A community in the making – supporting affordable housing in the shire

I am pleased to be able to support our young people, first home purchasers, young or not so young and low doc buyers to get off the rental tread mill.  I have organised a work shop to assist more people towards home ownership.

Supporting local Health Food shops

This ad was written and sponsored by Red Rose Realty supporting good health in our community and in appreciation for the service given to my family over the past 12 years.  

Supporting first home buyers

I am honored to be able to give something back to the community in this way.  Having in the past helped my brothers and sisters then my children and their partners to secure their first home it is exciting to be able to offer this help to the broader community.

350.org Global day of demonstration

Going Green

I finally joined the Greens party after many years campaigning on greens issues.  I believe it is now up to all of us to put our hand up and say “What can I do”

 

 

Protests against Coal Seam Gas Mining

I first learned about the atrocious practice of mining for coal seam gas when I watched the documentary “Gaslands” on a trip to the States in 2010 when a fellow passenger drew my attention to it.  I was appalled but not immediately aware of the full implications to me or my family in Australia.

In January of this year 2011, I was contacted by a farmer from Tara Downs who asked me if I would be able to approach the organisers of the Blues Festival to enlist their help to stop the mining companies from sinking wells on their land.

I travelled to Tara Downs for the “Lock the Gate” blockade in conjunction with “six degrees”

It was a long 5 hour drive from Byron Bay.  The gathering was small but affective.  I felt helpless again.  I wondered how such a small number of hardy warriors at the front line could possible go to battle against such an enemy.  An enemy who had the might of not just government on their side but a huge part of the population who welcome the income for their towns generated by the mining companies.

But just two weeks later, the ground swell generated by word of mouth and the fabulous engines of the internet bought 2,000 or so people out on to the streets at Murwillumbah, then another 2,000 to 3,000 on the beach at Byron Bay spelling out the words NO CSG, 3,000 in Austinmer Beach, north of Wollongong, to spell out “Stop Coal Seam Gas

The movement has grown quickly.  Hopefully we can secure a complete halt to fossil fuel mining and turn towards renewable energy. Our grandchildren, can only wait and hope that we get it right.

Byron Shire Echo News Paper article re Coal Seam Gas Mining  article.

 

Climate Change

Over the past few years it has become increasingly evident that I needed to turn my attention to the issues of Climate Change.

As humanity blunders headlong towards multiple calamity, I realised as a mother and grandmother that I needed to do something.  I wanted to have an answer for  my grandchildren as they reach the future that we are creating for them.  When they ask “What did you do when you knew?”

My first baby steps were when 350.org called for people from all countries to host a function in our own home town.  In 2009 I hosted the event in Byron Bay.  I spent heavily, ads in the local paper, a thousand flyers, signs, notification to media outlets, I followed all the advice I found on the 350.org web site.  A small crowd of friends and family members gathered on the beach to make a stand. I felt disappointed in the numbers but tried again in 2010 when once again I volunteered to host the 10/10/10 world event for 350.org.

Once again I invested heavily, $1,000 for an ad in the local paper, $500 for flyers and signs, hired a professional photographer and an aeroplane to get aerial shots on the beach of us spelling out the words 350ppm.  I was thrilled at the numbers who came, whilst small they were a hardy bunch because a front moved in at the precise time of 10 mins past 10 oclock on the 10th day of the 10th month of 2010.  The aeroplane was cancelled and the pics tell the story of the type of weather we can expect if the planet continues with “business as usual”   Here is a link to a You Tube video made on the day “the times they are a changing”

What is 350?

350 is the most important number in the world—it’s what scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Three years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2remained above 350 parts per million. Everyone from Al Gore to the U.N.’s top climate scientist has now embraced this goal as necessary for stabilizing the planet and preventing complete disaster. Now the trick is getting our leaders to pay attention and craft policies that will put the world on track to get to 350.

Earth Hour is another family event when my son and my grand children gather each year at our place of business, Byron Central Apartments and Red Rose Realty to turn off the power.  Turning off the switch to 27 holiday units and 6 shops can be quite daunting even if it is only for an hour.  As I stood in the electrical room I was conscious of how heavily we rely on this form of energy.  The power it holds over our lives needs to be reduced.  I made a decision to move my family towards renewable energy as quickly as possible.

I have been slow to recognise the value of the internet in staying ahead of the events that have affected our planet but two organisations have been pivitol in spreading the word at lightening speed.  Avaaz.org and GetUp have been a great source of information to me.  GetUp organised the rallys in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to bring thousands out into the streets to support a Carbon Tax.  I travelled to Sydney and Brisbane with my signs to make a stand against the “fossil fuel giants” who continue to bleed our land and our pockets.  I felt insignificant, just one extra person but once I stood with so many people it gave me hope that maybe mankind can reach up beyond our every day mundane existance to achieve a higher goal.  Surely reducing our reliance on fossil fuels should be our highest priority.

Campaigning for a Chemical Free Shire

My campaign to stop council and other governmental bodies from using toxic pesticides to eradicate weeds around our shire started when I noticed how gravely ill I became a week after a weed spraying had taken place in the street where I live.

My grand daughter also had the same symptoms, red inflamed eyes, intense lethargy, I was unable to work for some weeks after each spraying.  Besides the anguish of watching my grand daughter wrestle with her pain, the cost of lost work hours was huge.

I began to investigate the type of pesticides being used.  I discovered they were spraying school playing fields, and many other places where people congregated.

And so my journey began.  See the ad I placed in local papers “alert warning to the people ad” .  See another ad I placed Bee alert 8 Mar 2011 which I became aware of after watching an alarming documentary about the imminent demise of the bee population of the world.

I gathered a group of people who were passionate about securing a “Chemical Free Shire”   This group, the Byron shire Chemical Free Land Care Group has gone on to achieve marvelous things.  I started a blog detailing the Bitou Blitzers progress since 2008.

A high light of these events you will see on the blog is when the Byron Shire Council rescinded the motion to allow the Aerial Spraying of herbicides to eradicate the bitou Bush along our beaches and dunes.  Council has never resumed aerial spraying owing in a large part to a small but hardy band of workers who toil every other Saturday to eradicate the Bitou bush by hand.

Many thousands of people and countless bird and insect life, not to mention the aqatic species in our rivers and oceans have been spared this blanket spraying of chemicals.  So much is owed to so few for so great a work.