, the building moratorium will be lifted and there will be open slather – some 2000 new houses, Woolworths and whatever else the State Gov decides for us. According to the Local Government Association:

“NSW communities are the big losers in changes announced by the Planning Minister that will see 90% of major development applications (DAs) in coastal and metropolitan areas decided by state government appointees.” (Deb will forward full media release or for more info contact or Local Gov Assoc Media Officer: Kristie Down - 0427 109 593; Media Comment: Cr Genia McCaffery - 0419 404 867).

PLEASE ASK COUNCILLORS TO FIX THE PIPES! You have two days left, voting is this Thursday. This is a pivotal decision for the future of Mullumbimby. cr.basil.cameron@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.diane.woods@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.jan.barham@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.patrick.morrisey@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.richard.staples@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.ross.tucker@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.simon.richardson@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.tom.tabart@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.tony.heeson@byron.nsw.gov.au

DEPT OF PLANNING has organized soil tests on Station Street Site. No news re: S96 result.

WWW.MULLUMACTION.ORG is being continually updated: see our new campaign button. Thanks to Robert.

THE GENERATOR (Bay FM 9am Mondays) was highly commended at the National Radio Awards in Alice Springs over the weekend and The Generator News is now appearing in a New York newspaper, fortnightly. Bravo Giovanni and Charlie.


HELP STOP FARMER SUICIDES: http://www.newint.com.au/cotton/?utm_source=ni-enews-oz-2008nov24&utm_medium=email&utm_content=body&utm_campaign=new-internationalist-enews-oz-shop

GREEN DRINKS – Mitra Ardron invites sustainably-minded people to get together and network at Poinciana CafĂ©, Thurs 4th December from 5 pm. Come when you like, leave when you like, and there will be a table for business cards, leaflets, etc.

LUNCH WITH Wws NEW SPIN MAN: http://i.mysunshinecoast.com.au/bm/oid35994/doc/November_Lunch.pdf

Ecological principle: sustainability
Consequences: Conservation, Reduced consumption, no-growth economics, constraints on technological development, anti-capitalist.


Monday, November 10, 2008

stuff up the shire for $2m!!


Greetings MCANics


What is the source of pollution in the Brunswick River? Is it the old Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), the ancient leaky pipes under Mullumbimby or upstream contamination? Please ask councilors to investigate this before voting on proposed new STP on 27.11.08. This is especially important for those impacted by sewerage smells in town, or had raw sewage bubbling up into your back garden or under your house.

Please ask councilors to investigate the source of pollution before voting for the behemoth. A new STP may not solve the problem of pollution in the Brunswick River.

Ask them to delay the decision to think this through -new councilors need time to consider the implications. There is some pressure to have the councilors vote “yes” (see ad in Byron Shire News 30.10.08 p5). A new STP will lift the 10-year building moratorium but will it fix the pollution problem???

A new STP may be the largest ever capital expenditure in the Shire. Even the $8m Council Chambers had us in the red for years, and the new STP may cost between $40m and $50m (they still don’t know the full cost). Who’s paying for it? Us!! Our rates may well have to rise to meet this. When might it be paid for?

A State Government grant for $2m has been offered to BSC and this may soon expire, causing more pressure on councilors. The grant may only cover about 4% of the total STP cost, which is as yet unknown. As Nadia Pietramale said “Stuff up the Shire for $2m???”

Richard Staples has proposed that reducing pressure on the STP by siphoning off liquid wastes to fertilise agricultural land would be a cheaper and greener alternative to a massive new chemical plant. This system is currently used successfully in Main Arm, and could be expanded.

Councillors addresses are: cr.patrick.morrisey@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.tom.tabart@bigpond.com; cr.ross.tucker@bigpond.com; cr.basil.cameron@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.richard.staples@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.jan.barham@bigpond.com; cr.simon.richardson@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.diane.woods@byron.nsw.gov.au; cr.tony.heeson@byron.nsw.gov.au also send to Don Page at don.page@parliament.nsw.gov.au and ray.darney@byron.nsw.gov.au

The Councillors are our vehicle of democracy. Democracy rests on an ideal of equality in which everyone has a voice. Barack Obama has shown the power of democracy, see his “YES WE CAN” speech on http://www.mathaba.net/rss/?x=610706.

