Thursday, December 31, 2009

Land & Environment Court: Woolworths' try for Mullumbimby

NEWSLETTER 70 31 Dec 09

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR, folks! Many thanks to the kind people who contributed to our trip to the court case in Sydney. Much appreciated!!



The above case was to challenge Byron Shire Council’s refusal of Woolworths proposed on-site sewage system? Did they do that? NO! What happened? They thrashed out a round-table “agreement” at lunch time, presented their arguments for and against the latest on-site sewage management plan to the Commissioner and finished after less than one day, the second day’s hearing (Christmas Eve) was cancelled. Now we await the Commissioner’s decision which will come around the end of January.

After 2 years of campaigning, three court cases (two of which were deferred because Woolworths didn’t have a new management plan ready, despite the fact that the case was ostensibly about the management plan which was refused by our councillors) this was a very disappointing outcome. Ratepayers have paid for this court case, and it has not been about the right and wrong of BSC councillors’s approval – it’s been about how Woolworths can get the go ahead with “agreement” from both sides, with the Commissioner being the approval authority. If he approves it, and if things go wrong, who will be responsible? The Commissioner??

23 DECEMBER: In the morning, various items were presented and documented as exhibits – for example the Updated Draft Conditions of Consent: Exhibit 24. Our Counsel, Tim Robertson stated that they would have to be modified.

Commissioner Hussey: “Where’s the disagreement?” [about the Conditions]

Tim Robertson (Counsel for Byron Shire Council) made comments as follows:

  • System failure: the way the system is designed will lead inevitably to a de facto pump out system.
  • Critical control particulars such as:
    - volume into the plant

- volume into the irrigation system/effluent field

  • peak flow rate: if the re-use system breaks down the numbers double.
  • CFUs one more in 100mL then you can’t use the water in the toilets

[CFU is Colony Forming Unit, a measure of viable bacterial or fungal numbers]

  • Inadequacy of management plan which we consider unworkable. They have retrofitted documents rather than building from the ground up.
  • Tasks given to the Woolworths Floor Manager are beyond his expertise. Critical person is the service contractor his not someone who is skilled in effluent irrigation management.

Other matters such as the number of pumpouts allowed per year, and the consequences of the failure of the model were mentioned. McEwan (Counsel for Woolworths) made some comments – ask Deb for details.

Basically the Commissioner wanted to agreement to be reached on the Consent Conditions for Woolworths development to go ahead. He asked the legal teams whether agreement might be reached that day – there was a shocked silence and then the Commissioner added that the administration staff wanted to know (NB next day being 24 Dec). The legal teams said they probably would, and lunch time was spent with them sitting around a table with the experts, coming to “agreement” about the conditions for Woolworths to operate.

After lunch, I arrived back and witnessed some of the round-table conversation. The soil expert Catherine Hird, commissioned by BSC, had been making a point (as I understand it) about the complexity of the on-site management plan. She was being roundly put down by both sides with “But Catherine …” in loud voices. My impression was that Ms Hird was not being heard.

A solicitor for Woolworths suggested that extra pumpout should be allowed to Woolworths in case of suspected sabotage from anti-Woolworths protesters because if they put one bottle of bleach down the toilet each day, then the whole system would be out of action.

When the Commissioner returned to the court, the court attendant called out “Silence in the Court” everyone stood up, and bowed their heads. The Commissioner was asked for a little extra time, and was assured that all would be finished that day.

When he returned, both legal teams gave speeches, and Tim Robertson outlined why the on-site sewage management system should not go ahead. His speech was reasonable, might have been convincing and yet seemed hollow since, as I understand it, they had all been thrashing out an agreement to make it a “viable” proposition.

McEwan did his speech for Woolworths. This man has chutzpah; his attitude is aggressive. He summed up the extraordinarily intricate management plan which hundreds of pages long thus: “They just have to look and see if its ponding, check the dials and fill out the log sheet”. Further, he said categorically “the land is not constrained” and “This system is 1000 times better than other systems”. I could see why Woolworths employed this man.


The agreement apparently includes 200,000 litres of sewage leaving the site in tanker trucks – about 3 months of the sewage produced per year. Effectively this makes in an off-site and not an on-site system, and tankering is still illegal in Byron Shire. As for the buffer zones, apparently the current proposal is for 1m buffer zones and not the 3-6m zones currently required for human and environmental health. Ask Shannon McKelvey or Ray Darney at Byron Shire Council for confirmation of the above.


From the Court’s website, their purpose is to safeguard and maintain

  • the rule of law
  • equality of all before the law
  • access to justice
  • fairness, impartiality and independence in decision making
  • processes that are consistently transparent, timely and certain
  • accountability in its conduct and its use of public resources
  • the highest standards of competency and personal integrity of its judges, commissioners and support staff.

It will be interesting to find out whether the Commissioner will construct a new rule of law in the case of Woolworths – in particular the Clause 45 (1) of the Byron Local Environment Plan 1988 which does not permit pump-out of effluent. A precedent set to refuse pump-out was set in the Codlea-v-BSC case 1999. The Local Government Act and Local Government Regulations set standards for on-site systems which were acknowledged by Byron Shire Council in their refusal of Woolworths on-site system.

Address for contact: Commissioner Hussey, L & E Court, PO Box 3565, Sydney 2001 or see for details. Let him know you care!


“If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble,… “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.” (Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist).


The following info comes from Mark Byrne from the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) Lismore. Contact: mark.byrne(at)

1. Climate change

In the washup to the Copenhagen summit, in early February the EDO will present a series of free evening seminars on climate law. They will feature our man on the ground (or out in the snow) on Copenhagen on what went wrong, the prospects for a legally binding global treaty, and what the commitment by major polluters in the Copenhagen Accord to limit the global atmospheric temperature rise to not more than 2 degrees C might imply. Northern Rivers staff will also speak about where that leaves the CPRS and alternatives, and recent and current climate change cases in domestic and international courts. Full details including venues next month, but the tentative schedule is as follows:

Port Macquarie, Thursday 4 Feb

Bellingen, Friday 5 Feb

Ballina, Wednesday 10 Feb

Murwillumbah, Thursday 11 Feb

2. Timber plantations

The Plantations and Reafforestation Act and Code have been under statutory review since 2005. On 14 December the NSW DPI finally released the two Bills with amendments to the Act and Code Regulation. The EDO intended to hold a public meeting and workshop to discuss the proposed amendments. However, as the Bills are only on public exhibition until 12 February, this will not be possible. Anyone who wishes to make a submission can get more information at

