Tuesday, 28 March 2023


North Coast Voices will not be posting from Tuesday 28 to

 Friday 31 March 2023.

Apologies to our readers.

Monday, 27 March 2023

Will the incoming Minns Labor Government fix the unholy mess that the outgoing Perrottet Coalition Government made of NSW planning & environmental laws in NSW?


The former Baird, Berejiklian and Perrottet coalition governments deliberately put a wrecking ball through NSW planning and environmental law for almost nine years.

The burning question is; 'Will the new Labor state premier, his cabinet and, specifically those he chooses as his ministers for planning and environment, walk back the legislative and regulatory power grab which leaves much of regional New South Wales vulnerable to exploitation?'

This opinion piece by Lindy Smith, President of the Tweed District Residents and Ratepayers Association (TDRRA) in the Echo, 21 March 2023, reflects similar concerns expressed by residents & ratepayers across the seven local government areas of the Northern Rivers region:

 The NSW Planning Rezoning Pathways Program was released the day before caretaker period started for the NSW government on 3 March.

This will service the agendas of developers and land bankers which is very much alive in the Tweed Shire, particularly the Cudgen Plateau, State Significant Farmlands (SSF). Under the guise of the need for housing (which we all agree is needed) there continues to be a failure to acknowledge the herd of elephants in the room – that any new house can be built and purchased for Short Term Holiday Letting (STHL) under the Governments changes to the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment (EP&A) Act.

Does not increase housing supply

This means that there is no guaranteed actual quantitative increase in the housing supply. While the government’s focus has been driving population growth it has seriously failed in its upkeep of social and affordable housing. In fact they have been selling off such sites.

The questions that the NSW government fails to address are:

What quantity of social housing is to be part of the Program?

What is affordable housing, and where are the plans and mechanisms to provide them? How they will be protected as affordable housing into perpetuity, rather than reentering the private market after ten years?

Undermining local councils

The Planning Rezoning Pathways Program enables the overriding of much statutory investment and work that has been undertaken by local councils and communities. Many local councils and community groups have spent significant time and energy developing locally appropriate planning tools and long-term strategic planning utilising local knowledge which is key to the sustainability and liveability of their communities.

The NSW coalition government swept into power 2011 on the back of the then-controversial Part 3A assessment system, promising to give planning powers back to local communities. What we have instead been dealt with is the repeated undermining of the NSW EP&A Act and the NSW state taking over so much more of local communities planning controls.

No public consultation

Further, under the former Premier and former Deputy Premier of NSW development of Regional Economic Development Strategies was undertaken with zero public consultation, nor any transparency. These documents only recently came to light in the public arena.

Just two days before the caretaker period the NSW Government then released its program to rezone our Crown lands for development with zero public consultation, nor any process to turn over our Crown land to development.

The mismanagement of our Crown land is well documented with the damming evidence to the Crown lands inquiry and the damming findings of the Auditor-General Report into the Sale and Lease of Crown Lands.

Sunday, 26 March 2023

Labor has won the state general election of 25 March 2923 and will form government for the term of the 58th NSW Parliament


The mainstream media hyped 'close' NSW state general election that wasn't.....

At approx. 7:55pm on Saturday 25 March 2023 just one hour and twenty-five minutes into the official NSW Electoral Commission count of est. 2,669,688 formal ballot papers on the night and with less than 13 per cent of all votes counted, elections analyst Antony Green called the general election for the Australian Labor Party (NSW Division) on the national public broadcaster, the ABC

Labor MLA for Kogarah, Christopher John "Chris" Minns is now 47th Premier-elect of New South Wales and is expected to lead a government of between 47 to 50 members sitting in the 93 member Legislative Assembly. 

At around 10:20pm on the night the Liberal MP for Epping and current Premier Dominic Francis "Dom" Perrottet conceded defeat on behalf of the Coalition, being the Liberal Party of Australia (NSW Division) and National Party of Australia (NSW Division). Mr. Perrottet had been the state premier for less than 18 months.

The official ballot paper count continues on Monday 27 March and details can be found at 


The initial formal first preference ballot count on the night of 25 March indicates that Labor's Janelle Saffin has retained the seat of Lismore.  Nationals' Geoff Provest is expected to retain Tweed and The Green's Tamara Smith is also expected to retain Ballina, with Nationals' Richie Williamson is expected to gain Clarence after retirement of the previous incumbent, the National's Chris Gulaptis.

To recap: the Labor Party now governs at federal level and in every state & territory across Australia, with the exception of Tasmania where the Liberal Party still governs.

IMAGE: via @MColvinMcKenzie

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese gives update on Indigenous Voice and referendum wording




Saturday, 25 March 2023

NORTHERN RIVERS VOTES 2023: NSW Electoral Commission Virtual Tally Room opens 6:30pm Saturday 25 March for counting of ballot papers in the NSW State Election of the 58th Parliament

There are a total of four NSW state electorates covering the Northern Rivers region - Tweed, Ballina, Lismore and Clarence

Across these electorates there were a combined est. 231,247 registered voters recorded by the NSW Electoral Commission on 7 March 2023. 

Based on Pre-Poll figures and Postal Vote applications as of Friday 24 March, up to 76,383 or 33% of those electors in the Northern Rivers had voted before polling booths opened on 25 March.

That leaves est. 154,864 people who will be lining up to between 8am and 6pm today.

All vote count results will be published on the Virtual Tally Room as soon as practicable after completion. Results will commence publishing from approximately 6:30pm on election day, Saturday, 25 March 2023. No vote counting will occur on the Sunday 26 March but will recommence on Monday 27 March. 

NSWEC Virtual Tally Room at  


ABC NSW Votes election night commentary from 6pm at https://iview.abc.net.au/video/NS1413V001S00. As per usual Antony Green will be giving his voting analysis throughout the evening.

New words and phrases entering the Northern Rivers lexicon


The first phrase in this occasional segment is:

disaster investor” [origin unknown, circa 2023]  a person who deliberately seeks out homeowners whose properties have been flood damaged and offers these homeowners as little as 10 cents on the dollar of the pre-flood value of a freestanding house.

Tweets of the Week