Tweed Shire Sustainability and Environment E-Newsletter now available

Residents encouraged to subscribe online

Tweed Shire Council’s first Sustainability and Environment E-Newsletter is now available online, allowing residents of the Tweed to read more about what they like, when they like.

Sustainability-E-Newsletter_154007_640 Photo caption: Council’s Acting Director Community and Natural Resources, Jane Lofthouse, takes a look at the new Sustainability E-Newsletter that can be subscribed to or accessed online.

The Summer 2015 issue of the Sustainability e-newsletter was released in December 2015 and can now be found on Council’s website at

Mayor of Tweed Councillor Katie Milne said the release of the first e-newsletter was another step on the path to spreading the word about sustainability and environmental stewardship.

“We are very lucky to live in the Tweed and what everybody loves about the region is its astounding environmental values,” Cr Milne said.

“The Tweed community is very savvy and understands the imperative and financial benefits of being sustainable, so it’s great that the Sustainability and Environment E-Newsletter is focused on providing our community with more information about ways residents can take action.

“As residents of the Tweed it is important we educate ourselves, and each other, to inspire local communities and agencies to preserve and enhance environmental values for the future.

“This first Sustainability and Environment issue contains many useful articles and stories including an extension of the Sustainable Agriculture survey, Murwillumbah’s new seed library, tips on recycling wrapping paper and products at Christmas, how to join the Backyard Habitat for Wildlife program and how Council has been saving on electricity throughout the year,” she said.

“The E-Newsletters will be a great read, inexpensive to produce and will provide a wide range of information about Council programs and services along with other information that will benefit the community.”

Tweed Shire Council aims to provide additional e-news in 2016 that will focus on and cover the areas of business, arts and culture, and Tweed Regional Aquatic Centres (TRAC).

To view the Summer 2015 Sustainability and Environment E-Newsletter or to subscribe, visit

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom, Tuesday 12 January 2016
– ends –

See also: Big Volcano > Environmental Organisations, > Education, Research and Training
and Big Volcano Ecotourism Resource Centre: Sustainable Design & Management


Free movie screening to formalise Refugee Welcome Zone

The Tweed’s declaration as a Refugee Welcome Zone will be formalised at a free public screening of the documentary Mary Meets Mohammad, at The Regent Cinema in Murwillumbah on Sunday 7th February at 2pm.


“We are so pleased to extend a very warm welcome those who have been granted refuge in Australia,” Mayor of Tweed Councillor Katie Milne said.  “Showing the hand of compassion and friendship to those who have been through such terrible times is a fundamental expression of our humanity.

“Even simple gestures of welcome can make an incredible difference to people’s lives and makes us all better people,” Cr Milne said.  “All councillors voted unanimously to declare the shire as a Refugee Welcome Zone. I encourage the community to get involved with this great program and spread the word.”

The matinee screening will include an official signing of the Refugee Welcome Zone Declaration, as the Tweed joins the Lismore City, Coffs Harbour City and Port Macquarie-Hastings councils in aligning with the Refuge Council of Australia initiative.

Entry will be free to the 2pm screening of the feature-length film, which tells the story of Tasmania’s first detention centre and the bond that formed between local Christian woman Mary and Muslim Afghan Hazara asylum seeker Mohammad.

Mary is a staunchly Christian pensioner, and did not welcome the 400 male asylum seekers, but develops a friendship with Mohammad after her knitting club donates woollen beanies to the asylum seekers.

A meeting of Tweed Shire Council in September resolved to join the Refugee Council of Australia initiative and declare the Tweed a Refugee Welcome Zone.

By signing the declaration, Council gives ‘a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into our community, upholding the human rights of refugees, demonstrating compassion for refugees and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in our community’.

Council’s Director of Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson, said declaring Tweed Shire a Refugee Welcome Zone was about demonstrating the Tweed’s welcoming and inclusive attitude towards refugees.

A Refugee Council of Australia representative is expected to attend the signing.

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom

– ends –

See also: Mary Meets Mohammad

Refugee Council of Australia: Home, UNHCR Regional Office – Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific.

FactCheck: Does Australia take more refugees per capita through the UNHCR than any other country?

Lismore Community Panels kick off again in 2016

Ideas wanted as Community Panels scheduled again for 2016

Lismore City Council is looking for residents with enthusiasm and ideas from Bentley, Blakebrook, Booerie Creek, Bungabbee, Goolmangar, Fernside, Leycester, North Lismore, Rock Valley, Spring Grove and Tuncester.

IMGP0633_NimbinRocks_640 Photo caption: Nimbin Rocks © Big Volcano Tourism

Council has kicked off its Community Panels project again in 2 016 and is looking for people from these communities to help create a Community Plan of improvements and projects for these areas.  Council will then establish a Community Panel of local people to oversee the implementation of the action plan.