3. Biodiversity

Also on exhibition over the summer holidays is the Draft Far North Coast Regional Conservation Plan. It "outlines mechanisms to offset the unavoidable impacts on biodiversity arising from the implementation of the [2007 Far North Coast] regional strategy." On 7 December DECCW announced that the Draft Plan will be on public exhibition until 29 January. Anyone interested in reading the Draft Plan and making submissions can get more information at

4. Planning law reform

In November the EDO and the Total Environment Centre held workshops in Ballina and Coffs Harbour, among other places, to update the community on the recent changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and to seek community feedback on the NSW planning system. The workshops were based on a discussion paper entitled 'Planning in NSW: Reconnecting the community with the planning system' which outlines the NSW planning system and the opportunities for public participation. People who could not attend the workshops are encouraged to give their feedback on the NSW planning system by completing our online survey at

Monday, December 21, 2009


NEWSLETTER 69: 21 December 2009

LAND & ENVIRONMENT COURT SYDNEY - 23/24 December this week.

This is Woolworths’ last ditch attempt to persuade the Commissioner that they have a viable proposal for an on-site sewage system for the too-small boggy site in Station Street, Mullumbimby. Wws cannot start building until they have approval for the on-site system, or else wait for Mullum’s new sewage treatment plant (STP).


13 August 2009: Byron Shire Councillors rejected (6-1) Woolworths S68 onsite sewage proposal. Woolworths now have to wait a few years for Mullum’s new STP to be built. Not wanting to wait, Woolworths (Wws) challenge our councillor’s refusal in Land & Environment Court.

28 September 2009: Land & Environment Court hearing in Station Street; community submissions given by Duncan Dey, Garry Scott and Deborah Lilly. Next day case moves to Ballina Court House. Instead of the hearing being based on the proposal which was refused by our councillors, the commissioner agrees to let Wws come up with a new and different proposal – but, hey, its not ready – so case is adjourned, till next time, never mind the expense. By being late with their new information, Wws become liable to pay Council's costs. The issue of costs would be heard in a different Court. Council would have to mount that case and, unfortunately, the substantial costs of that court case are not recoverable.

18/19/20 November 2009: Sydney Land & Environment Court – Guess What!! Woolworths new plan is still not ready. Commissioner agrees to give them another month to come up with a plan.

23/24 December: Sydney Land & Environment Court ALL WELCOME!!! The new plans are ready!!! Are they final??? Of course not, each page is stamped with “Preliminary for Discussion” Will they work? My on-site septic is 'flush and forget'. Not so for Woolworths – the Management Plan is 178 pages long and is so complicated they will have to train experts to operate it.

The Commissioner has been excessively and suspiciously generous to Woolworths in allowing them THREE (3) attempts to convince the court that they can come up with a plan that will work, and it is plain for all to see that our councillors WERE RIGHT TO REJECT Wws original proposal.

I shall be flying to Sydney tomorrow for the court case and Duncan Dey and friend are driving overnight to get there so Mullumbimby community will be represented – we feel its crucial to keep an eye on proceedings and let them know we’re watching.
Any donations for our efforts will be welcomed, please go to: Thanks Param in Bristol UK for offering some financial support.

The Wws plan has plenty of inadequacies, despite its 178 pages. Contentious issues include, for instance, the buffers between the effluent disposal area and the boundaries being considerably less than 1 metre; management of foul odours and putrid gases have not been properly evaluated; Dept of Health apparently has not been consulted about the use of recycled effluent for flushing toilets and whether the inhalation of fine droplets and possible pathogens is a health hazard; the extraordinary complexity of allowable situations when tankers might be used to remove the effluent (currently illegal in Byron Shire); the impact of the mainstream chemicals for cleaning the supermarket and food preparation areas & utensils which are designed to kill microbes, bacteria and algae which will then go into the on-site septic tanks and irrigation systems and probably render them useless.

I have researched some of the chemicals in the products as the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) supplied by Woolworths do not have the relevant information, such as the ingredients of the cleaning products, their toxicity, and Hazchem codes. We have been fobbed off with dummy MSDS sheets that look official! I have googled some of the products, and checked out the ingredients – in particular J512 which is used to sanitise sinks, all surfaces, all items which are handled, buckets, J-fill kits (sprayed onto walls, cabinets, etc) floors, etc has ingredients which are algaecidal, microbicidal. The Panclean product is bactericidal and microbicidal. I list here the other products and if anyone out there has a chemistry background and can explain the effects of these products, especially whether they will negatively impact the microorganisms in a septic system, please contact me, Deborah(at) and the legal representative from Byron Shire Council, Shannon.Mckelvey(at)

The products to be used at proposed Woolworths supermarket, Mullumbimby:
View Quick WW diluted 1:100
Pronto WW diluted 1:4
Reveal WW diluted
Revive WW diluted
Sanibrite liquid diluted 1:200
Soft Care antibac
Sparkle JF diluted
Panclean JF diluted
Pinnacle WW
Breakup Diluted 1:300
J512 JF diluted 1:512

J512 Ingredients:
n-Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride CAS 68391-01-5 which is algaecidal and microbicidal - and
n-Akyl Dimethyl Ethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride CAS 68956-79-6 which is bactericidal/microbicidal

Furthermore, the Department of Planning News Release of 22 January 2008, when they approved the Woolworths Stage 2 with onsite, stipulated Woolworths’

• "Deferring introduction of in-house, water-intensive fresh food preparation areas until a later stage of development which will be linked to the introduction of a reticulated sewer at the site."

It will be interesting to find out whether or not Woolworths are now planning to introduce an in-house, water-intensive fresh food preparation area, before the new Mullumbimby reticulated sewer STP is built.

More news post case.
Merry Christmas to all our readers.
May the New Year be Woolworths-free in Mullumbimby.

