A reply to Mayor Simon Richardson’s message.

To Byron Shire’s mayor.

A reflection in your  message Simon.

I think you got more people off side when you spoke on radio about being out of the trench.

Many of us will remain in the trench until we see positive environmental leadership.

Hectares of camphor trees are being poisoned in our  Shire. Coral tree poisoning next to the road has created land slip potential. Drains along our country roads are still being privately sprayed in certain areas.

Road way pipe inlets are blocked therefore creating insufficient drainage which then impacts the road surface. A dangerous exposed pipe on Huonbrook Road has been reported many times and still not been safely cordoned off. As a local cyclist I have encountered a speeding vehicle as I cycled down the hill where the pipe is exposed. I was lucky as I was able to swerve into the grass before the breaking away road edge.

Huonbrook Herbicide Free ACTIVE volunteers are continuing hand weeding of the jump seed plant along with planting lomandras where appropriate. Chemical free volunteers are committed and follow independent science on herbicides in common use. We need people, not machines, to replant water inlets and outlets along our roads.

Environment awareness and education is the key as more cashed up people arrive from the cities. Enough evidence on herbicides in water, soil and our air has come to the fore and if Byron still calls itself Green we should be more proactive as land guardians.

Simon’s reply.

Thanks for taking the time to get in touch. I guess my point was that we need to find a way forward to get good outcomes and I think your area is a case in point. Many many great environmentally dedicated people who are split between two camps. Perhaps I am being naive, however I think that if some way forward could be found to connect the groups the outcomes would be better. I was also speaking more broadly. Your particular issue is about a technique or strategy to solve a solution -and so yea, perhaps each strategy can be advocated for strongly. In the issue of the pipe, this is the first I have heard of it, I will get staff onto it.
Regards, Simon

Thank you Simon for your reply.

You say two camps with committed environmentalists in each ?  Herbicide free regenerators and ones with a spray pack or injector?

The Greens Charter is very clear when it states ‘ Ecology….to ensure that human activity respects the integrity of ecosystems. and does not impair biodiversity and the ecological resilience of life supporting systems.

With the Richmond River at Ballina presenting a F rating its on us to present the best ecological support for our rivers within our Shire. Coopers Creek begins in my property which I am proud to say it has not seen a herbicide in the 40 years I have been guardian here.

Since the wholesale poisoning of Coral trees and Camphor Laurels in our valley we are seeing an increasing number of nectar seeking birds (Coral ) finding their way to our end of the valley. Older residents down the valley tell me they are noticing a distinct decline in birds, cicadas, frogs ect.

Some of us hoped Byron Shire would have branded itself as a committed Organic Shire, a Shire which could be emulated by others as well.

I would like a transparent audit of the quantity of herbicides being put into our environment. I would also like to see the independent research, outside of the chemical companies own sales pitch, published whenever Land care or others spray or inject.

There seems to be a considerable contradiction in individual green members on GMOs and the terminator technology that GMOs present. Also the increasing use of herbicides in their cultivation. Have you a view on this?

Thanks for reading    Donald Drinkwater

PS   Great to see the steam weeding machine in action on Mullumbimby streets.


Recently stolen sign we placed at the entry to our valley. Someone is collecting them for their art value.

FROM the University of Canterbury. NZ.

The active ingredients found in common household weed killers such as Roundup and Yates can cause bacteria to develop a resistance to antibiotics, scientists have warned.
In a new study published in the scientific journal Microbiology, researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand found that three of the most commonly used herbicides – glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup), dicamba (found in Yates), and 2,4-D – caused E.coli and salmonella to become less susceptible to antibiotics.
Jack Heinemann, a professor in molecular biology and genetics, and one of the authors of the study, said the findings show that “bacteria respond to exposure to the herbicides by changing how susceptible they are to antibiotics used in human and animal medicine”.
Antibiotic resistance is a phenomenon where bacteria become unresponsive to treatments that were once highly effective in killing them – making common infections and diseases harder to treat and, occasionally, lethal.
The research, which builds on a 2015 study conducted by the same group that first established the link between weed killers and antibiotic resistance (also known as antimicrobial resistance), found that both the active and inert ingredients in the chemicals can cause bacteria to adapt to the harsher environment and hence become more resistant against antibiotics.


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