Tag Archives: EDO.herbicide free future for Huonbrook

Byron Herbicide Free. 2 working days ahead, weather permitting.

The Byron Environment Centre is holding it’s due to rain re-scheduled chemical-free bush regen and boardwalk maintenance next Tuesday 21th March from 9.30 to 1.30 at the Cumbebin Wetland Sanctuary (next to the toilet block of the Byron Market site) weather permitting. Cool drinks will be provided.

We will be removing Singapore Daisy from around the stormwater drain adjacent to the boardwalk entrance, and we will be doing maintenance to the boardwalk.

Please wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing from sun and mosquitoes. See map attached.

Hope to see you there – come anytime even for an hour or two.

If raining email Sharon (sharon@wwwires.com) at 8 am on the day to see if it is on.

Hello Everyone,

Even though the rain has stopped for the moment. We have decided to postpone due to the wet conditions in the wetland for safety reasons.

I will let you know next date when decided.


Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 25th of March, from 8:30am to 12:30pm, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate, no far from the Surf Club. We will be working on the South side of the Horse Track beach access, however I will walk through the middle of the site checking for Glory Lily, If you come later, please call 0478272300 to find us.

Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, rain coat and some morning tea. Tools and first aid kit will be provided.

Nadia de Souza Pietramale
Project Coordinator
0478 272 300

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Clean up begins at the head waters.




Mullum Civic Hall……………Sunday 6pm.  5 March.


What Monsanto Did Last Summer.

Exposes what Monsanto and Bayer are up to with GMOs and herbicides in Hawaii.

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80 turn out to rescue the Richmond River

The Richmond River estuary at Ballina was rated F in a 2015 Ecohealth report. Photo environment.nsw.gov.au

The Richmond River estuary at Ballina was rated F in a 2015 Ecohealth report. Photo environment.nsw.gov.au

Over 80 community members representing various farming, Landcare and environment groups attended the inaugural meeting of the Richmond River Rescue on Wednesday night at the Lismore City Hall.

Convened by aspiring Nationals Party politician and former Telstra spin doctor, Rod Bruem, the meeting was called to gauge community support to establish a new environmental action group to focus on the important issues of restoring the Richmond River and its tributaries.

‘Richmond River is a disgrace and by any measure it’s getting worse not better,’ Mr Breum said.

He said the issue needed to be addressed now and addressed loudly by local stakeholders.

However, a split in community consensus rapidly became clear when co-convenor Phil Terry, a local farm owner, stated that the group did not want to see unnecessary laws such as mandatory fencing along river banks or other run off initiatives imposed on farmers whose land adjoins the river.

Landcare groups and local Greens Councillor Vanessa Ekins, having just heard from SCU Professor Amanda Reichelt-Brushett that farming activities over the past century were the largest cause of river degradation, did not warm to Terry’s   position believing farmers needed to make reparations for their impact.

Other groups at the meeting queried the need for the existence of yet another river group but Rod Bruem maintained his goal was to bring all the existing groups under one umbrella to lobby for Federal funding.

The meeting in Lismore will be followed by a meeting in Ballina today, Thursday 23 February, at the Ballina Richmond River Room adjacent to the Library commencing at 6pm.

Spraying directly into a drain. Left Bank Road.


My present work site. The foreground shows the substantial regrowth after the lantana was slashed, layered and mulched. An ideal cover for indigenous seedlings to sprout.

this-weeks-work-site Photo below taken 2 years ago.



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My road access getting a makeover.



Weather ideal for Josh to prepare my access road for a makeover. Kept me busy with hundreds of lomandra seedlings amongst pencil cedars to transplant from the drains.


Josh and Amelia ( 0423641821 ) for road and excavation work.



The follow up from SBS confronting drama “DEEP WATER” and the resulting documentary, which interviewed the grieving families and friends of the victims, has gather pace internationally. Now the real ugly side of America/Australia is emerging, LBGTIQ communities are on edge.

Alongside is this very disturbing truth from Sydney, NSW.

Police have opened an investigation into allegations gay men were killed for sport.

New claims have come to light that they were targeted by gangs.

It’s thought as many as 88 men could have been murdered by attackers targeting people they know to be, or perceived to be gay.

Australian authorities now say gangs of teenagers in Sydney hunted gay men for sport, sometimes forcing them off cliffs to their deaths.

Officers are looking at claims they failed to investigate fully at the time, making assumptions of suicide.

It comes after officers re-opened the case of Scott Johnson, a young mathematician, who was found at the bottom Sydney harbour.

His brother has convinced police to re-open the case 28 years after a verdict of death by suicide was recorded.

They’re now investigating claims that he was murdered for being gay.

