TIME TO VOTE
May 18th is a big day for politicians, lobbyists and shouty radio shock jocks. Babies can start to relax as getting kissed by strange men in suits will decline. Bizarre ads and shocking behaviour from Queenslanders (north of Gympie) will also recede. Politics has become so toxic and creepy that most normal people don’t want to do it. The festival of democracy is starting to feel pretty lame.
But wait! Is there an alternative? Mark Swivel is “normal” – in an eccentric Mullumbimby kind of way. Mark is running for the Senate and let’s hope he gets the 200,000+ NSW votes needed to get elected. He is a lawyer who is also a comedian and that means he is able to work both hemispheres of his brain. Unlike many who we send to Canberra, who don’t have control over their brain at all. His policies are left/progressive but without all the dogma. More info is available on the website. Read the book – “Let’s Make Australia Slightly Better Than Average Again” – as its a good read. I will be voting The Together Party – collum L – and then another five choices after that. You only need vote to 6 choices.
Anyone interested in how we are going to solve our dire housing crisis may be interested in this upcoming symposium: “Our housing challenge: local communities: local solutions: a Byron perspective. Explore new urban housing models with presentations and a Q and A with our panel of experts in the field. It will be held at the Byron Community Centre on the afternoon of Friday, May 10th. For more info and free tickets go here.
RISE – Support for Christchurch
Last week in Christchurch NZ, the RISE event was held to support the survivors of the Christchurch massacre. Apparently, it was a great success and raised over $170,000 for the survivors of the shooting. There were many exceptional speakers (Including our own Chris Hanley from First National REA) but the attendees were won over by Farid Ahmed. Farid was there and his wife was shot and killed. He spoke eloquently with compassion and healing. This event was a collaboration between the members NZ and Australian real estate industry. There is often a lot of good community work done by the real estate industry that often goes unacknowledged. I think its time the low esteem that the REA industry is held by the public needs rebooting.
Manor House Development
In the last issue of the newsletter, I talked about the NSW government introducing new regulations around medium density development. I assumed that only blocks over 600 metres in size and within a medium density zoning were able to subdivide and, in some cases, build “manor houses” – a single structure that includes up to four flats. Apparently, the ‘medium density zoning” requirement is fairly fluid with lots of loopholes. Byron Shire has an exemption for a year to decide what to do. This proposal needs to be strongly defeated in Byron as it could change the face of Byron and our rural villages.
Peace, Love and Composting
This week, May 4th – 11th, is the fourth International Compost Awareness Week. Local residents should be aware of this very nifty new composting system that has been developed in the shire. The “subpod” is a device that takes care of most of the difficulties of disposing of food waste and feeding your garden. It is a box that sits below ground and is a combination of a worm farm and a composting system. This is a product similar to the “Flow Hive” bee farm idea, which became a crowdsourcing sensation and the subject of an Australian Story on ABC TV – also developed in this shire.
So far there have been 554 online buyers already and it has raised over $100,000 AUS in pre-orders in 40 days. Find out more about their crowdfunding campaign here. The compost boxes are available online through Indiegogo for $100 USD. Go to the Subpod website here for more info or search for Subpod on the Indiegogo site. Or you can get yourself down to the Farm on Saturday 11 – 2. A full demo of the Subpod and lots of talk and info on composting. More info is here at the Farm Facebook page.
Our area is a big supporter of solar energy with lots of householders putting PV panels on their roofs. Look out for solar farms being the next thing to happen. COREM (Community Owned Renewable Energy Mullumbimby) have a proposal and are looking for suitable land. Byron Council is hoping to build a solar farm on council-owned land at Valances Road Mullumbimby – where the new STP (Sewerage Treatment Plant) went. But looks like Eagle Farm in Grays Lane, Tyagarah may be the first off the rank. A DA for a 5-megawatt solar farm (about an acre of PV panels) is currently before council.
Mullumbimby Hospital Site
Here is a picture of the inside of the Mullum hospital. The asbestos needed to be removed before any demolition could begin. That stage will be completed this month and once an independent inspector has ticked it off, the demolition work will start.
The initial plan for the site, after asking and receiving community input, is for it to be split into three different areas and functions. First is to decide to keep, expand or move the existing Catholic Aged Care Coolamon Villas – or do our own Mullum style aged care facility. The southwestern corner, which is high with good views, is expected to be rezoned for residential or unit development land. This will hopefully fund the community/social enterprise/Not For Profit area on the flat land. Community groups, NFPs or social service providers need to be aware if you are looking for office or workspace in the future then make yourself known. Councillor Basil Cameron is the person to see.
It’s a Brady Family Renovation
The is an inexhaustible appetite for home renovation TV shows – only equal to the love of nostalgia. Put them together and you must have a winner. All six original Brady Bunch kids reunited recently to restore their iconic ‘home’ to the way it looked in the series. While the house was only ever used for exterior scenes, the original kids, now adults, are gutting the structure and turning into what would have been the real Brady home, complete with orange and avocado green kitchen and that staircase. The ‘kids’ are taking part in a project being filmed for HGTV’s A Very Brady Renovation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hit TV show.
Buyers Agents on the Rise
In the last year or two, there has been a noticeable shift in the acceptance and popularity of buyer’s agents. That suits me of course and there is an obvious advantage of being part of an industry that is growing and expanding. REBAA is the industry association of which I am a member and we are continually trying to improve the skills, ethics and acceptance of members. You can go on their site and find a professional, experienced BA anywhere in Australia. Here is an article that neatly outlines this change in acceptance and the advantages of using a qualified BA. And our article about why you would use a BA.