Our contact at the L & E court: Duncan Dey: 0429 845440
My mobile: 0435 421053 (Deborah Lilly)

PS: Please see our website and check out the article about Woolworths marketing pokie gambling pubs to children … and how the debate about pokies at the Woolworths AGM was shut down. Woolworths are the biggest operators of pokies in Australia.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

climate change art competition for schools

Ballina Byron ‘Fair-Go 350’ Art Competition

As part of the International Day of Action on Climate Change, Ballina Climate Action Network (BCAN) and North Coast Climate Action Group (NCCAG) are planning an event in Ballina - at Missingham Park by the Amphitheatre - and invite students to participate in an Art Competition depicting local sustainable solutions

Art: drawings, paintings or other creations (eg using recycled materials)
When: closing date Fri 16th October. Winner to be announced at the Fair on 24th Oct.
2 Categories: under 12 and 12 to 18 years
Entries mailed or delivered to: address and postal address TBA
Prizes:- 1st $80 voucher and 2nd $40 for both categories. (Vouchers donated by Ballina businesses: Eco-options & Jack Ransom Cycles.)
Enquiries: for Ballina ring Sue on 66860602, for Byron ring Tracey 66871056 or email

Studies by NASA’s James Hansen - globally respected climatologist - and his team last year produced studies that show with over 350 ppm Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere:
• we will not have a planet as we know it and,
• to which life on Earth developed – and is adapted.

The present level of CO2 is 390ppm and rising. That is why we are already seeing many adverse effects around the world including: widespread droughts and fires accelerated melting of most glaciers and Arctic Summer ice, and tropical diseases spreading to new areas.

We have one planet and one chance to prevent runaway Climate Change. To do this we need a commitment to immediate and deep cuts, especially from the developed nations, at the Kyoto talks in Copenhagen at the end of this year.

100 countries so far have registered to host at least one event on the 24th of October
While the discredited sceptics are still finding fertile ground many ordinary people around the world, concerned for their children’s future, are uniting to tell their politicians that they want strong action NOW

Ballina Byron ‘Fair-Go 350’ will provide information on sustainable local solutions and highlight initiatives in place by our local councils, businesses, and environmental groups.

Sue Fielder on behalf of BCAN

Rally to STOP Woolworths in Newport, NSW

It’s now been a couple of months since we started the campaign to stop Woolworths from ruining the beautiful village of Newport.
Thank you very much for signing the petition. The numbers have now swelled to a staggering 2,000 plus, both on line and on paper but we do need more people power to beat the likes of Woolworths, so we’re holding a

Public Rally, on Sunday, 27 September at 10.30 am meeting outside the Surf Club.

Please tell everyone – relations, friends, man, woman and child, to come to the rally to make it clear we don’t want this ugly monstrosity in our village.

Now here’s the latest on the progress of the development by Woolworths.

The council has entered into an automatic agreement to sell the carparks to Woolworths if the two carparks are zoned commercial. Then it’s game set and match as Woolworths automatically become owners of the land and push through their DA with minor compromises designed to palm off residents.

Woolworths rezoning application is now with an independent consultant for assessment. With the application are Woolworths “indicative concept drawings” that are the justification for the rezoning of the council’s carparks.

An independent consultant is being used because the council has a financial stake in the rezoning deal and submissions via Pittwater Council to the consultant, SJD need to be made by 9 October 2009 (see details below).

So what are the main points everyone finds so abhorrent about Woolworths’ proposal?

A typical submission might read as follows: (please feel free to use this one if you want to)

“The Woolworths zoning application should be rejected. It will destroy the village of Newport for the following reasons:

1. This is a key site because it is the last off-mainroad opportunity for Newport to develop its village character.- with landscaping local shops and open areas as embodied in the letter and spirit of the Newport Master Plan, endorsed by residents and passed by council.

2. The Woolworths proposal would dominate the site in the crudest possible way. It covers the entire site, is extremely bulky, allows for no community use, is designed to funnel people only into Woolworths supermarket and will therefore be detrimental to local shops.

3. Newport has sufficient supermarket space with the opening of the 1600 sq mtre Coles supermarket.

4. Because of its size and layout, this development would result in excessive traffic congestion, noise and pollution in Foamcrest Ave and surrounding streets.

5. Because the site is bounded by local streets and the escarpment at the rear, a large number of residents would be affected by after hours noise.

6. Many residents look down on the site. Viewed from above, the above ground carparks will be ugly in the extreme. This plan allows for more parking than Newport needs. This type of crude development is no longer acceptable in modern urban planning.

Even if minor modifications were made to the Woolworths plan, the effects as described above would still apply. To rezone council carparks commercial at this stage would result in the broad concept Woolworths have put forward. Therefore this application should be rejected.

At a later time, after this application is rejected, a fresh approach to this site could be undertaken. Other financially viable concepts that embody the spirit of the Master Plan, allow for community access and enhance Newport as a village would be welcome. “

To make your submission, you need to fill out a form asking whether you have looked at the rezoning proposal. The application is on the council website at

The form you need to fill out is attached as a PDF which can be easily printed out. It is essential we get our submissions in by 9 October - and the more the better.

It’s great that just about everyone in Newport is pulling together on this. We can beat them! Look forward to seeing you at the rally.

David Catchlove
Newport Versus Woolies Community Group

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rally to stop Shooters Games, Sydney

Urgent Rally
Keep up the pressure!

- there's no such thing as conservation hunting -
Thursday 10 Sept 12.30 pm
Parliament House Macquarie St Sydney

Keep up the pressure on the Rees Govt:
No Hunting in National Parks
No Blood Sport Reserves
No hunting native animals
No release of exotic birds for hunting


Free Public Meeting
National Parks Under Attack - Help Nature Claim them Back!

Wednesday 9 September, 5.30-8.00pm
Light supper, 5.30pm - Free
Theatrette, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney

Stop the exploitation of nature and national parks
by blood sports and commercial facilities

Monday, September 7, 2009

Many balloons for Jai

Dear Friends of the Story Tree,

Here in little Mullumbimby, the whole community has been shaken by the tragic death of a teenage boy in a scuffle at school. The pain of that has been compounded by the distorted and sensationalised stories coming out of the media- even sadly our ABC didn’t get to the facts accurately.

The truth is only just emerging and it seems it was more of a freak accident than anything. There was never a vicious brawl or a mob as some media have reported. In Mullumbimby, the whole community has come together to offer support to those affected, not only by the incident itself and Jai's death but by the papparazzi-like press who descended upon our small town.

Two days after Jai's death, his parents urged Jai's friends to embrace peace and forgiveness. A memorial march was held at the school (not a walk out). On Saturday there was a funeral for Jai in our beautiful Heritage Park with hundreds of people attending. It was partly led by his teenage friends who read poems and sang songs for him. The adults and teenagers supported eachother in their grief. Balloons and doves were released at the end.