As many as 30 deaths of gay men who died in the 1980s and 1990s in the area remain unsolved, while 88 deaths are now being reviewed.

About a dozen victims were found dead at the bottom of cliffs or in the sea, the police say.

“We can now see that predators were attacking gay men,” Ted Pickering, police minister for New South Wales in the late 1980s, told the New York Times.

“And they were doing it with the almost-certain knowledge that the police would not have gone after them. That was the police culture of the day.”

No new arrests have been made, but police say a full investigation is now underway.

“While the review is a difficult task because we can’t rewrite history, we know it is important we do everything we can to ensure the best outcomes in the future,” said Tony Crandell, acting assistant commissioner for the New South Wales Police Force.Police have opened an investigation into allegations gay men were killed for sport.


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They took all the trees and put them in a tree Museum.

Hey Byron land guardians

Put away the herbicides now

Give me the spots on my apples

But leave me the birds and the bees


Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you have got

Till its gone

They paved paradise

And put up another parking lot.

Joni Mitchell lyrics with a couple of my add on lines.   1967  “Big Yellow Taxi”.


Does anyone know where the mayor’s pledge for herbicide use to be reduced and with the phasing out of round-up  now stands?

We are still seeing poisoned Coral trees collapsing into the Wilsons Creek and spasmodic spraying into drains and waterways. The health report on the Wilson River is dismal and our responsibilities, living near the head waters, is crucial to the future health of the water.


It is time the Greens put the environment back onto the first of its priorities.


NPA doesn’t have an association position on herbicide use as it’s more relevant to the managers of national parks than it is us.
But I think any reasonably minded person would be concerned about Roundup given the revelation of how the proportion of people in the USA had it in their urine, and the link between roundup and GM. I think the environmental element of GM has been lost in the health debate, and roundup-ready GM crops are a big part of that.
Hope this helps, thanks for getting in touch!
Dr Oisín Sweeney
Senior Ecologist





YouTube  Who Do You Think Will Win?




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2017 ??


New Years Day started for me at 6.

Cloudy and still humid with the chorus of the birds almost deafening. The searing heat of yesterday ( 38 here) has brought out many insects. Spangled drongos were darting and swooping on their breakfast.



Another year flown by.

Looking at my photos from last January and it felt like yesterday.

A busy and satisfying year here. A couple of wwoofers ( Simon and Yoko ) in January and February.  Great dinners prepared by new influences into my kitchen. More sea weed into my diet. Wide range of herbs and leaf from the gardens . The wonderful extra with some wwoofers is their food choices.


My regeneration continual work progressed well with Tim, Victor and others slashing, pulling and mulching. Continual light rain punctuated the days we could work. Leeches, windy days, when boughs of higher trees come darting down, and strong sun, even as early as August, lessened our working hours.

Thank-you to all my real physical workers….. Both the volunteers on the road verges and the paid workers here……great effort too with helping me prepare 500 kilos of turmeric for dispatch.

Overall it was with much satisfaction, as we climbed to our present work site,  through emerging rain forest canopy. From metres above, frogmouth owls watched, brown pigeons scattered to a higher branch, to watch us climb through. The odd yellow breasted robin escorted us through its territory.  Night Caps cliffs look down on us and the emergent bangalow palm forest is now clearly visible.

Surely one of the more beautiful working sites.


Through-out the year. Heather, my sister, came for a very happy laughing time with her. Others too so socially a very good year. My big night out highlight was thwarted by a flood, and I couldn’t attend Barb Jungr’s Byron Bay concert. She kindly sent us her CD singing Dylan and Cohen.  Thank-you Barb.


Politics left me depressed. From our elections here in Australia to the debacle we saw from the US.

Day by day from now on.

Greens take heed. Many of us are disillusioned.


My reading was restricted to those below…………….  THE NEW WILD………….  a positive reassurance in what I am doing here and my approach to regeneration.  With many facts on plants migration and the niches some fill, in a new land, as humans rampage through, this book by Fred Pearce has opened my eyes wider with hope. Anything that grows in our depleted soil is showing us the way is his thesis.

Galvanized my thinking to a satisfactory and comfortable  level and strengthened my approach against herbicides. As Peter Wohllenben says in THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES……………  we deaf and dumb our ecology with our lack of understanding that plants communicate. He was talking about modern whole sale farming practices and the use of herbicides on our food growing areas and hybrid seed. And essentially how that impacts all health, from the micro soil life to us at the top of the food chain.



Radio National is my daily back ground along with Bay FM.  I wait with hesitation, the new programming for Radio National in 2017.  Does not look promising for us old timers. Many programmes I follow when indoors going.

