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Janelle Saffin joins Talking Lismore to discuss the flood recovery
Janelle Saffin joins Talking Lismore to discuss the flood recovery

15 July 2024, 9:02 PM

As Lismore's flood recovery gains momentum, Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin sat down to record another Talking Lismore Podcast. Ms Saffin talked about the flood recovery, so the Resilient Homes Program (house raisings and retrofits) and the Land Program (North Lismore Plateau) and the closure of the Wollongbar Pod Village.Ms Saffin was obviously pleased with the official announcement by Ministers Scully and Dib for the House Raisings and Retrofits getting underway but did say Lismore can expect to have less work done in this space than Byron and Tweed Councils."I don't know the exact amount, but I do know there are hundreds already interested, and that is right across the region. It appears to be a larger number in the Byron LGA, Tweed LGA, Clarence LGA and Richmond Valley LGA because obviously a lot of buybacks happened in Lismore."The most recent Resilient Lands announcement was for approximately 85 new blocks to be established in North Lismore, with buyback homeowners given priority to move onto the site when the infrastructure work has been completed. Can we anticipate more blocks to be released in the coming months?"I see it as a start because, obviously, there's quite a bit of land there. 85 is a start, and we were able to secure one portion of what I call uncontested land there. So, that is a good start and clearly there can be more."The North Lismore Resilient Land site was the first time that the state government had compulsory acquired land for the benefit of the region. Will we see more cases of this in the future when master plans are developed and released with only one or two houses on a street?"It was a case of the government making a decision. Everybody is committed to Lismore surviving and thriving, and one way of getting the 85 lot development was to say we are going to do a compulsory acquisition, and that was done. I know it is too slow, it's too slow for our community, and it's too slow for me looking at what's going to happen with that land and the houses, but there is a lot of work being done that I would like to see announced blow by blow what is being done. I hope that the RA is in a position to do that because there is some good work going on about what to do with it."I've listened to radio programs; everybody has ideas; I Googled it and came up with 50 ideas of what you could do (laughs). I have looked at what they've done worldwide. Some people have talked about community gardens and I've said that will last three weeks. That just won't work. I know people who are staying in those neighbourhoods, I'd be inclined to offer the land to them."Ms Saffin shared some ideas as to what the land could be used for."Sporting fields, recreation areas, areas that, if impacted by flood, it is not going to cause a great deal of damage. Walking tracks is one, and people on bikes is another. There is just a multitude of things that I thought could work. Community gardens are lovely, but they take a lot of effort and a lot of commitment. They don't always work.The plans for creating wonderful community spaces should be part of a Lismore Vision document. There has been work started on the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation vision, which incorporates the seven LGAs. What is the latest news here?"Two things. People have said that we need a Master Plan for the Northern Rivers following on from the disaster. As part of the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation, council's said they would like CSIRO to do the vision. We already have CSIRO doing the work on what we can mitigate, and there is a division within the CSIRO that can look at economic and social plans."I went and met them, spent a couple of hours with them, and outlined what we were thinking here, what agreement we have with RA and NEMA, the federal agency, and that project has started. I said I wanted to make sure that the NRRI, that's the mitigation part of the CSIRO project was in there, so we go lock step together. That's there, we'll have CSIRO there and we'll have the Living Lab as well because they're local and they're international."We'll be doing an exercise on the vision in a couple of weeks. We'll all be together. The elected leaders saying this is our vision. My vision is very simple. An economically and environmentally sustainable Northern Rivers. Everyone got caught up in the vision. I think it's very simple but we all have to agree on it. And then you do the Master Plan. I said we should have three major ideas for the Northern Rivers, and then the seven LGAs may have another three major ideas for their own area. Then we look at all the other plans, and it gives us an advocacy tool. And it gives confidence too."When asked if we will see a first draft of the Master Plan before the end of 2024, Ms Saffin replied "Yes"."It's a bit like herding cats," she laughed, "You have seven LGAs, seven mayors, seven councils, four state MPs and two federal MPs. Getting us all together is difficult, but the will is there, and the commitment is there."The Northern Rivers Recovery and Resilience Program (NRRRP) was announced in two Tranches. The first was in February 2023, when the CSIRO released its interim report, and the second was in July 2023. Lismore received the bulk of Tranche 1, which was $50 million for fourteen low-level flood recovery and mitigation projects to be implemented by the NSWRA. We haven't seen any work in this space, what is the latest?"Look, there is action. The RA aren't very good at letting people know what they are doing. There are 36 projects on a website, and it has a fact sheet on each one, but it's nice if someone talks to you.Are we better prepared for another flood than we were at the start of 2022?"The SES are far better prepared. My comments are on the record about the SES at the highest level at the time of the big flood. We have had two minor events up here, and I saw how well the SES were really prepared. Normally, we would wait until the BOM put out everything directly, they would say to the community these are the indications, so let's get ready. They did that a hell of a lot quicker, and it was fantastic. So, yes, we are better prepared in that sense, but we still need to do a lot more to be fully prepared for a big disaster."There has also been a lot of work done through DCJ (Department of Communities and Justice) for evacuation and evacuation centres etc. I've seen all of that, and it's really good work as well."What about the BOM warning system? That was one of the biggest complaints from residents after February 28 2022. Have they made improvements to their system?"I've got no idea. I do know there is someone from them embedded in the SES now, and when those other events I talked about happened, I was in the briefings with the SES and the BOM. The SES are actually saying okay, this is indicative coming, so let's get ready. They're actually going early, and that's what we need."Early warning saves lives and money. I've had a look at it, particularly with the European Union, and it's the one big thing we really have to focus on. This is something that the RA will be charged to do, particularly with the Disaster Adaptation Plan, which they have to do under the law of the State Mitigation Plan."It was recently announced that the Wollongbar Pod Village will close. Is this the first of staged closures for the rest of the Northern Rivers Pod villages?(The Wollongbar Pod Village in May 2022)"Look, it will be. The first thing I'll say is that if you are living there and you came out of the big flood, I understand why people would want to stay there. A lot of that land was rented temporarily, and Wollongbar was the first. Every agency is working together; Homes NSW, Community Housing Providers, and RA are there saying what can we do to offer you alternative accommodation. "I also get that some people at the time were paying $320 a week rent in the areas they were and now it might be $450 or $550. So, I've said a few things; we will have to subsidise rents for people, I've suggested we offer some of those pods to people if they have family or land they could take it on to. I've also said to the media it's not about evicting them. "Everybody's working to make sure they have somewhere to go to. It won't be easy, of course. We are in a dreadful housing situation, a dreadful rental market, but the government's given a commitment to social housing, and I'm also working with other community housing providers and saying let's just buy some.The flip side of the discussion is that people have been living rent-free for two years and should have saved some money for this very situation."The community leaders forum actually said that there should be a charge and put that aside for the transition to alternative accommodation."As far as the East Lismore Pod Village is concerned, Ms Saffin said nothing will happen this year, and nothing has been agreed, but it will likely close sometime in 2025.You can hear the full chat with Janelle Saffin by heading to the Lismore App Podcasts 'Talking Lismore', which is also available here through the website.