You may have heard that one of Jai's young friends called for people to tie coloured balloons to their letterboxes to symbolise peace and co-operation to honour Jai, who was a very peacable, beautiful boy and to start a National Day to recognize the need to stand up and say 'No' to bullying in all forms. The message travelled around Australia. Many of the streets of Mullumbimby were lined with balloons on Saturday.

Maybe our loving thought balloons are more ecological but just as powerful.

Peace and harmony to you,

Jenni Cargill-Strong

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


NEWSLETTER 50 - 1 July 2009

BSC TOMORROW: WOOLWORTHS SEWER-ON- A BOG s68: The 12 questions asked of council staff about the s68 meeting the required standards/policies/guidelines have not been answered satisfactorily in our view; the answers were ambiguous, incomplete and a gift to Woolworths. Tom Tabart will be raising this matter again tomorrow at Council’s meeting on 2 July. Garry Scott will speak during public access between 9-10 am.

TELSTRA SITE in Station Street, Mullumbimby, will also be up for discussion at Council meeting tomorrow. Will the Telstra Site be awarded to the Sustainable food Network for their market??? (see next item).

CONGRATULATIONS to local sustainable food people bringing 7 councils together to create sustainable food network called “Northern Rivers Food Links”. They have been awarded grant of $2m from NSW Dept Environment and Climate Change to develop new approaches to food growing and distributing to protect communities from climate change.

WWS & COLES BLOCK GROCERY CHOICE SCHEME: “This was the site the big supermarkets didn’t want you to see…” Choice CEO Nick Stace said about the scrapping of the Grocery Choice Scheme after Woolworths and Coles apparently would not co-operate with providing the data to the website, so shoppers could search for best prices. Scrapping the new website also scraps Kevin Rudd’s election promise to force grocery prices down.

“Industrialised, globalised agriculture is a recipe for eating oil. Oil is used for the chemical fertilizers that go to pollute the soil and water. Oil is used to displace small farmers with giant tractors and combine harvesters. Oil is used to industrially process food. Oil is used for the plastic in packaging. And finally more and more oil is used to
transport food farther and farther away from where it is produced.”
(Vandana Shiva: “Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Crisis” (2008) South End Press, Cambridge, MA, USA.
(I would add to that list the post-harvest chemicals and the pesticides)

REPCO CAR RALLY: How would you like it? Tweed and Kyogle areas are targeted.
Sign petition also see blog by Julie Boyd of Hastings Point

NEW TRAFFIC FINES FROM TODAY: I called Highway Patrol, Byron Bay, about the Left Bank Road traffic problem yet again, and the Sarge told me about new fines.
Less than 10 k over speed limit: 1 point $84 fine
More than 10 k 3 points $197
20k over limit: 4 points $338
30k over limit: 5 points $647
45k over limikt: 6 points $1744


Please note you can put up your own event on our website calendar


Monday, June 15, 2009

WHAT HAPPENED ... re: sewer-on-a-bog


Greetings Community

BOTTOMS UP! What I mean by this is:

a) “Bottoms up” is the toast of the celebratory glass bottoms going up as we toast each other and the 6 Byron Shire Councilors who showed care and concern for our community in their vote last Thursday (more details below).
b) “Bottom up” is the people-propelled change – rather than top-down change from those in charge. Our councilors listened from the bottom-up last week, and we got change! We were inches away from loosing our campaign; luckily we have some savvy people on our team who spotted the noose.
c) Finally, I am thinking of the brown-eye greeting that was given to George W Bush when he came here last year.

WHAT HAPPENED? Last week my newsletters had to be very discrete and strategic. In the Agenda last week, two options were given to the councilors regarding the Woolworths s68 on-site sewage application:

1. To follow the Precautionary Principle and vote “no” (this is what BSC recommended). by BSC giving an alternative option, they implied that the Precautionary Principle is disposable.
2. To follow a “pragmatic risk-based approach” and vote “yes” to the s68 as long as Woolworths adopt the “draft consent conditions” annex 31(f).

Notice the language: “pragmatic” sounds so practical, and “risk-based” sounds exciting. In fact the option is very unpragmatic and very risky. The Consent Conditions are tough and Woolworths would have to jump through hoops as well as move the water mains from under the site, at their own expense. The only problem with having tough consent conditions is – who will be watching if Woolworths breaks their consent conditions?

If councilors had voted “no” then Woolworths would have gone to the Land and Environment Court. All they would have to do is show the judge the “Consent Conditions” which are a list of what Woolworths need to do, authorized by staff at Byron Shire Council, to get an approval for their on-site sewer-on-a-bog. Therefore both a “no” and a “yes” vote would have been a win for Wws.

However, our smart MCAN wastewater experts smelled the rat. Garry and Duncan, in conjunction with Tom Tabart formulated 12 questions for council staff and Woolworths which demand to know how the s68 sewer-on-a-bog meets the standards/policies/guidelines of the local/state/national government. Tom put forward a motion to have these questions answered before councillors commit themselves to approving (or otherwise) Woolworths sewage application. We are confident that these questions cannot be answered (we will get them up on our website soon) so it may well be that the Woolworths development will not go ahead until the new sewage treatment plant (STP) is built, and that could be some years away. However, they are a wily bunch and goodness knows what they’ll come up with in the meantime.

Besides Tom, Basil Cameron seconded the motion and the other supporting councillors were Mayor Jan Barham, Richard Staples, Simon Richardson and Patrick Morrisey. Tom gave a lovely metaphor for the Woolworths sewage proposal; for it to work they would need “goat entrails and a PhD in Astrology”. Jan spoke passionately about the influx of corporations into the Shire which we’ve worked hard to preserve, as well as expressing distress at the way local councils are being overridden by corporations and State Government; Basil said that asking the 12 questions was a “sensible solution which is the nuts and bolts of this proposal”; Simon described the options offered by staff as being like “being given a bucket with holes in it and being told to put out a fire. We will get burnt”. He also mentioned there are cultural, environmental and social implications of having a Wws in Mullumbimby. Richard referred to the “silver bullet” product Wws propose that will supposedly clean/sanitise and not upset the microbes needed for the septic system saying that it would most likely contain large amounts of sodium, also detrimental to soil.