The Community Panels project started in 2015, with Council splitting the Local Government Area into seven localities. Four of these localities were visited last year, and Community Plans are now in place.

The final three localities will be visited in 2016 and the first locality is called ‘West’, containing the communities listed above.

Residents are invited to attend one of two upcoming Community Planning Days and bring along ideas for projects that beautify their villages, create a sense of community and belonging, or somehow make the community a better place.

“This is about grassroots involvement,” Council’s Partnering and Community Engagement Officer Lee-Ann Emzin said.

“Council facilitates creation of a Community Plan and establishes a Community Panel, but the inspiration and the follow-through has to come from the community itself. We are there to provide a framework and support people to come together and create positive change in their own communities.”

The Community Planning Days for the ‘West’ locality are as follows:

Planning Day One
Where: Rock Valley Hall
When: Saturday, 13 February
Time: 9.30am for 10am. Finish at 3.30pm.

NOTE:  Day Two location notified updated 8/2/16

Planning Day Two
Where: Goolmangar Hall
When: Saturday, 20 February
Time: 9.30am for 10am. Finish at 3.30pm.

Planning Day Two
Where: Caniaba Hall
When: Saturday, 20 February
Time: 9.30am for 10am. Finish at 3.30pm.

People of all ages and background are invited to attend. Please RSVP to Lee-Ann Emzin on 1300 87 83 87

Terra Sword | Media Coordinator | Lismore City Council
T 02 6625 0529 | M 0437 697 723 |
Lismore City Council acknowledges the people of the Bundjalung Nation, traditional custodians of the land on which we work.


See also Big Volcano Towns : Lismore

Building buffers to protect endangered species

Council and landholders combine to restore degraded bushland

Landholders and Council are working together in a three-year project to conserve threatened flora and fauna in Tweed Shire.

The project, funded by the NSW Environmental Trust and Council, will restore degraded bushland on 25 hectares of private land at Numinbah, within the Pat Smiths Creek and Couchy Creek catchments.

IMG_0100L_640 Photo caption: Wollumbin National Park and surrounding rainforest as seen from Tomewin, © by Big Volcano Tourism

The project area is part of a regional fauna corridor linking the World Heritage-listed Springbrook National Park and Numinbah Nature Reserve with Wollumbin National Park.

Council’s Project Officer – Biodiversity, Michael Corke, said these national parks were internationally recognised for their biodiversity, including rare and threatened species.  “These parks are known as climate change refugia. Evidence suggests that during periods of extreme, dry climate many species of native plants and animals retreat to these relatively moist, stable areas,” Mr Corke said.

“Then, when conditions become more favourable, they disperse to colonise new habitat.  “The core reserves targeted by this project also contain many plants and animals that are either unique to this location or have very restricted ranges elsewhere.”

He said adjacent private land provided a critical buffer zone to core reserves because it protected them from threats such as weed invasion.  “Unfortunately, weeds such as Lantana, Camphor Laurel and Giant Devil’s Fig have degraded large areas of private land in the area,” Mr Corke said.

“Weeds are a direct threat to the health and resilience of core reserves and threaten the survival of rare and threatened species”.
The project will tackle the problem by helping six landholders control invasive weeds.

“Private landholders play a vital role in biodiversity conservation and this project will increase their capacity to manage weeds, protect threatened species and conserve biodiversity,” Mr Corke said.

Community education is a key element of the project, so the program will include:
• a podcast highlighting the Tweed’s high level of biodiversity
• an information day showcasing the area’s biodiversity and threatened species management
• hands-on weed control and plant identification workshops
• a rainforest guided tour

Council is partnering with the Office of Environment and Heritage, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Local Land Services, Far North Coast Weeds, Tweed Landcare, landholders and bush regenerators to ensure strong technical support and effective information sharing.

“This exciting project will build community capacity to conserve an area of great significance. It is a living link to a time when which much of Australia was covered in luxuriant rainforest,” Mr Corke said.

For more information, contact Michael Corke on (02) 6670 2595 or

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
– ends –

See also Big Volcano: Environmental Organisations, Introduction to Gondwana Rainforests of Australia and Wollumbin (Mt Warning) National Park



Tyalgum village is set to celebrate Australia Day with an Aussie bush style community get together, including Anzac biscuit and Damper baking competitions, and a street parade with prizes for the best bikes, vehicles, people and four legged companions.


Focal point of the community; games activities for the kids, an Aussie sing-along and morning tea will be held at Tyalgum Hall, along with a Fire Brigade display and novelty events.