Rous County Council Secures $6.9 Million Grant for Bungawalbin Levee
Rous County Council Secures $6.9 Million Grant for Bungawalbin Levee

15 July 2024, 8:01 PM

There are a couple of towns that haven't had much media coverage since the 2022 big flood, Woodburn and Bungawalbin.The 8km Bungawalbin earth levee protects about a dozen homes on the eastern side of Bungawalbin Creek and, in some instances, to Swan Bay and towards Rocky Mouth Creek, provides evacuation routes for many more and protects farming land from minor to moderate floods. Recent damage to the levee, notably from the flood events of 2017, 2021, and 2022, emphasised the levee's importance while prompting Rous and community concern.Rous County Council applied for grants in March 2023 to make the levee more resilient, so the next time it overtops, there is confidence that it is going to hold and that it's performing the way it's expected to in terms of overflowing at a certain point and not eroding the levee.Last week, sixteen months later, Rous County Council announced the approval of a grant totalling up to $6.9 million under the Natural Disaster Relief Assistance Program (NDRA) and State and Commonwealth Government’s Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.“This investment in Bungawalbin Levee comes after considerable effort from the community and Rous to highlight its importance. An independent assessment of the levee, funded by Rous, has paved the way for this significant investment. Bungawalbin Levee is highly valued by floodplain landowners and residents for the service it provides,” said Cr Robert Mustow, Rous Chair.Rous County Council will collaborate with NSW Public Works to finalise the scope of the remediation works, ensuring optimal utilisation of the grant across the levee. This initiative follows successful repairs to the Tuckombil Levee, which protects Woodburn and surrounds from flooding from Tuckombil Canal and the Evans River, also funded through the NDRA and disaster recovery arrangements.The Tuckombil Levee repairs were guided by specialised geotechnical advice on how to repair the levee and what material to use. The repair work was then independently inspected and assessed when completed. Emergency works were also recently completed on Bungawalbin Levee to repair a section of rock armouring that had slumped following the 2022 flood.“The repair of Tuckombil Levee is an example of the work Rous does to manage and maintain its large network of historic, rural flood mitigation infrastructure. These levees are an important way of reducing the impact of floods on the mid-Richmond community by reducing inundation of valuable agricultural land, residential properties, evacuation roads and infrastructure. Rous looks forward to continuing this approach in utilising the significant investment now secured for Bungawalbin Levee,” said Cr Robert Mustow.Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, also welcomed the $6.9 million to repair the Bungawalbin levee. “I have advocated strongly for the levee repairs, so it is great to secure the funds under the Commonwealth Governments Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.” Mr Hogan said. “The remediation of the Bungawalbin levee will reduce the height of future flooding and protect valuable agricultural land, residential properties, evacuation roads and infrastructure.”  “The levee protects the Bungawalbin catchment from flooding, which includes Swan Bay, New Italy and Woodburn.” “Damage to the levee, from the flood events of 2017, 2021, and 2022, meant there was serious community concerns the levee would not withstand even a minor flood.” “Flood mitigation that reduces the height of future floods is the only strategy that will give our region a sustainable future and safety.” “The path ahead for the broader Northern Rivers region must include a public commitment to flood mitigation. If the community knows a metre or more will be taken off future flood events, they will invest and live in confidence.”Rous County Council looks forward to advancing protection and resilience for the mid-Richmond community against future flood events.

Good crowds show up for 2024 Bentley Art Prize
Good crowds show up for 2024 Bentley Art Prize

14 July 2024, 11:09 PM

The prestigious 2024 Bentley Art Prize was held over the weekend, with over 500 artworks on display in 14 categories, and over $13,000 in the prize pool. There was music, stalls, good food and frivolity at the event, which was well attended - over 1000 people came through on the weekend, alone.One talented lady, Elena Churilova, is the recipient of four out of the six major awards ($4,350 worth of prizes). The other awards went to Joseph Belford ($1000) and Tim Roberts ($1000).  (Elena Churilova’s “Shipyard” sold for $1000)Gordon Serone, the Bentley Art Prize Coordinator, was very pleased with the range of works and the talent displayed. “There was only one judge, Harry Westera, and he was not aware of the artist's names while judging. There was some disappointment that the prizes were not spread further. Next year that will most likely change," Gordon said.The winner of the High School Prize was Peri Hynes, 17, with her eye-catching-painting, Stationary. Peri tried a new medium - oils which was still drying when it was hung. Peri is from Tyalgum and it is the first time she has entered this competition.  “It’s very exciting and an unexpected surprise. I feel like I am a valued part of a community that I didn’t even know existed! It’s a really lovely feeling.”(Gordon Serone, Peri Hynes and her artwork. Stationary, is a picture of her sister on a trip to Sydney last year)Peri’s artwork will go into her uni portfolio, or perhaps her HSC body of work if she needs it. “This painting has already got good credit!”Other areas of the art prize included sculpture, mixed medium, photography, crafts and special sections for children.(Some fun with mixed media - Friend of Bungabee by Chris Clark)Many of the artworks were available to purchase. Prices ranged from $45 to $2,900 (not including school children's work)The prizes were from a wide range of sponsors across Lismore, Casino and Kyogle.Nev Lawlor's painting "Three Greys" won the people's hearts in the Popular Choice Award.The Major prize winners are:Richmond Valley Council Acquisition Prize - Shipyard by Elena ChurilovaAustralian Landscape - Who Said Pigs Can’t Fly by Elena ChurilovaPortrait Drawing Prize - What the Future has in Store by Elena ChurilovaLibrary Acquisition Prize - Spring by Elena Churilova(Spring sold for $400)Casino RSM Club Acquisition Prize - Fallen Trees by Joseph Bedford(Fallen Trees by Joseph Belford sold for $950)In and Around Bentley Prize - Rambaldini’s Bridge Naughtons Gap by Tim Roberts(Tim Roberts, Rambaldini's Bridge, Naughtons Gap sold for $650)Other winners include:Sculpture Prize - Visitation Relics by Dennis Hopkins(Woman and her Womb by Terri Nicholson was awarded a H'ghly Commended)Craft Prize - Fairy Home Light by Victoria Lynn(Victoria Lynn's, Fairy Home Lights)Primary Section - Colour Creation by Erica BrookesHigh School Years 10–12 - Stationary by Peri HynesHigh School Years 7–9 - Daydream by Lacey PohleUnder 6 - The Living School