‘WE ARE THE PEOPLE WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR”: quote from Harvard Students about changing the world. I head this quote on ABC Radio National, Background Briefing, today. This was the best synopsis I’ve heard about the world situation, and the way forward, by ex-Greenpeace Global Head Paul Gilding. He is funny and wise as well as very pragmatic (!) and inspiring. The programme will be repeated 7pm Tuesday or you can listen online to “The Great Disruption”

Another interesting snippet this week is SMH/Brisbane Times article

THANKS TO ALL THE PEOPLE who have supported our campaign, written to councillors and sent us words of encouragement and cheer (and cash – hey we still need some more for next round of stickers: Mullum: a Woolworths-free zone). Together we have made a difference. Special thanks to Garry and Duncan for being alert and knowledgeable and to Robert for keeping our website updated all the time. Had a look lately? The full Stateline clip (complete with the final minute which was cut) is up now (thanks to Susie Forster for making this) and the last minute is my best!

As Tom Tabart said, let’s hope this matter can be laid to rest.


Duncan Dey's synopsis:
On Thursday 6 Councillors (four Greens plus Basil and Patrick) supported MCAN's request to not support the staff recommendation or their report on Woolworths' Section 68 on-site sewage application. In reality, it is an off-site sewage proposal relying heavily on tankers with occasional watering of minor landscaped areas. The application continued to use poor technical advice form Woolworths' same consultant BRW of Toowoomba - who spends more energy denying faults in its proposal than fixing them. The Council Resolution should be on Council's website by now. It asks our Council staff to categorically state that the proposal complies and is quite sound. This of course cannot be said but will be a much healthier report to take to the L&E Court than one saying "... if Council wanted to approve the poor design, they could" and listing all the steps to do so. The report our Councillors have "thrown out" did just that and detailed how approval could be gained. Obviously, it argued the perfect case FOR Woolworths. Hopefully someone in Council now has the hiccups.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

newsletter 46: Vote on sewer-on-a-bog tomorrow

COUNCILLORS VOTE: Tomorrow Thurs 11 June on the Woolworths sewer-on-a-bog s68 application (does this make it a sewermarket?) Duncan Dey will be speaking on behalf of MCAN during public access between 9 and 10 am. The meeting starts at 10.30 am.

COMMUNITY is invited to this council meeting and MCAN will be there at 8.30 am with some signs which focus on the issue upon which we want to focus. This sounds mysterious and all will be explained when we meet outside council chambers at 8.30 am. This ain’t a protest although it is an opportunity to protest! Supporters are requested to be “orderly” so our cause gets the best hearing. The more people, the better! Please call me if you want more info: 66843723.

STATELINE: Thanks again to all who supported our demo last week – we got on national TV (ABC Stateline on World Environment Day 5.6.09) as well as two local TV news, local ABC radio news and the local papers. It is your support that creates The Tipping Point. Well done!! The full clip is on (the Stateline version lost the last bit.)

WHAT’S GOING ON?? Council’s Director of Planning and Environment Services, Ray Darney, has written a nice letter to all the people who expressed concern about the Wws s68, assuring them that Council officers have recommended refusal of Wws onsite sewer. What he doesn’t say in this letter, and which is written on p148 of the Agenda for 11.6.09, is that Council staff have written nine pages of “what you need to do to get your sewerage system passed” (Annexure 31(f) #857453 Draft Approval Conditions:

SUBSIDISING WOOLWORTHS? Council’s preparation of the “Draft Approval Conditions” is an extraordinarily unusual course of action which indicates the lengths they have gone to please Woolworths, apparently at ratepayers expense. As a Byron Shire ratepayer, I would very much like to know why I, apparently, am subsidising Woolworths on-site sewerage plans for a supermarket which I don’t want. Furthermore, Woolworths, according to their 2008 Annual Report, ranked no 25 in the world’s top global retailers, and their revenue for that year was $47 billion. They don’t need my money!!

More news on the situation after the meeting tomorrow.


WOOLWORTHS AND ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY? A local woman is running a campaign and has a petition to protect orangutans in Sumatra because Woolworths are still selling products from Asia Pulp and Paper. APP’s reputation is for the worst environmental standards, logging practices and habitat destruction in Sumatra. Woolworths could source local sustainably produced paper products and help keep Australians employed. Please contact the website if you want more information about the local orangutan campaign.

UNFAIR FOOD PRICING: Southern Sydney Retailers Association submission to ACCC Grocery Enquiry on Woolworths pricing of food in one shop being outrageously more expensive in others: Geographic Price Discrimination and price gouging – Craig Kelly

Our Maleny siblings are working on a new site to be called AWFUL (Anti-Woolworths Fighters United League) (Democratic, clean and lawful) to contain information as it comes to hand. The name springs from this poem by Michael Leunig, who will be asked to be a patron.

Every night and every day
The awfulisers work away
Awfulising public places,
Favourite things and little graces
Awfulising lovely treasures
Common joys and simple pleasures
Awfulising far and near
The parts of life we hold so dear
Democratic, clean and lawful
Awful, awful, awful, awful.

This one’s a laugh:

FLAT TO RENT: Short term rent, furnished granny flat close to Mullum market,
avail from July 19th-Sept15th at $140 per week, plus bills, and cat to feed
and cuddle. Contact: 66846623/0421650653

QUOTE: “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1938 (Speech to Congress about the dangers of monopoly).


Friday, May 29, 2009

ROCK THE VOTE: sewer on a bog???

SEWER ON A BOG: demo last Tues. This was a brilliant turnout after only two days warning! Glad we got some splashing shots. Thanks to you all who could make it, and for others who were disappointed – we will have another event soon. Watch this space (and see below).

TV CLIPS can be viewed on:,99131 and

Robert has also put a clip on
Susie Forster is busy editing her clip for ABC Stateline (in next week or two); the SAE students doco-makers got some footage, as well as Hillary Bain for her doco.

ROCK THE VOTE: Councillors will vote on the SEWER ON THE BOG either on 11 June or 2 July. This will be a grand occasion for community to rock the chambers again. Let’s make this memorable! Jenni may be singing our theme song – any creative ideas for pre-vote publicity? See our website if you want the serious details, and the local papers next week.


