Showing posts with label Yamba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yamba. Show all posts

Friday, 21 February 2020

Young storytelling in the Clarence Valley: ‘Yaegl Biirrinba' (This Is Our River) and 'River to the Sea'

Yaegl Biirrinba' (This Is Our River) was created in June 2018, the result of a five day Desert Pea Media storytelling workshop. Co-written by, and starring, an incredibly talented group of Indigenous young people enrolled at Maclean High School, community members and local Elders - with support from DPM staff and local services.

‘River To The Sea' was created in December 2018, the result of a five-day Desert Pea Media storytelling workshop. Co-written by, and starring, an incredibly talented group of young people, community members and local Elders from Maclean and Yamba NSW - with support from the DPM team and Maclean High School Staff.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Popular Yamba eatery Sassafras Pizza to re-open in March 2020

The Daily Examiner, 14 February 2020

Closed after fire gutted the premises in September 2019, the very popular Sassafras Pizza at 16 Coldstream St, Yamba, is to re-open early next month.

Operating 7 evenings a week from 5.30pm to 9pm. 

All its favourite menu items will return with the hottest pizza on the menu being renamed "Yamba 510" after the "fireys who threw everything they had at it".


Wednesday, 1 January 2020

A new year brings old threats to the Clarence River estuary and communities along its banks

Preoccupied with major fire activity since September 2019, it was easy to miss this renewal of cruise industry pressure.....

On 4 October 2019 published an article titled 

This is an extract from that article which will be of considerable interest to communities with environmental, cultural and economic concerns about cruise ships seeking entry into the Clarence River.

"Mayor Cr. Jim Simmons says “We can see a lot of economic benefits for the area…but so far we have had some community angst around the idea and that stems from our experience with large ships in the past. Our concerns are purely environmental concerns, but if that’s all covered, then the community may be very positive.

“Many years ago we had the big timber ships and large vessels coming into the sugar mill – but so far we haven’t had large passenger cruise ships,” Cr. Simmons added.

“If the ships are moored offshore, with passengers tendered in on smaller boats and all of the measures are put in place to protect the ocean environment then this would be something great for Yamba.”

The Clarence Valley mayor has obviously drunk the cruise industry Kool-Aid, if he seriously believes that cruise ships will make any significant contribution to the economies of Yamba, Iluka or Maclean.

There is enough evidence to the contrary coming from cities and towns around the world that have become cruise destinations. Specifically the fact that cruise lines inflate projections of the spending capacity of their passengers which are rarely realised, as a matter of company policy tend to poorly pay local tourism operators for services, charge local businesses a fee for inclusion in ship brochures, seek significant concessions on port fees and cruise ship activity generally tends to depress land-based tourism over time. [See]

As for his suggestion of mooring offshore - there is no sheltered coastline near the mouth of the Clarence River to make disembarking or boarding a cruise ship reliably risk free for passengers.

While characterising community concerns as being "purely environmental", this is a simplistic explanation given a significant Yaegl cultural/spiritual site held under Native Title lies across the entrance to the Clarence River. 
Dirrangun reef showing as a lighter blue crescent in the ocean adjacent to the breakwater walls

Sunday, 8 December 2019

The North Coast Public Health Unit is urging people in Yamba NSW to look out for measles symptoms, after a resident contracted the infectious disease

Northern NSW Health District, community announcement, 6 December 2019:

Measles on the NSW North Coast – Yamba

The North Coast Public Health Unit is urging people in Yamba to look out for measles symptoms, after a resident contracted the infectious disease.
People who visited the following areas on these dates may have been exposed:
  • Thursday 28 November, Friday 29 November, Monday 2 December or Tuesday 3 December – anyone who travelled on bus routes 1, 2, or 4 in Yamba
  • Saturday, 30 November – Maclean Golf Course between 8.00am to 1.15pm
  • Saturday, 30 November – Yamba Fair Shopping Centre, including Coles, butchers, newsagent between 2.00pm to 3.00pm
  • Sunday, 1 December – Yamba Bowling Club between 5.30pm to 7.00pm
  • Tuesday, 3 December – Yamba Fair Shopping Centre around 4.00pm.
Acting Director of North Coast Public Health Unit, Greg Bell, said measles is highly infectious among people who are not fully immunised.
“Measles symptoms include fever; sore eyes, a cough, and a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head to the rest of the body,” Mr Bell said.
“Anyone who was in or has visited the locations listed should watch for symptoms until 21 December. These locations pose no ongoing risk to the public.
“It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to a person with measles.
“If you develop symptoms of measles, please arrange to see your GP and phone ahead to alert them before arriving at the GP clinic.
Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease. Vaccination is your best protection against this extremely contagious disease.
The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is a safe and highly effective protection against measles, and is available for free for those born during and after 1966 from your GP.
“If you are unsure whether you have had two doses, it is safe to have another dose,” Mr Bell said.
Protecting children from potentially deadly diseases is a key priority for the NSW Government, which has invested approximately $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.
For more information on measles, visit: 
[my yellow highlighting]

Thursday, 7 November 2019

In a 5 to 4 Clarence Valley Council vote a new building height precident was set for Yamba

Clarence Valley Independent, 30 October 2019:

Clarence Valley Council has approved the construction of 50 independent seniors’ living apartments at 56-58 Yamba Road, through to the adjacent Caroona aged care facility. There are 10 NSW Government Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAFH) units. Car parking is at ground level and the three levels of apartments consist of 32 two-bedroom units, four three-bedroom units and 12 one bedroom units. Vehicles will be restricted to only turning left when entering and leaving the two driveways. The Uniting Church in Australian Property Trust, which operates Caroona, is the owner. Images: CVC

The report to last week’s Clarence Valley Council (CVC) meeting advised councillors that one of the developer’s justifications for approving the construction of a four-storey building on Yamba Road was that it “will not create an undesirable precedent or cumulative effect” for future development proposals in Yamba.