Theatre North is sharing memories at pop-up museum
Theatre North is sharing memories at pop-up museum

14 July 2024, 10:03 PM

Theatre North provided quality theatre experiences for artists and audiences in the northern rivers region of NSW from 1981 to 2024. The regional community theatre company was established by Peter and Ros Derrett to meet the demand for challenging mainstage performances, touring, skills development workshops, youth theatre and Theatre In Education programs. To celebrate the activities of the company and explore its history through a sharing of memories, an exhibition will open at the Pop-Up Museum from today (Monday, July 15 ) till the end of August 2024. The Richmond River Historical Society’s Pop-Up Museum, at 109 Molesworth Street will host a display of a range of diverse items documenting the contribution the organisation made to the regional cultural life. The exhibition offers comprehensive photographic coverage of performances through a range of programs, posters and promotional material of the wide range of activities in Lismore, the region and nationally. From the massive community production ‘Xerxes’ staged in Lismore City Hall in 1992, to commissioned works for international audiences at Expo 88 in Brisbane to intimate one-person shows at Rochdale Theatre Goonellabah, local original work attracted significant media attention. Past participants of the company’s programs are invited to visit to share their memories, whether as actors, technicians, musicians, visual artists, costume makers, local business supporters and educators. Contact with those involved over the 43 years will be highlighted by a number of special functions during the exhibition period. Over the years, Theatre North celebrated the contribution of skilled, experienced and talented regional artists by offering varied performance opportunities in Lismore (Trinity Catholic College Studio, Lismore City Hall, Lismore Workers Club, SCU Theatre, Spinks Park), regionally, and in metropolitan venues like World Expo 88, Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Sydney Opera House. The company created a loyal following amongst delighted audiences; dealt with issues of lean administration and partnerships with other specialists and agencies. It developed a range original theatre that drew on local issues and ideas and attracted audiences and participants of all ages and skill levels. Richmond River Historical Society’s Pop-Up Museum is at 106 Molesworth Street, Lismore CBD, starting today and running until the end of August 2024. The exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m.

Lifeline is looking for volunteers for its Magellan Street retail shop
Lifeline is looking for volunteers for its Magellan Street retail shop

14 July 2024, 9:00 PM

Lifeline has had a very busy 2024, with its call and online crisis support centres receiving a record number of calls, texts and webchats. In fact, Sunday, April 28, Lifeline support staff were run off their feet with 3,439 calls and 939 texts and webchats, the highest numbers in a single day.The last five years have seen bushfires, a global pandemic, floods, and now a cost-of-living crisis. It is easy to see why so many people are calling Lifeline for help.A little-known fact is that Lifeline's retail stores are an important avenue that provides funding support for the charity's core purpose."It's critical," the General Manager of Lifeline Northern Rivers, Michael Were, told the Lismore App."We couldn't do Lifeline to the scale that we do without the contribution of our retail stores and people who purchase through our stores. So, if you combine our traditional donation and fundraising activities with the proceeds that come from our retail stores and our government funding, they're the three primary sources that allow us to deliver the services that we do and the scale of what we do."Everything that's raised through the store here goes straight towards supporting everything that we do in crisis support across the region. It's not a profit-making exercise at all. It's a fundraising exercise.Michael is referring to the Magellan Street shop that re-opened in March 2023 after the flood and then expanded its size by leasing the shop next door, which opened in September last year.Ruth Marshall is the Area Manager for the Northern Rivers and New England. Ruth explained that Lifeline Magellan Street has a store manager, two or three casual staff and a number of volunteers."A store this size would require at least 20 volunteers rotating each week. Certain people can work certain days, while some people can just do five hours a week. Ideally you want a minimum of three volunteers a day, and we just don't have that at the moment. So, unfortunately we have to spend money on wages until we can get some volunteers in, which is taking away from crisis support."To volunteer for Lifeline, you have to be 16 or over."Everyone's welcome," Ruth said, "We have younger people working here, two 18-year-olds and a 21-year-old, all the way up to people in their 70s.""Everyone volunteers for different reasons, young and old. Mostly, they do it for the cause. I think, you know, they may have had lived experience with suicide, and they feel they want to assist with the crisis support by helping to raise funds. Everybody here, it doesn't matter what they do, cleaning, sorting, or making nice displays, everything they do contributes to the experience of the retail environment. So when they come in, everything just helps raise the revenue.(Cherie, Ruth and Grace out the front of the Magellan Street shop)"It gives them a sense of purpose. It gives them work experience, and it gives them a connection to the community."Ruth tells the story of Grace Benfield, a teenager whose ideal job prior to working at Lifeline was to work at a bookstore."She actually volunteered here for about a year and a bit and ended up being a paid employee. Now she works in our little book department here and absolutely loves it. Down the track, that could lead to other opportunities, and it could lead to other opportunities here with Lifeline as well."Grace explained why she volunteers and what appeals about Lifeline to her."A lot of young people, especially teenagers, need someone to rely on, and Lifeline gives that opportunity where you can call anytime, day or night, and there's always someone there listening to you. I just wanted to be part of that whole process of helping give back."I see a few young people coming into the store and come over to me because we're a similar age and on the same level or edgy or whatever.For older volunteers, their reasons are not driven by career opportunities or money. They come in more for the social connection.Cherie Graham is a self-funded retiree who was in a rut."I live by myself and I didn't have anything at home. I just decided that I wanted to get out and help. I volunteer two days a week, five hours a day. I love it. I love to meet new people and interact with the customers."The difference in the last four months of feeling myself has been great as well. I get up in the morning, and I've got something planned for the day."Anyone can be a volunteer at Lifeline. There are no minimum hours you have to work."We are grateful for anything," Ruth said, "Any amount of time that people can give us is so appreciated.""To get in touch, if people are tech savvy, they can jump on our website and look for the QR code, or they can come into the shop."The Lifeline Magellan Street shop is open seven days; Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, Saturdays 9am to 4pm and Sunday's 10am to 4pm."People can walk in any time and say, hey, I'm interested in volunteering. We'll have a chat, and we'll get them in to see if they like it and then sort out a roster.""There is a big opportunity for people who are over 55, depending on their circumstances, to meet their mutual obligation requirements with Centrelink by working 15 hours a week with an approved organisation such as Lifeline, and then they will receive their benefit. So they can either look for work or they can volunteer."I encourage people in this situation to contact Services Australia and check their eligibility. We have a lot of people at other stores that meet their requirements by volunteering."