Mullum iNTervention Awareness group will be meeting today 3 pm at Karen’s Place, 39 Prince Street Mullumbimby. 02 6684 6407. – for more info re: the plight of our indigenous first peoples, the Alice Springs land grab, etc. (sorry for late notice)

Building Community Centred Economies
17 – 20 June, Brisbane convention & Exhibition Centre a think, talk and do conference focused on how we can build strong, creative and sustainable local economies into thefuture.

MICHAEL SHUMAN: internationally respected author and economist will take on how business can grow local living economies as we respond to climate change. (I hope he includes peak oil!). 3.15 pm Friday 19 June, Zest, Central Campus, Southern Cross Uni – contact Annie Kia 66207504> Coordinator, Resilience: building health from regional responses to climate change for the Northern Rivers Climate Change Collaboration

QUOTE: This is what you should do: Love the earth and sun and animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labour to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, re-examine all you have been told in school or church or any book, dismiss what insults your very soul, and your flesh shall become a great poem.
Walt Whitman (1819-92) American poet, essayist, journalist and humanist.

See you at the VOTE!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Yes! Our elected councilors will decide on whether or not to approve the Woolworths on-site sewage application. Have you seen the site lately? It is saturated!!

Byron Shire Council staff have now received the “further information” from Woolworths and they are preparing an “Assessment Report” to give to the Councillors. I have asked Council for a copy of this report.

Having the s68 sewage application approved is pivotal for Woolworths so they can then get a construction certificate and start to build their big box.

We have been told by Ray Darney that MCAN will be advised of the council meeting when the s68 application will be discussed; I’ll send out the news to you as soon as I get it. This council meeting might be a good time for us to show up with full colours, banners and community response (TV, newspapers, etc).

Co-incidentally, after six months of asking, I have now received a copy of the “Whitehead Review”. Whitehead Associates are the environmental consultants employed by the Dept Planning late last year to make a report on the Woolworths modified plans for their big box in Mullumbimby. It is because of this Whitehead Review that the Dept Planning approved the Woolworths plans on 12th Jan this year. Finally, I got a copy through FOI (Freedom of Information Act) from the Dept Planning and it cost me $30. As I read it, one word comes to mind – one that Garry uses a lot when referring to Woolworths sewage proposals: “ludicrous”.

I will now try to explain, in ordinary language, what’s been going on and what the Review says. Basically, Woolworths need to make their proposal look as if it will work. They need to convince us that they will only be using a very little water so it will all sink away into the ground, and everyone will be happy. The thing is, the ground they are hoping to use as “irrigation” for their wastewater is soggy, boggy and just 500metres from the tidal river. It’s that bit of paddock by the railway line that floods. Furthermore, it’s a big supermarket on a very small site.

In order to get the on-site wastewater treatment system approved, Woolworths need to supply figures showing they’ll only be using a little water. Woolworths propose a number of things to reduce the amount of wastewater that is usually generated by a supermarket of that size. For instance:

Woolworths won’t be processing meat or most delicatessen items on the Mullumbimby site (until it is connected to the new mains sewer at least 2 years away). Who is going to ensure this? Byron Shire Council??

Woolworths will have high level water efficiency fixtures and practices. (The efficiency, however, of any tap or fixture is only as efficient as the person who uses it.)

SPECIAL CLEANING PRODEDURES: Woolworths have prepared a special “cleaning procedures document” which shows how the cleaners will save water by using a 7L bucket instead of a hose which is normally used for many these jobs. The bucket is specified for some 58 jobs, eg cleaning meat rails. benches, pumpkin cutters, walls, rubbish bins and coolroom doors, walls and floors. Estimated daily water usage in litres is listed for each job. An example is the cleaning of the shelves and racks in the coolroom with a bucket will use 1.28 litres of water and it will be done once a week. (That’s about a kettleful of water: how big are the shelves and racks?) The coolroom walls get the same weekly treatment using 1.28L water. The cabinets/displays in the trading area are also allocated 1.28L water for a weekly wash with a bucket. Is this hygienic for a supplier of “fresh food”? How big is each of these areas to clean with a kettleful of water? The meat and cheese slicers however get 27L water per day and are washed every 4 hours. (Perhaps there is a regulation here).

Using a 7L bucket for 58 jobs is going to be far less efficient than the usual hosing. Again, who will be watching to see the “special cleaning procedures” are carried out as specified?

PUBLIC TOILET ALLOCATION: Whiteheads estimate the amount of water per day for the public toilet will be 250L; that is for the loo and for hand basin. Since Woolworths, in their little green book entitled “Woolworths in Mullumbimby” given out at the public meeting last May, estimates that their catchment population is over 17,000 people, 250L per day seems a very small amount of water for public toilet use. What will Woolworths do when their daily allocation is used up? Lock the toilet doors? Who is going to count the flushes??

CHEMICALS IN WASTEWATER: Whiteheads encourage Woolworths to find cleaning/sanitation agents which won’t decimate the microorganisms which are crucial for the septic tanks, sand filter and soil in the effluent irrigation areas. Have Woolworths come up with an alternative which will sanitise the equipment and surfaces in accordance with health regulations, AND not have a detrimental effect on the vital microorganisms???

EFFLUENT DISPOSAL BY IRRIGATION: To stop the effluent seeping across carparks, footpaths and boundary buffers a 15mm kerb will be put around the irrigation area which will also (supposedly) stop floodwaters entering the irrigation area. An intricate system of soil moisture sensors will have to be installed to continually monitor the soil’s carrying capacity. Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling stress that “the effluent should never cause the soil to become saturated”. Interestingly, the site is usually saturated anyway and the Station Street ditch alongside the Woolworths site has had water in it since the Woolworths announcement in Jan 2008.

HALF METRE BUFFER ZONE: Has Byron Shire Council agreed to accept the half a metre buffer which is proposed between the on-site irrigation system and the Council’s boundary? How can Woolworths predict the effluent won’t seep beyond this decreed line? Are Woolworths like King Canute who decreed the tide not to rise?

CONCLUSION: Have Woolworths been able to come up with answers to the above questions in their latest “information” supplied to Council this week? Are their stringent controls and management practices likely to work? Who will be making sure they comply with their own promises? The whole thing looks, as Garry Scott would say “ludicrous”. We eagerly await Council’s assessment of Woolworths “new information”.

CONTACTING COUNCILLORS: Although they are super busy and earn only peanuts, we do have a democratic right to contact them to share our concerns. Separate messages to each councilor may get a response. Congratulations to Cr Simon Richardson and his partner on the birth of their first child.