Avaaz petition to Barack Obama on human rights, climate change and peace

Powerlessness is passĂ©, and our web network is our most powerful ally. Please forward this to your contacts. Our voices must be heard as all future capital works in the shire may be at stake for years to come. Peter Cundall (Gardening Aust) sent message to RAID Rally “If you don’t fight, you lose”.

Seen our website lately??? New movie of Bob Brown, and check out RAID rally movie. www.mullumaction.org Robert our webmaster has done brilliant work.

“Will your grandchildren thank you for this decision?” (Bob Brown).


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Newsletter 24

Greetings MCANics

MULLUM STP – renew or fix the pipes instead? This is being debated by councilors (proposed by Richard Staples : cr.richard.staples@byron.nsw.gov.au). See ad p.5 of BSN 30.10.08 urging us to contact local councilors with an opinion on the debate. Many articles in the Echo (and letters from Duncan Dey and Garry Scott) have said the dilapidated state of the ageing pipes under Mullumbimby are the cause of the raw sewage being flushed into the river during rain. Will a new STP fix the pollution problem…. or will upgrading the pipes? Councillors workshopping the issue will present findings at Ordinary Meeting on 27 Nov.

Co-incidentally, the Sat Star last week announced that Woolworths proponents are now intending to connect directly to new STP when it comes online.

RAID DOSSIER given to the press at the RAID rally, representing each group (including Mullumbimby) and all that is wrong the NSW planning laws is at: http://www.friendsofcurrawong.com/RAID/raidgroups.htm. It will be presented to Planning Minister when Friends of Currawong meet her on 11 November and contains resolution passed at the Rally.

RAID MOVIE: on www.mullumaction.org shows easy-to-digest speeches on the crux of the planning issues. Brilliant speakers such as Sylvia Hale (Greens) stating “What we’ve seen in the last 25 years is a concerted determination to strip away those rights (of the EPA Act)” In other words, we have now lost the environmental protection won in the 1970s by the likes of Jack Mundy. She goes on to say that the development industry poured millions of dollars into the coffers of the Labour party, who used it for saturation tv advertising, and 12 months after the election provided a set of “reforms” to the planning legislation based on the wish-list of the development industry. Have a click on this informative, inspiring and motivating movie. (Thanks to Robert Hart for making this).

MULLUMBIMBY UPDATE: We await new Minister Kristina Keneally’s decision on the S96 changes to the DA proposed by Wws. The best we can hope from her is to give the decision-making process back to Byron Shire Council. A flurry of requests for her to do so around the time of receiving the RAID dossier on 11 Nov, might be good: office@keneally.minister.nsw.gov.au

BOB BROWN MOVIE: After Bob’s speech at BBCC last Saturday, Robert has added movie and article to www.mullumaction.org. What I appreciate about Bob’s speech is they way he makes info accessible; one kilo of CO2 can be emitted just by taking the car to the shops. Click for inspiration and news of the threatened lungfish to provide small amount of water to Brisbane – the city without tanks! Hear about the logging phenomena gathering pace in Australia and about the greenhouse gasses its producing.

THE COALY MOLEYS: Greenpeace Video on Rudd’s $1.2billion handout to coal industry – bottom line is “Imagine paying someone to be a prick”. Funny.

JENNI CARGILL STRONG will be on Bay FM this Friday 7 Nov on Shakedown – Red Terra interviewing her about social change, trees, personal healing tales, etc. (plus CD giveaway). Jenni’s ACE course “Storytelling from the Heart” starts 12 Nov. Call her 6684 6548.

“What’s more important, coal or food?” Bob Brown.

Regards, Deborah.