TV, flicked through the food programmes, always about over eating  with Come Dine With Me reflecting our disconnect with the food we take for granted. Food waste is now an epidemic.

SBS Food channel disappointing to the extreme with further encouragement for binge eating.

Reminds me of a Japanese saying ” one grain of rice left in your bowl is a bead of sweat on the brow of a rice farmer”.  Why not some vegetarian and vegan cooking programmes?

Land-line always informative. Science programme CATALYST axed. Why ?

Solar rebate ends today. Paying us 6 cents when the sun shines and selling it back to us for 36 plus cents. Time to off grid.


The renovation shows along with Grand Designs, reflect the status of home builders which is more than often dominated by the third bathroom and space large enough to house 10 instead of two or four.

How do we adapt to climate reality I ask?  AUSTRALIA’s carbon output is still rising. And no real debate or incentive to do anything to reduce it.

There is no real will and my thinking along that line is reinforced when high profile so called environmentalists fly off to another countries campaign while our koalas and many of our indigenous creatures are in rapid free fall in  numbers here. So few want to get involved on the ground.

And life style changes with-in the home, like turning off all standbys, is seen by many as pointless.

The Green party should have their feet on the ground as close to local ecological reality and inform the general population on very real environmental issues, like herbicides in our creeks and drains and on our food.

Advise and engage with what the individual can do. We have been talking about plastic bags in this Shire for over 10 years to finally see initiative from our local IGA and the Mullumbimby Music festival in 2016. Many of those ten years we had a Green dominated Council.

Climate change is about adaptation and softening our carbon and other outputs. Not wasting food, car pooling, growing where you can instead of mowing and encouraging local food self sufficiency.


Our leadership in our no herbicide approach to plants someone decides to poison, has gathered momentum and support. More non chemical company research is being published, after peer review, and its not finding most herbicides a plus for the planet.

A total of 80 hours I, along with Jayne, have put in each, to the hand removal of jump-seed from the public road’s verges. Our volunteer workers, Lou, Shea, Lil, Pav and Tim have had some enjoyable work mornings as we laughed and talked and sung as we mattock  out the beautiful jump-seed, with its soft green broad leaf centred with a dark red. Always a good feeling after we finish.


My projected hopes for 2017 ?

Continue our herbicide free Shire campaign, gather information on a setup for a Shire wide Organic Certifying body  through a public meeting. Publish peer reviewed fact on herbicides.

Will ask to contribute,  Nadia, Ellen and Mary Gardener, Geoff Dawe.



Continue the gardens and ready for a winter harvest of turmeric, ginger, galangal, yacons and yams.

And have a good steady slash, pull and mulch of lantana throughout the winter months here.


Happy New Year.

The year facts will overwhelm fiction.


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Green Army Joining Huonbrook Herbicide Free Active Volunteers.


At last, after Jayne and my own, plus Pav, Lou, Shea, Tim and Lil and Robyn’s three year Saturday mornings efforts, the Green Army are joining me at 8 30 am, Wednesday 7th December, for a concluding effort for 2016, to remove jump-seed from the roads verges.  A sustained effort to prevent herbicide spraying.



From Mill Road Huonbrook towards Mullumbimby. Under the leadership of John McVicar and my guidance it will be a great start for hopefully introductions for young workers to herbicide-free bush regeneration.

I hope to raise dollars for herbicide free employment in 2017. Watch out for my private crowd funding site.

Now we hear the Green Army is to be disbanded, saving the Canberra government 300 million, we are waiting to hear what the Greens say after the 100 million they were pleased about going to land-care.

More herbicides or real hands on conservation with-out contributing more damage to the environment?

We will wait with-out holding our breath.

Jayne and Lou using their mattocks.






And a continuing reality for LBGTI young people. This from Brisbane. The suicide statistics for young gay people is 6 times higher.


13-year-old Tyrone Unsworth took his life after suffering years of homophobic bullying.

Friends and family of the teen led the crowd which gathered at the CBD in Brisbane to call for action on bullying.

Jess Origliasso from the Veronicas and Multicultural Affairs Minister Grace Grace joined hundreds of people at the protest.

Following the news of Tyrone’s suicide, his family received more abuse which deterred his mother, Amanda from speaking at the event.

Jessica Payne, who organised the movement, spoke instead and said his family wanted him to be remembered as “hilarious, funny, beautiful person, full of spirit.”

Payne said: “Things have to change. We can’t just hear more talk. We can’t just let Tyrone be another person lost. Action has to be taken.

“The family has been so inspiring in this regard. The very least we can do is stand with them in solidarity and fight.”

Tyrone took his own life and his mother said that he had suffered through two years of homophobic abuse which pushed him “to the edge.”




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