Submissions called for - North Byron Parklands Cultural Events Site

The company behind two of the country’s most well-known music festivals – Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Music and Arts Festival – is applying for an extension to planning approvals to be able to continue its gigs at the North Byron Parklands site.

A proposal to extend the trial period for the cultural events site at North Byron Parklands is on public exhibition today and the community is encouraged to give feedback.

Feedback wanted on coastal shipping reforms

The Commonwealth Government is seeking comment from ship operators, shipping companies, and other relevant stakeholders on proposed changes to ensure coastal shipping plays an increasing role in Australia's freight transport network.

Only 15 per cent of Australia's domestic freight is moved by ship. Coastal shipping has the potential to take long distance cargo off highways and railway lines to ease future freight demands on the national transport network.

The Commonwealth has identified a range of administrative issues in the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012, which place unnecessary burdens on shipping companies and the Australian businesses that rely on coastal shipping. The discussion paper aims to seek views on modifying the Act. 

Written submissions to the discussion paper can be sent to by Friday, 28 April 2017.

To download copies of the Coastal Shipping Reforms Discussion Paper go

Native Title Recognition website

The National Native Title Tribunal is marking the 25th Anniversary of the Recognition of Native Title.

As part of the anniversary the Tribunal has set up a website at: which provides stories, images and videos discussing native title over the last 25 years and the benefits it has supported.

The public is invited to make contributions to the website, which will be added to over the course of 2017.


Cape Byron Master Plan

21 March 2017

Consultation on the Cape Byron Preliminary Visitor Master Plan closes next Monday 27 March.

Give your feedback on how visitors will experience the Cape Byron area - from nearby beaches to walking and jogging tracks, to parking and getting up to the lighthouse. 

A solar powered electric shuttle bus and improved Cape Byron walking tracks are among the proposals.

Also being considered:  the completion of the Wategos Beach footpath, extension of the walking track beyond the boardwalk on Lighthouse Road and the Tallow Ridge walking track link to Tallow Beach Road to remove conflicts between walkers and cars, and provide a unique and memorable walk. More than 2800 people walk to the Lighthouse daily and the safety of visitors is paramount. Improved walking tracks and lookouts at Little Wategos and the Most Easterly Point of Mainland Australia are important to protect the endangered ecological grassland communities and to provide for the popular joggers and people enjoying the views and wildlife.

Consultation closes on the 27th of March 

Click for more information and to make a submission.

Why does Malcolm Turnbull want to frack the Northern Rivers?

16 March 2017

NSW Greens have expressed outrage at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s suggestion on ABC News 24 yesterday that we have gas crisis which “has been created by policies of state governments that have locked up gas resources over the years despite many warnings” and have called on him to explain why he wants the NSW Government to reopen the Northern Rivers to fracking.

“Malcolm Turnbull and the National Party are actively pushing for more coal seam gas development in NSW and clearly that means they want to see fracking return to the Northern Rivers,” Greens MP for Ballina Tamara Smith said.

Give a Gonski

11 March 2017

Ballina MP and Greens School Education spokesperson Tamara Smith visited the big green Gonski Bus at The Rivers Secondary College – Lismore High School to show support for the AEU NSW Teachers Federation campaign to get the Federal government to commit to Gonski funding.

“Gonski funding is needs-based funding for schools so that all students, regardless of their ability, can be supported to receive a quality education,” said Ms Smith.




Northern Rivers Rail Trail


Imagine a solar powered train and a walk/cycle path next to it, running from Byron Bay to Ewingsdale. Imagine that this is the first stage of a much longer rail trail, where walkers and cyclists can share the rail corridor, avoiding car traffic.

Tamara Smith today announced she will work with the Northern Rivers Rail Trail Group to create the first stage of a rail trail from Byron Bay to Elements of Byron Resort. 

A solar train has been proposed to run on the train line for 3km between Byron Bay and Elements and the path next to it could be used for walking and a cycle path added. This would be a great start to seeing how well rail trails could run in the rest of the Northern Rivers region.

In future the 3km trail could be extended out to Ewingsdale.

Tamara Smith will travel to New Zealand to experience the Queenstown Trail and the Otago Central Rail Trail to find out more about the tourism and business opportunities.

For more, see MP's Grand Plan for Byron Bay rail trail - Ballina Shire Advocate 

See also video: Tamara Smith announces support for rail trail

See Tamara on the rail trails in New Zealand.

NSW solar households earn less than Victoria

NSW Greens renewable energy spokesperson, Tamara Smith is calling on the NSW government to pay a fair price to households which generate electricity through solar power.

Victorian solar households earn 11.3 cents per kWh compared to 4.7 - 6.1 cents per kWh for NSW solar households.

“The Greens are calling on the NSW government to stop ripping off solar households in our state and pay them a fair price for the clean electricity they generate,” said Ms Smith.

Shark net trial continues its toll on turtles

9 March 2017

Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith, today expressed disappointment at the continuing unnecessary deaths of marine life in shark mesh nets off Ballina and Evans Head.

A loggerhead turtle at Lennox Head was among 16 dead individual marine animals killed in the nets being trialled by the Department of Primary Industries. The Department’s monthly report revealed 34 individuals across 7 species were caught in the nets, 16 of which died, including one loggerhead turtle at Lennox Head and 2 hammerhead sharks. No target shark species were caught.

Steve Posselt acknowledged in Parliament

7 March 2017

The NSW Legislative Council has today passed a motion acknowledging the achievement of local adventurer Steve Posselt and his 1,330km kayak journey down the NSW coast raising awareness of the urgent climate emergency.

Steve set off from Ballina in Northern NSW in his kayak on New Year's Day and completed his journey by handing over a petition with nearly 20,000 signatures calling on political leaders to acknowledge and act on the climate emergency in Canberra on 27 February.

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said, “Congratulations to Ballina local Steve Posselt on his epic journey and its impact on raising community understanding of the need for urgent action to curb global warming.

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