After the parade and presentations, all eyes will turn to the annual Tyalgum Australia vs India cricket match, a keenly contested tradition with the teams drawing on locals from both backgrounds.

A BBQ food, soft drinks and a licensed bar will be available at the Oval during the cricket, with visitors welcome to BYO eskies.  Local cafes, the general store and the pub will be open to provide visitors with a warm Tyalgum hospitality during the day.

Auriel Bartrim will be at the Hall at 9am to accept entries in ANZAC and Damper comps – with (lucky) locals Peter and Normie judging these, so you might want to butter them up.

1st/2nd/3rd places in each category will be announced and awarded in Hall prior to morning tea.

Bruce Bartrim is heading the parade and will marshall participants at Norco Park at 9am.

Prizes will be awarded for best decorated bikes, horses, people etc.  Judges are appointed on the day and prize money to come from $300 TSC grant.

The flag raising, National Anthem, and School Captain’s addresses will take place at the Flagpole, and the MC will introduce Bruce for the welcome, with the presentation of parade prize winners following.

Aussie Sing along with keyboard – MC and all singing.  Word books will be placed or passed around and collected at finish.  (10/15 mins.)

Morning tea starts at around 1030am, with games activities for the kids outside, looked after by Karen Townson, while morning tea is taken.   Karen has submitted a lively list of games, and Tyalgum Ridge Retreat is kindly donating ice-cream and other games requirements.

The cricket starts 1130am at Bruce Bartrim Oval, with a BBQ, soft drinks and licensed bar available, and the raffle will be drawn at Cricket when time is right.

Contact details

Information kindly provided by Bob McDonald.  For more information or to get involved, please contact Bob on 0439 722 851, or Peter Meadows on 0428 793 055.


Assemble at Norco Park @ 9.00 am
Parade commences at 9.30 am
ANZAC biscuits and damper competition entries to hall by 9.00am.

•    Tyalgum School Captains’ Address
•    Flag raising
•    National Anthem
•    Welcome (Mr Bruce Bartrim)
•    Presentation of Australia Day Awards
•    Presentation to winners  (junior & senior– ANZAC biscuits / damper)
•    Best decorated prizes (bikes / floats) awarded
•    Aussie sing-a-long ( Mr Dennis Scanlon)
•    Morning Tea
•    Children’s Activities (Mrs Karen Townson)
•    Australia Day raffle drawn

Fire Brigade display and novelty events 

Bruce Bartrim Oval
Food and soft drinks available / BYO eskies

Top musical director announced as Tweed Shire Australia Day Ambassador

International award-winning musical composer and conductor George Ellis, has been named the Tweed Shire’s Australia Day Ambassador for 2016, and will join the Tweed’s celebrations.

With countless stage, screen and classical credits, Mr Ellis is one of Australia’s top musical directors and conductors, presenting concerts in Paris, London, Venice, Rome, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, Athens, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, just to name a few.

Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne, said George Ellis would address the audience as part of the Tweed’s Australia Day celebrations to be held at Kingscliff High School.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have George Ellis visiting us and speaking about his experiences and pride in being an Australian,” Councillor Milne said.

“It is particularly important we acknowledge the local Aboriginal community past and present, who first walked this land many thousands of years ago and pay tribute to their ongoing cultural connections with this beautiful place.  “We are extremely lucky to be Australian, and even more fortunate to live in this special region of the Tweed,” she said.

Photo: Gondwana rainforest, Border Ranges National Park.  D Palmer, © by Big Volcano Tourism.

“The Federal Government has named the region as one of Australia’s eight National Iconic Landscapes and some of the best remnants in Australia of our ancient Gondwana rainforests, which date back around 100 million years, can still be found in this Shire today.”

George Ellis said being a past Ambassador was extremely memorable, and his favourite thing to do on Australia Day was enjoy a barbecue with great company.

“Serving as an Australia Day Ambassador in beautiful rural NSW these last three years has been my favourite Australia Day experience,” Mr Ellis said.  “I have met some incredibly inspirational and selfless people who love to help others.”

Newly-appointed Australia Day Committee chair Alan Downes, said George Ellis would tap into the cultural side of the Tweed while complementing the region’s traditional Australia Day celebrations.

“Australia Day is a great day to get together with your community with a wide range of family friendly events held at Tumbulgum, Burringbar, Kingscliff, Tyalgum, Pottsville and Jack Evans Boat Harbour,” Mr Downes said.

As details are finalised for the various celebrations throughout the Tweed they will be available at

For more information, contact Tweed Shire Council on (02) 6670 2400.

Courtesy: Tweed Shire Council Newsroom
– ends –

See also: Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural CentreIntroduction to Gondwana Rainforests of Australia | Big Volcano (clickable) Visitor Map