Councillors details are:;;;;;;;;;;

Ideally Woolworths should wait for the new Mullum STP and send their sewage over there. This was what was originally approved for the Mallams Stage Two. Everybody else has to wait for the STP, why not Woolworths?


GE FOOD LABELLING PETITION: Do you want to know whether your bread contains GE wheat? If so, sign the petition! We need to lobby to get food labeled, otherwise it won’t happen.

TRANSITION TOWN IN VICTORIA? How can a community survive in the face of peak oil and climate change? Transition Towns are happening in Queensland and now Victoria. Our local TT contact is David Hall 66804728: See our website calander for David’s DVD showings on Tuesdays.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Treasurer Wayne Swan’s Budge Speech: “Small business is the backbone of the economy and are the largest employers, employing 4 million people”.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Update: 17 May 2009

The situation in Mullumbimby re: Woolworths is that building cannot commence until Byron Shire Council (BSC) approves the crucial S68 sewage application. They have been sitting on it for weeks. Apparently BSC is waiting for “more information” from Woolworths – which looks like they are "negotiating". Byron Shire Council seems unwilling to give the straight “no” that the s68 (sewage application) deserves for an on-site sewage application on a soggy site that’s too small. Please check our website for full letter you can copy and send to Mayor, Councillors, General Manager and Director of Planning & Environment of Byron Shire Council.

Robert suggests: "I am sure Council would feel much happier taking on an appeal by Woolworths in the Land and Environment court, with support from the community, rather than Council facing a challenge by the community if they approve the unsound application."

YOUR SUPPORT NEEDED – send a message – even one line will do such as “Please reject Woolworths S68 application” to

FRESH FOOD???? Check this:

The poor pig with maggots infested in the wound was honestly the worst thing I've ever seen," she said. The piggery is a supplier to Woolworths, but did not have industry accreditation.
The supermarket chain says it has given the operator a list of improvements.
A statement released by Woolworths said: "Woolworths responded immediately upon being informed with our head livestock buyer arriving in Tasmania within 48 hours to investigate the allegations." "We were not happy with the conditions on the farm and provided the supplier with a list of improvements to be met". Woolworths says it is visiting the farm every fortnight.

VARIOUS UPCOMING EVENTS on our website calendar (just click on the date for info): Transition Towns DVDs on Tuesdays at Ocean Shores; Repco Car Rally Demonstration in Murwillumbah on 28 May - see also Julie Boyd’s blog about this You too can add an event to our calendar on the website.

TWEED COAST DEVELOPERS IN ADMINISTRATION: Owing more than $300 million (see Resortcorp’s extravagant developments right up to Noosa are viewable on Are these the same guys who intended to create new housing estates in Mullumbimby like “Casurina” (now in receivership) and make it the “major town” as projected by Frank Sartor (ex Planning Minister) in his Draft Regional Far North Coast Strategy? Because of the so-called potential “major town” status, this was the reason, Frank said, that we need a “full line supermarket”. The financial crisis may have a silver lining.

YOUR SUPPORT NEEDED – send a message – even one line will do such as “Please reject Woolworths S68 application” to

Message from the Rainforest Information Centre, Lismore
TASSIE FOREST WARRIORS UNDER SEIGE!! (22 arrests just two days ago!)
Call out for crew to get down to Tassie. Please Come to Tassie to help or do what you can from afar, contact all Tassie politicians and Prime Minister Rudd, Enviro Min. Garrett and Climate Change Min. Penny Wong. Visit for contact details and more info,

Politicians need to know of your serious concerns about the destruction of the globally significant forests of the Upper Florentine Valley. Become an active citizen and exercise your democratic right to let the government know that old-growth logging and the destruction of ancient ecosystems is unacceptable, and that serious changes to legislation and policy need to happen now!

Write a letter (every hand written letter is viewed as representing the opinions of 100 voters, so it's certainly worth making the extra effort) or send an email to your local federal member and any (or all!) of the following members of parliament. Make an appointment with your local MPs. They are your employees and need to listen to your concerns. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper and call up talk back radio. Get the word out in the media!

Donate online or at any Westpac Bank to help the campaign to save these precious forests.
Account name: Tasmanias Southern Forests
BSB #: 737001 AC#: 715846

LOCAL RESILIENCE-BUILDING STRATEGIES: What can we do to make Mullumbimby resilient in the face of the economic meltdown and forthcoming post-peak-oil petrol price rises? How can we be ready and self sufficient? Watch this space for more news. If you have suggestions and would like to write something for our newsletter, contact

In this life we cannot always do great things. We can only do small things with great love. - Mother Teresa

Sunday, January 25, 2009

newsletter 31

WOOLWORTHS APPROVED - Despite all odds, the Minister Hon Kristina Keneally, has approved the Woolworths supermarket & bottleshop in Mullumbimby. Byron Shire Council’s submission has been ignored, the Environmental Consultants Whitehead & Associates have been ignored, 1500 community letters to ex-Premier Iemma and ex-Minister Sartor have been ignored, and 150 recent clicks on our campaign button have been ignored. Is this a symptom of rot in the system? Does something need to change?

OBAMA’S CHANGE - “The world is changing – and we need to change too” said Barack Obama in his inauguration speech. On his first day of office he shut down Guantanamo Bay, other CIA “ghost prisons” as well as freeing up Bush’s secrecy over records. Obama’s orders will create transparency around political prisoners and transparency about records from the Bush, Bush Snr and Regan eras

TRANSPARENCY - Where do we in NSW need political transparency? My initial suggestions are as follows:

• Transparency about the Woolworths current proposals, plans and the Environmental Consultants Whitehead Associates Review – none of which were made available to the public despite our repeated requests. (We have seen nothing new from Wws or DoP since for nine months – since the public meeting in BSC Council chambers).

• Transparency about political donations made by private individuals, developers etc to political parties. In particular, any Woolworths donations to the current State Labour party.

• Transparency about why State Labour Planning Dept has swiped power of consent authority from local governments. Byron Shire Council is now powerless to reject inappropriate development in our Shire, as are all NSW local councils. Our Environmental Protection (EPA) Act (1970) has been undermined by “25 years of concerted determination to strip away our rights” (see Sylvia Hale Greens MP & Spokesperson on Planning speak on movie “RAID Rally a Resounding Success” on where she explains why the EPA Act is now ineffectual, discusses developer donations, etc.) Also search Sue Higginson, EDO on our website for her paper on Climate Change Issues and explanation of Part 3A of EPA Act.