Laneway closure today as Safer Cities: Her Way initiative gets underway
Laneway closure today as Safer Cities: Her Way initiative gets underway

14 July 2024, 8:01 PM

The next phase of the Safer Cities: Her Way initiative, funded by Transport NSW will get underway today in the CBD.As part of Council’s commitment to making the CBD a safer and more vibrant place to work, visit and connect, Council will be upgrading the pedestrian laneway at 56 Woodlark Street, which links Woodlark Street and the Clyde Campbell Car Park. The laneway was identified, through community consultation, as an area of safety concern, making it a priority site for the project. The upcoming closure will allow the asphalt to be relayed, creating a safer, smoother surface that reduces the risk of trips and falls. This upgrade will also improve accessibility for people with mobility aids, ensuring that everyone can use the path comfortably.What to Expect: Temporary Laneway Closure: Monday, 15 July, from 6am to 7pm (weather permitting). Private Car Park Closure: The rear car park at 40 Woodlark Street will also be closed for asphalting. Notifications have been sent to business owners and residents. During this period, pedestrian access through the work site will not be possible. However, alternative routes are available via the laneway adjacent to the Cedar and Lime shop or the ANZ Bank.This is the beginning of the delivery of these safety enhancements, and in the coming weeks Council will proceed with the installation of:CCTVCatenary lightingConvex mirrorsSafety bollards Council says these measures will further enhance the security and usability of this pedestrian pathway.

Product standards for e-bikes and e-scooters proposed to stop fires
Product standards for e-bikes and e-scooters proposed to stop fires

13 July 2024, 11:03 PM

E-bikes and e-scooters are growing in popularity, and sales are expected to increase once the Lismore to Bentley section of the Rail Trail is completed later this year.Lithium-ion battery-powered products are the fastest-growing cause of fires in NSW, with Fire and Rescue NSW recording 90 incidents relating to e-bikes, e-scooters, hoverboards, e-skateboards, and other lithium-ion battery-powered products between 2022 and 2023.In response to the growing risks, the NSW Government is taking steps to ensure these products comply with safety standards and are appropriately tested, certified and marked before they enter the market.To fast track the process, NSW Fair Trading hosted a roundtable last month that brought together industry members, peak bodies, advocacy groups and Government to discuss the proposed changes.Stakeholders were asked to provide feedback on the relevant applicable safety standards and an appropriate transition period before the new standards start.The Government is currently considering feedback from the roundtable which will inform rules made by the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner.NSW Fair Trading has also started a consumer education campaign explaining how these products should be used, highlighting unsafe charging practices and other factors that may cause fires.  When the changes come into effect, selling products that don’t meet the prescribed standards could attract penalties of up to $825,000 for corporations and $82,500 for individuals.The certification consultation follows Environment Minister’s from across the country meeting to accelerate work on model legislation to improve the design, packaging, importation, storage and disposal of batteries.Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading Minister Anoulack Chanthivong said, “The rising number of fires related to e-scooters, e-skateboards, e-bikes and ‘hoverboards’ is alarming which is why we have moved quickly on a number of fronts to work out the best way to handle these products safely. “The reality is devices like e-bikes are here to stay. Imposing higher standards means that consumers will have access to the products they want with the confidence that they’re safe.“As the popularity of lithium-ion batteries grows, we can’t afford to let them continue to go unregulated in our community. Failing to act poses a huge risk to lives and property in NSW.“The NSW Fair Trading Commissioner will take action to mitigate these risks, and I look forward to hearing feedback from industry, peak bodies and consumer advocates as we continue to work with our federal counterparts on the wider issue of imported products available on the internet.”Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said, “With higher usage comes greater risk, and there has been a noticeable increase in reported Lithium-Ion-related fires by Fire and Rescue NSW.“The NSW Government is taking action to respond to the rise in fires caused by these batteries and Fair Trading has an important role to play, as well as the frontline and community engagement work being carried out by FRNSW.”Acting NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Petrina Casey said, “The ongoing cost to property and potential loss of life from lithium-ion battery fires outweighs any compliance cost imposed on industry by these new standards.“We are moving to impose new standards and certification requirements for e-bikes, e-scooters, hoverboards and other lithium-ion powered micromobility devices.”“In order to maintain consumer safety across Australia, NSW Fair Trading will work with other jurisdictions to encourage certification requirements nationally.”

Council performance to be ranked to meet housing targets
Council performance to be ranked to meet housing targets

13 July 2024, 10:01 PM

The Minns Government is introducing a range of measures to hold local and State Government accountable for the approval of more housing as NSW works towards its commitment of 377,000 homes by mid-2029 under the National Housing Accord.The NSW Government has been clear that addressing the housing crisis is a shared responsibility, and all levels of government must do their part.To ramp up housing supply across the state, the NSW Government has introduced planning reforms to build more homes and build better communities.As councils assess approximately 85 per cent of all residential development applications, the state government introduced a new Statement of Expectations and league tables as their performance is critical to confronting the housing crisis.In addition, State agencies concurrence and referral timeframes will be published.Regionally Significant Development Applications referral times to planning panels will be published from August, State Significant Development assessment timeframes for infill affordable housing will be published from September 2024 and TOD accelerated precinct assessment timeframes in 2025.This data will monitor the State Government’s performance so that it also is held accountable.To provide further transparency around the Government’s expectations, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces has released a new Statement of Expectations Order that establishes timeframes for councils on development assessment, planning proposals and strategic planning.The council league table and Statement of Expectations Order are part of the NSW Government’s Faster Assessments program. This includes $200 million in financial incentives for councils that meet the new expectations for development applications, planning proposals and strategic planning.These financial incentives will go towards grants for councils to fund more green space such as parks, sporting facilities and smaller pocket parks, plus maintenance of local streets and footpaths which councils maintain.If a council consistently underperforms over time, the Minister for Local Government has the authority to issue a Performance Improvement Order. A Performance Improvement Order outlines the actions that the Minister requires to be taken to improve the performance of the council.These measures have been established to speed up the delivery of homes for people in every stage of life, whether it be a young person, a family or a downsizer.To view the council league table, visit hereTo view the updated Statement of Expectations, visit hereMinister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said, “We are committed to building a better NSW with more homes so young people, families and workers have somewhere to live. The Government has announced a suite of housing reforms over the past 12 months aimed at delivering more homes faster. “We are now introducing new performance standards and monitoring because if we don’t measure performance then we can’t monitor it properly."Councils approve the vast majority of residential development in our State, so tracking their performance is critical if we together want to meet our housing targets. But we will also track the performance of the State government as well to hold ourselves to account.“The updated Statement of Expectations, alongside improved monitoring, reporting, support and compliance initiatives will help councils and the State to speed up development assessments and improve transparency and accountability in the planning process. “The NSW Government will work collaboratively with councils and support them to meet assessment expectations.“There is $200 million in financial incentives available to councils to help achieve housing targets and improve planning performance including development application timeframes. The funding will help deliver local infrastructure including roads, open spaces and community facilities for growing communities.”Minister for Local Government Ron Hoenig said, "Local government has a critical role to play in approving housing across NSW.“The State Government is instituting a range of measures to support councils but where there is continuing underperformance despite that support, I will step in.“As Minister for Local Government I have the authority to issue Performance Improvements Orders to councils to rectify issues of ongoing underperformance.“The NSW Government is serious about addressing the housing crisis and while this is a last resort, we will explore every avenue available to us in order to build more homes.”

CWA on the way to reclaim its home at Spinks Park
CWA on the way to reclaim its home at Spinks Park

13 July 2024, 9:03 PM

Since the devastating flood of 2022, the Lismore Country Women's Association (CWA) has exemplified resilience and community spirit by continuing its activities despite the loss of its meeting rooms. The Lismore CWA is pleased to announce significant progress towards returning to its cherished home in Spinks Park, thanks to the unwavering support of the community and key stakeholders.Following the flood, the Lismore CWA faced the challenge of finding venues for its activities. Branch members Thelma James and Mic Roberts generously opened their homes despite their own losses, providing a temporary refuge for the CWA's gatherings. (Kylie was very happy to have the ladies share her space at the Outpost)Subsequently, Kylie Gartside from Outpost Gallery and Rebecca Ryan from Heart Space offered their venues, ensuring the continuation of craft meetings and community activities. (Rebecca loved the CWA being involved with her creative “Heartspace” project. Meryl spoke for the good cheer and laughs that were missed when the CWA moved on)Mark Solomon and the team at Lismore Showgrounds further extended that support by providing space at Norma’s kitchen, where the CWA has been able to meet and conduct their crafting sessions for the past 18 months.(Mark said, “It’s been a wonder having the CWA at the showground - they bring great energy and enthusiasm and support for the show.”)Throughout this journey, various members of the Lismore CWA have also stored salvaged items and donated supplies at their homes, patiently waiting for the day when the organisation could return to its dedicated rooms.Now, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Lismore City Council, NSW Government, Bennett Constructions, and the State CWA, the Lismore CWA, along with Lismore Evening CWA, is on the path to reclaiming their home in Spinks Park.President Helen Dargin expressed her gratitude, stating, "We still have work ahead of us to fully restore our rooms, but today, we pause to thank everyone who has supported our branch since the flood. “It's also a special day as we celebrate our Patron, Audrey Mallaby’s, 90th birthday. Audrey recently was awarded for her community work"(With a spry look in her eye, Audrey told me, “CWA actually stands for Chics With Attitude!”)Looking towards the future, the Lismore CWA is also preparing to commemorate a significant milestone – 100 years of serving the community – with a special event planned for December this year in Lismore.About Lismore CWA: The Lismore Country Women's Association has been an integral part of the Lismore community for 100 years, dedicated to improving the welfare and conditions of women and children, supporting local charities, and promoting a sense of belonging and camaraderie among its members.(Elizabeth Dargin, Helen Dargin and Jane Staunton, three powerhouses very involved with the success of the CWA)Full credit: This story was beautifully written and provided by Jane Staunton of the CWA.

Flood zone door-knock survey starts Monday
Flood zone door-knock survey starts Monday

13 July 2024, 8:01 PM

Resilient Lismore are coordinating a Door-Knock Appeal this week to ask, “How are we going, and how prepared are we for another flood event?”A number of support organisations will be surveying residents currently living in flood-affected areas from the 2022 floods. Katherine De Silva from Resilient Lismore says this is a critical initiative to understand the state of housing, hear recovery stories, and identify ongoing support needs.“Your story is important. If you live in the flood zone, you may hear a knock on your door in July. We encourage you to participate in the survey. This is also a chance for you to let us know if you require additional support.“We want to understand the state of housing, hear recovery stories, and identify ongoing support needs. The recovery process is far from complete and too many people are still struggling today.”Resilient Lismore is working closely with several organisations, including Red Cross, Uniting and Social Futures, to gather valuable information directly from people with lived experience. Interviewers will be in either Resilient Lismore or Red Cross Hi-Vis vests or RFS uniforms. “Our aim is to check in on every home in the Lismore city flood zone, where the water reached a level of more than 14.2 m and engage with the residents to gather vital information.“The survey will be available online for people living in other flood-affected areas in the Northern Rivers from tomorrow (Monday, 15th July) until Tuesday, 6th August 2024 at this link. The online survey is only accessible for two weeks.(Or you can scan this QR code)The team of interviewers may not catch you when you are home, but that does not mean you lose the chance to tell your story. “We’re aiming to return to homes with no one there at a different day and time but will also leave a flyer in the letterbox with the link to the online survey or alternatively an invitation to come to the Resilient Lismore Hub in Keen Street to do the survey with one of our intake team.”The responses will enable us to inform all levels of government how to be better prepared for recovery and disaster management. Information collected will be anonymous in the survey. “We will analyse the data, compare it with the results of last year's findings, and a report will be shared with the community, especially community-led recovery organisations and all levels of government to advocate for improvements in the disaster recovery and preparedness management.” The door-knock survey starts tomorrow and runs until July 27th July from 10am-12pm and 2-4pm Monday to Friday and Saturdays 10am-2pm.  