UNHOLY ALLIANCE - The new Minister for Planning, The Hon Kristine Keneally’s allegiance with Woolworths appears more important than the fact that Byron Shire Council (BSC) condemned the current Woolworths plans as “unacceptable” and said that if BSC were the consent authority, consent would not be forthcoming.

Furthermore, according to the BSC submission of 8.12.08 to DoP, the Environmental Consultants Whitehead Associates did not endorse the Woolworths proposals and said that “We stress the design stretches the land capability of this constrained site to its limits”. Have these “environmental experts” taken climate change into account?

CLIMATE CHANGE - The Woolworths site was selected for a local supermarket some 6 years ago, and since then climate change has become a no 1 issue. For example the King Tide last week was half a metre higher than usual and the Woolworths on-site sewage and wastewater disposal is just 500 metres from the tidal river. Furthermore Wws floor level is just 18 cm higher than the Mothers Day flood of 1987.

UNITED NATIONS stated last Thursday 22/1/09 that in 2008 there was a “dramatic increase in … worldwide disasters” and that floods and weather disasters were the most frequent disaster events.

CLIMATE RISK HOTSPOT Just over the border, SE Queensland has been identified as a “climate risk hotspot” and the Qld Government has embedded climate change as its no. 1 issue in its draft Regional Plan for S E Qld - see “latest news” on

Given the above, we can confidently expect that the Wws development, just 3.5m above sea level and 500m from the tidal Brunswick River, is going to be affected by climate change and in particular their on-site sewage disposal may well be dispersed around the town in the event of a flood. Get this ….

WWS STORAGE OF FLOODWATERS ONSITE!!! The Department of Planning’s News Release of Thurs 22/1/09 p2 states:

“The design also mitigates flood impacts by ensuring that the development does not reduce the area available on the site for the storage of floodwaters”.

(Are they joking?) I will happily send copies of Dept Planning (DoP)’s News Release and Byron Shire Council’s submission to DoP on the Woolworths proposal to anyone that wants it. Contact me via

MCAN FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY will be on Australia Day 26.1.09 at Heritage Park at end of Stuart Street, by the river from 5 pm. Bring a picnic to share. We will be brainstorming our next strategy and welcome input from community. Entertainment will be community based – have you got a song or a poem? Come and perform your party piece!

We are not fazed: this is just the next phase. As George W Bush said “The future will be better tomorrow”.
In solidarity

Friday, January 16, 2009

MCAN BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION/strategies/Erskineville win


Greetings MCANics

MCAN FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY – We are nearly one year old! Born on Australia Day 26 January 2008, we will be having a birthday celebration, gathering and update at Heritage Park at the end of Stuart Street, by the river at 5 pm. Please bring a plate to share and a poem, song or performance piece. All welcome!!

WORLDS LEADING ENVIRONMENTALIST will be giving a short video and talk with Helena Norberg-Hodge on Monday 19 January at Mullum Civic Hall, 7 pm, gold coin donation.

Strategies to Save the Earth
An Evening with Doug Tompkins
Founder of North Face and Esprit
turned Passionate Ecological Activist

Doug Tompkins has just spent more than a month on the Sea Shepherd. He will be in Australia for three days, and will be giving only one public talk. Doug is quite possibly the most influential environmentalist in the world today. Following an extremely successful business career, he has poured all his energy and almost all his money into restoring ecosystems and supporting strategic initiatives for political and economic change. He lives in Chile and Argentina, where he has bought millions of hectares of land in order to create national parks. For two decades he has been a primary funder of the deep ecology, anti-globalisation and pro-localisation movements worldwide.

ERSKINEVILLE WINS AGAINST WOOLWORTHS!! In May 2008 City of Sydney Council refused an application for a Woolworths (and ancilliary shops). The developers then made an appeal at the Land and Environment Court, which has this week been dismissed because of the scale, intensity, traffic generation and adverse impact on the village.. Bravo to the community group

KING TIDE at Northern Rivers on Monday 12 Jan was 0.50m higher than usual. CSIRO said it was the highest tide in 18 years, and we can expect more King Tides. Being just 500 metres from the Brunswick River on the floodplain, Woolworths site is vulnerable to tide surges. They have set their floor just 0.50m above the height of the 1 in 100 year flood average. If there was another King Tide at 0.50m plus a major flood …. Would their shop floor be inundated … and what about the on-site sewage? This is a potential health hazard and environmental disaster.

Please click on our website CAMPAIGN BUTTON which sends a direct message to Premier Nathan Rees and Planning Minister Kristina Keneally.

Erskineville won by public support – lets follow their example!!
See you on Australia Day.... let's party!


Thanks everyone for their support this year – we have kept the behemoth at bay! It was 1st January 2008 that the Woolworths announcement was in the Echo.

OUR FIRST BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION – will be on Australia Day, 26 January. We could gather on-site and have another bonfire, early evening, weather permitting.

LATEST NEWS: BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL’S SUBMISSION TO DEPT PLANNING ‘UNACCCEPTABLE” on-site wastewater management plan. Woolworths latest efforts to gain on-site sewage approval and abuse the Consent Conditions of the original DA approved by ex-Minister Sartor have been met with disapproval from Byron Shire Council who say “if they were the consent authority … consent would not be forthcoming”.

Details of the December 08 submission are on and if anyone wants a full copy, please contact Deborah. Some of the concerns raised by Whitehead Associates Environmental Consultants employed by DoP are on our homepage, such as the half-metre buffer zone for Wws sewage system, the use of their cleaning chemicals rendering the on-site system inoperable, proposed illegal pumpout of sewage setting a new precedent for other developers in the Shire, etc.

CLIMATE CHANGE media release for S E Queensland – a potential hotspot on our doorstep…. article on our website.

NEW STP: Why is this being built on a floodplain next to the tidal river, surrounded by high hills? Watch out for our guessing competition coming up.

Here’s hoping the State government hasn’t got any silly season surprises in store for us.
Please click on our website campaign button to let them know we care. (Thanks Robert for all your website work).

Perhaps the economic downturn might save Mullumbimby from rampant expansionism. Small is really beautiful!