The Lotus Pod - A beautiful location to sit and sip…
The Lotus Pod - A beautiful location to sit and sip…

12 July 2024, 10:08 PM

Lana Marshall has added to her shop, Fleuret, with a café called The Lotus Pod.The café is a cosy addition to the flowers and other beautiful trinkets found at Fleuret.Lana has building towards this for some time, and is so happy with how the café has turned out.“It's always been my dream to have a flower shop with a café inside and it just happened to fall into my lap when I was working for the previous owner.  “She offered the shop to me - to take over.  Eventually I was able to open The Lotus Pod myself. “The café took Lana just a week to set up.“I wanted it to look like it was always here. So your garden style, with greenery and flowers. It sits in here without looking out of place. The tree was the inspiration behind it.”Miaka is the lady that is most likely to serve you.“I like to create a very cosy and comfortable and safe atmosphere. And I really love connecting on a personal level with the customers.” The Lotus Pod opened up early this week and already has regulars. “I just love having good conversations and meeting people as well. It’s a happy warm place for everyone to enjoy.  And also have a beautiful coffee!” There is a selection of cakes, pies and sausage rolls to nibble on as well as a range of drinks for your refreshment. Their coffee, “Bliss” is described as “a smooth and creamy roast, strong but not bitter.”They have a special on - a large coffee and pie or sausage roll for $10, so head down today and check them out.The Lotus Pod café is found in Fleuret, at 109 Woodlark St.  Open Monday to Friday, 8am til 5pm and 8am til 1pm on Saturday.  Sunday is closed.

An update on Lismore’s latest mural - the Tinnie Army
An update on Lismore’s latest mural - the Tinnie Army

12 July 2024, 9:06 PM

Painting of the 50-metre-long Mural commemorating the Tinnie Army is well underway and the tentative date for its official public opening is 3rd August 2024.This project commemorates the Tinnie Brigade’s significant role in our community’s history through a large-scale mural at the Larkin Lane site (on the outer wall of the Metropole Hotel). The mural will feature a series of diverse people from the community, in boats, on the river banks and holding banners that showcase messages of acknowledgement, gratitude, and celebration, all recognising the courageous efforts of the Tinnie Army during the 2022 flooding events. A comprehensive approach combining trauma-sensitive design and community engagement has ensured that the development of this project maintains a genuine, and meaningful commemoration to the Tinnie Brigade. The design, by Erica Gully, includes an interactive aspect.  Members of our community, and visitors alike, will be invited to add their messages of thanks to the wall on the opening day and beyond.The B.A.G is facilitating the Tinnie Army Commemorative Mural in collaboration with Summerland Bank, Lismore City Council and the Hotel Metropole. John Williams, CEO of the Summerland Bank is thrilled and honoured to be associated with the project. “In the face of adversity, the Tinnie Army exemplified the power of human care and kindness. Their heroic efforts during the 2022 flood serve as a testament to the spirit of community and compassion. “This mural is not just a tribute to them, but a reminder to all of us that even in the most challenging times we can make a difference when we extend our hands in service to others. “At Summerland Bank we are deeply moved by their actions and are proud to support and commemorate their bravery and selflessness.”The opening day  plans include family-friendly games and events provided by Summerland Bank, support services by Lismore City Council’s Recovery Team with an after-party at Hotel Metropole.Keep an eye out for more information available shortly!

NSW Competition is a chance to put the Lismore Croquet Club in the spotlight.
NSW Competition is a chance to put the Lismore Croquet Club in the spotlight.

12 July 2024, 8:08 PM

The NSW Golf Croquet Division 3 Singles event is being held at the Lismore Croquet club, with players coming from all over NSW to compete.The annual competition is played for three days at three clubs - Lismore, Ballina and Byron Bay.  The heats are all played out, and the finals have been underway - one in Ballina and one in Byron. The plate final will be on in Lismore for the final day, today.Speaking with Phyllis Water and Faye Ross, they are very pleased with the arrangements and competition at this level at the club.“It’s really exciting, this means a lot to the club, because we are only just coming back after the floods. It has taken a while to recover, but our lawns look good,” says Phyllis.“The number of people that walk by and stop to watch - it's a great way of promoting our club, croquet and Lismore,” adds Faye.The competition is friendly, but definitely there when you speak to some of the players.Rosemary Taylor has come all the way from Fingal Bay and plays at the Nelsons Bay Croquet club and she is disappointed with her game.“I’m not going all that wonderfully. I’m happy with the way I played, it's just that the results don't reflect what I’d like them to.” Rosemary seems content to enjoy the people and atmosphere if not her score.Part of the draw to play in this competition is to visit the Northern Rivers and Lismore. Virginia Hodge plays at the Southern Highlands Croquet Club.“There are three of us that have come up to play. We have come up for a bit of sunshine,” Friday was a spectacular day on the lawn, “At this time of year we don’t get anything above 10 degrees.”“I haven't been up here since I was 5, and my partner John hasn’t been up for 20 years. The place is looking really good, we are really enjoying it. Lismore has been through a lot in the last couple of years.”The croquet club is at 163 Molesworth St and anyone is welcome to go and watch. The Plate Final is on, so it’s all about good cheer and sportsmanship. They will hit off at around 8am and go until play is finished at around 3pm.

The Weekend Wrap
The Weekend Wrap

12 July 2024, 6:33 AM

This weekend is looking more like a traditional winter weekend for Lismore and the Northern Rivers with plenty of sunshine forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology.The maximum temperatures will be slightly cooler than today's 21, with 19 expected. The early morning will be cool, with 7 degrees and 4 degrees forecast.We can expect drying conditions for next week until Thursday.The arts kick off the weekend's entertainment through theatre and landscapes.The Lismore Theatre Company is performing a Robin Hood Pantomime at Rochdale Theatre (603 Ballina Road, Goonellabah). The shows are at 10am and 3pm, with the final shows tomorrow (Saturday).This is a twist on the traditional Robin Hood story. There are lots of wacky adventures to be had by the merry folk of Sherwood Forest.Robin, Friar Tuck, Little Joan and all the crew are joined in arms to defend the village against the evil plot of the Sheriff and his sidekick Dennis. With an additional cast of loveable and funny characters, it’s a treat for all.You can buy tickets here: https://www.trybooking.com/CSIYNThe Serpentine Gallery is hosting 'Just Landscape' until July 22.This large group show celebrates responses to the Australian landscape, a perennial subject that endures despite trends in the art world. Responses vary widely: some artists amplify and reflect its literal beauty, others use it as a platform to comment on political or cultural issues, and still others experiment abstractly.Serpentine is located at 3/104 Conway Street in Lismore and is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm and Saturday's, 10am to 2pm.There are two markets this weekend.The regular Lismore Farmers Market gets underway at the Lismore Showground tomorrow morning from 7. Fresh fruit and vegetables, hot coffee and tea, hot breakfasts are all on offer as well as firewood to ward off the winter cold and live music from Malcolm Gladstone.The Channon Markets will be on again this Sunday between 9am and 3pm at Coronation Park. Take a trip to the hills for the day and have a reading, lay down for a massage, grab your produce, buy that tree, grab a candle or two, buy a gift, have a chai and cake, restock on your salts and herbs, get a new breadboard or mug and lets the kids get creative.Heritage Park is always a good place to spend a few sunny hours, with the Miniature Railway running between 10:30am and 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday.There are plenty of good bushwalks to enjoy over the school holidays; check them out here, Walks.The Northern Rivers Hotel (72 Bridge Street, North Lismore) is the place to go for Live Music this weekend.Tonight, Dan Hannaford performs between 6 and 10pm, Saturday night it's Hillbilly Skank from 6pm, and for Sunday's afternoon session, Hot Dog will be belting out some great covers from 3pm.The sunshine should also mean sport will be back in action this weekend after a number of postponements last weekend.In the NRRRL, Northern United will be hoping for a return to form when they travel to Yamba to take on Lower Clarence tomorrow after going down to Casino last weekend.The Marist Rams will need to be at their very best at Crozier Field on Sunday at 2:45 when they play Billambil. Billambil sits third on the table after a good win against second-placed Byron Bay last weekend.Alstonville host top-of-the-table South Lismore in the Football Far North Coast's Mens Premier League match tonight at 8pm.Saturday's matches see Richmond Rovers at home to Maclean, Bangalow v Ballina and Lennox Head v Byron Bay, all with 3pm kick-offs.Sunday's only match is Mullumbimby Brunswick Head v Goonellabah from 2:30pm.The Women's Premier League sees Ballina at home to Byron Bay tonight, and Lennox Head host Richmond Rovers, both games kick-off at 8pm.Sunday's only game is Alstonville at home to Bangalow from 2:30pm.Fuel prices have risen in Ballina this week with Casino and Lismore steady. Lismore is still the most expensive place to buy fuel, with Casino and Ballina up to 16 cents a litre cheaper. Diesel is the only exception with Lismore the cheapest place to fill up.Here are the latest prices in each town:E10 is 193.9 across the board in Lismore, 180.9 at The EG Ampol on Canterbury Street, NightOwl Puma and the United on Johnston Street in Casino, with the new Mobil (485 River Street) cheapest at 175.5.Unleaded 91 is 193.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, 182.9 at the NightOwl Puma and United on Johnston Street in Casino and 177.5 at The Metro and the new Mobil in Ballina.U95 is 203.9 at the Independent on Wyrallah Road, East Lismore, Northside Liberty and Bakers Corner at North Lismore, 197.9 at the EG Ampol on Canterbury Street, Casino and 188.5 at The Metro in Ballina.U98 is 208.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, 202.9 at the Liberty's on Hare Street and Centre Street in Casino and 197.5 at The Metro on River Street, Ballina.Diesel is 185.9 at the new Astron on Ballina Road, 191.9 at the United on Johnston Street in Casino and 192.5 at the new Mobil and The Metro in Ballina.The Talking Lismore podcast will be broadcast on Monday this week as we speak to Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin about what's happening in the Lismore LGA.Have a great weekend!

Lismore City Council mechanic, Shannan Caldwell awarded the Cory James Scholarship
Lismore City Council mechanic, Shannan Caldwell awarded the Cory James Scholarship

11 July 2024, 10:12 PM

As part of recognising and celebrating NAIDOC Week, Lismore City Council awarded the annual Cory James Memorial Scholarship for Indigenous staff yesterday, to fleet services mechanic Shannan Caldwell. The scholarship is in memory of Cory James, a young Indigenous Council employee who passed away suddenly in 2019. He was a proud Indigenous man who wanted to promote his culture and heritage within the community. Aunty Jenny presented this year’s scholarship to Shannan, 33, before a large crowd at Council’s Brunswick Street Depot. The scholarship allows Shannan to choose from various training options that will empower his technical skills and strengthen his broader career options. Shannan was grateful for receiving the award.“I am so humbled to have been awarded this scholarship,” he said. “This scholarship will allow me to select training courses to grow my technical knowledge as a mechanic and equip me with the skills I need to continue to advance my career. It opens pathways for my career as a mechanic, which is a job I love.” “Most importantly, passing knowledge to my community in North Casino so they have basic knowledge of keeping their car running smoothly is important to me. You never know, they might find the same passion as me and go on to a career as a mechanic, which is a very rewarding industry, especially at Lismore City Council.” Lismore City Council's General Manager, Jon Gibbons, highlighted the importance of the Cory James Memorial Scholarship. “This scholarship not only honours the legacy of Cory James, a young Indigenous man dedicated to promoting his culture and heritage within our community, but it also reflects our commitment to supporting the growth and development of our Indigenous staff,” he said. “By enabling Shannan to enrol in quality advanced training opportunities, he can further advance and thrive in his career.  “By investing in our employees, we are investing in the future of Lismore." It is important for Council to honour National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC to recognise the achievements of Indigenous staff and assist in their development and career pathways.

Enhanced domestic, family and sexual violence support for women in Lismore
Enhanced domestic, family and sexual violence support for women in Lismore

11 July 2024, 9:00 PM

Women in Lismore and surrounding areas will benefit from improved access to domestic violence and sexual assault support services, with a $130,000 funding boost for Northern Rivers Women and Children’s Services Incorporated (Norwacs). Norwacs is a community-based charity which provides trauma informed care and services to support women’s health and wellbeing.Kelly Banister, the CEO of Norwacs is pleased about the news as she understands the depth of the issues and community need.  “We were so pleased to get the news, because there's such a need in our community, given the rates of domestic and family violence. This is a much welcome boost. “We're working on a collaborative project at the moment, the non fatal strangulation project. We've been alarmed at the rates of strangulation, non fatal strangulation, that's very common in domestic and family violence.”This kind of violence has gone unrecognised and often unidentified which can lead to acquired brain injury that the victim is unaware of.Ms Banister says that, “The rates of domestic and family violence in our region are significantly above the New South Wales average, and they've increased by more than 12% again over the last three years.” This work will complement the significant efforts led by NSW Health Northern NSW Sexual Assault Services in supporting victim-survivors of violence in the region. MP Janelle Saffin sees the benefit of the funding in the community.“I welcome this extra funding for NORWACS that recognises its great work supporting the health and safety of local women and children.“NORWACS is working to educate the community about the serious risk of brain injury from non-fatal strangulation and is identifying gaps in diagnosis and treatment and delivering training for GPs and health workers to get them up to speed on this issue. “The extra funding will also allow NORWACS to increase its hours of vital DV outreach work in our region.”The Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison adds to this sentiment.“The NSW Government is pleased to support NORWACS, which has provided confidential, compassionate health and wellbeing assistance for women in the Lismore region for more than 25 years.”“In addition, their work with other health professionals and services, including the four NSW Health Sexual Assault Services in the area, improves awareness and promotes understanding of the impacts of sexual, family and domestic violence.”The Regional Health Minister, Ryan Park, sees women’s health as a priority, “As Minister for Health, it is one of my priorities to ensure we’re improving access to healthcare services for women, especially vulnerable members of the community who may be impacted by domestic violence.”The NSW Government says they are committed to strengthening relationships between primary care, community-based care and the public health system to develop robust local referral pathways and responses for women.

Forget the North Pole, Santa wants to be in South Lismore!
Forget the North Pole, Santa wants to be in South Lismore!

11 July 2024, 8:01 PM

South Lismore Post Office has a Christmas initiative that is bringing a deeper meaning to kids and community this year. The new postmaster, Tracy Ward, is reaching out to kids and signing them up on a contract with Santa to be on his Nice List by engaging with creative projects for the older generations in Lismore.Tracy is the mastermind behind this endeavour, and her aim is to actively engage kids in pastimes that capture their imaginations, and get them thinking about kindness and others less fortunate.There is a big leatherbound book in the Post Office - Santas Good Deeds Book or Nice List where kids enter a contract with Santa to do certain creative projects for the elderly. Each time they complete a project, the book gets stamped and they select a heart sticker to go on the rain gauge. Tracy is amazing with children, and artfully relates the nature of the contract, complete with the exciting benefits and ramifications if the contract isn't met (the naughty list).“When children come into the store, they're in a position where they can make a contract with Santa. Santa has sent us his Good Deeds Book.“As soon as you put your name, your age and you stamp the page, that is a binding contract to engage in activities between now and Christmas. “If there are enough children that enact enough acts of kindness that can over fill our rain gauge - which is the height that the flood was in 2022, it beats the height of the flood. “This proves to the children that hearts will soar higher than a river ever could.(Frankie and Isla signed up, and helped put the first letters and picture into Poppy the post box, and then placed the first hearts on the rain gauge this week)“Then Santa will know that the children of South Lismore care, and he is going to turn Ettie, (the name of the post office - after its first postmistress) into a Gingerbread house at Christmas time. And it will become part of a Christmas walk down the main street here.“There is a different challenge each month, and this month is to draw a picture that would make an elderly person smile.”Tracy has received her first pictures, and even a letter to Santa. They all go into Poppy, Santa's post box, for processing. Seeing the kids engage has made Tracy so happy.(Tracy receiving her first artworks from children)“The store was so full of laughter today. Kath and Dave (who work at the post office) are getting in on it. Dave has become the Grinch, and plays his part well.”Tracy is determined to bring the magic back to the area. "Magic is very much a part of the South Lismore Post office - positive things have been occurring to make this space special and unique."(The Sydney Postmaster desk)After a chance event, the original Sydney Postmasters desk now resides in the South Lismore Post office, as does a postcard over 100 years old that was sent from the South Lismore Post Office originally. Ask Tracy for the story.The other piece of whimsy that is bringing kids joy is the sunflower in the window. Tracy was originally looking for something with a rainbow for the rainbow region.  The Sunflower, which was made from flood glass, is a unique find and took pride of place. After hanging, it was discovered that the white petals throw a rainbow of light every afternoon at around 4pm.“People have been popping in just to tell us how much they enjoy the vibe.“It’s a privilege to be a postmaster in South Lismore.”For a lovely holiday treat, take your kids down to visit the post office to see if they want to be in Santa's Good Deeds Book!

$400,000 in funding for Nimbin amenities block locked in: Saffin
$400,000 in funding for Nimbin amenities block locked in: Saffin

11 July 2024, 1:59 AM

State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin says $400,000 in NSW Government funding for her key election commitment of a new amenities block for Nimbin’s Peace Park is all locked in. Ms Saffin said there had been some unhelpful conjecture around this funding, but she confirmed that the funding deed was executed between recipient Lismore City Council and the Department of Regional NSW on 16 May 2024. “Nimbin residents, including members of the Nimbin Advisory Group (NAG) which pushed so hard for the amenities block for so many years, can be assured I follow through on my commitments to ensure they are delivered,” Ms Saffin said. “Council’s General Manager Jon Gibbons tells me that the next step will be community consultation on the concept and design, which will be undertaken in the second half of this year. The funding agreement has completion of the project by 30 June 2025.”Nimbin resident, member of NAG and Friends of the Pool, Sue Edmonds reflected relief in knowing this had finally come through for the community.“We've been lobbying for this for about 15 years. At the moment, what exists is one toilet in the swimming pool, and that's for the children's playground, the barbecue area, the skateboard park - the whole recreation area and the swimming pool.“But it's only open six months of the year. Nimbin Peace Park is one of the few public parks in New South Wales with no toilet facilities. The effort Janelle Saffin has made is really good news for the town.” Lismore City Council Mayor Cr Steve Krieg said: “This is great news for the Nimbin community which has been actively lobbying for the new amenities block near the pool for a long time now. “I would like to thank our local member Janelle Saffin for all the work she did behind the scenes to get this funding approved,” Cr Krieg said.

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