Councillors Peter Ellem and Karen Toms disagreed.

Councillor Toms described the proposed height variations, which exceed the maximum heights in the Seniors Living State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) and the Clarence Valley local environment plan (CVLEP), as “the biggest I can remember”, and that approving four storeys would set a “precedent”. She held privacy concerns for a neighbour, who would suffer “a large loss of amenity”. Councillor Ellem reflected on a 2007 decision, by then planning minister Frank Sartor, to approve four-storey buildings at the Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort. “I editorialised against it [when the editor of DEX] … I’d be a bit of a hypocrite if I supported this one,” he said. “At that height, it will set a precedent in Yamba … and have severe impacts on the neighbours.” The CVLEP prescribes a maximum height of nine metres and the seniors SEPP prescribes a maximum height of eight metres. Fifty percent of the building will stand 11.7 metres high, not including an extra metre for the lift and skylights. The LEP says the nine metre maximum is meant to “maintain the low scale character of towns and villages in the Clarence Valley


protect the amenity of neighbouring properties…”.

Staff write in the report that “the main reason for the height variation appears to be maximising the unit yield by allowing the apartments on the first storey to be above the habitable floor area required for flood affected lots”. 

In other words, the first floor is car parking. 

After considering 12 of the applicant’s justifications, for allowing variations to the SEPP, LEP and development control plan (DCP), staff only highlighted one: “The proposal is consistent with the objectives of Clause 4.3 of the CVLEP.” 

Staff noted that the height variation, “when considered against the first of the objectives of 4.3 of the CVLEP, would generally be inconsistent with maintaining the low scale character of towns and villages in the Clarence Valley”. 

Quoting the applicant’s ‘design verification statement’, which “likens the building to that of low-density buildings in coastal towns … [and advocates the] use of … horizontal emphasis and light and dark tones to additionally lower the visual scale of the buildings”, staff concluded: “In this respect the development is one that will dominate the streetscape in this location, though not be imposing, due to the overall design of the building [and] recessing or stepping of the upper level to around 17 metres from Yamba Road, [with] generous setbacks and provision of landscaping, which achieves reduced bulk and scale visual impacts.” 

On amenity and overshadowing, staff wrote: “Overall the proposal is considered to be consistent with the setback objectives of the DCP.”..... 

Councillor Grag Clancy, who said he was “not against the proposal, in principle”, spoke against; he focused on the building’s height. “I could live with something less than a one metre, but 2.7 metres in one category [LEP] and 3.7 in another [Seniors Living SEP]? … high buildings are not suitable for seniors,” he said.....

Predictably Crs. Richie Williamson, Richie's 'sock puppet' Arthur Lysaught and property developer Andrew Baker voted for the increased building height in the DA and, disappointingly, so did Mayor Jim Simmons and Cr. Jason Kingsley. Those who voted against were Crs. Peter Ellem, Karen Toms, Debra Novak and Greg Clancy.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Lower Clarence experienced two prolonged blackouts within three days

Twice within three days the Yamba area was plunged into prolonged darkness.

The second blackout on Tuesday 1 October 2019 was caused by a pivotal substation malfunctioning and catching fire.

This left 6,500 people without lights or power and local businesses had to close their doors from around 6pm under about 10pm when Essential Energy restored power.

The exception on both occasions was Yamba Bowling Club (the designated bushfire/flood emergency gathering point) as it has a generator.

Media reports state that The Bowlo was packed last Sunday after Yamba homes went dark, as sports fans piled in to watch Australia take on Wales in the Rugby World Cup.

Unfortunately other businesses suffered in these blackouts, with one hotel reporting a loss of $19,800 in expected revenue.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Guess who Clarrie spotted in Yamba?

Paparazzi, eat your hearts out!

Clarrie spotted this bloke, in company, having lunch at a cafe in Yamba on Friday.

Credit for image:

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Yamba rock pool reopens

Yamba Rock Pool, May 2019

Clarence Valley Council, media release, 16 May 2019:

Yamba ocean rock pool repairs get the thumbs up

BARRY Cribb well remembers teaming up with half a dozen of his mates, arming themselves with brooms and shovels and cleaning out the Yamba ocean rock pool by hand.

That started about 40 years ago and only finished when the then Maclean Shire Council offered to take over the maintenance.

It was a big relief for Barry and his team, but the Yamba resident retains a strong interest in the pool and still swims there regularly – daily when conditions suit.

And he’s pretty chuffed about the latest work Clarence Valley Council has done there.
For the past few years the pool has leaked and in the past 12 months had to be closed on several occasions because the water had fallen to a level that meant it was unsafe for swimming.

Council completed repairs to the pool more than a month ago and there appear to be no signs of leaks.

“It looks and feels nice and clean now,” he said.

“I’ve been swimming in there every day since it re-opened and everyone reckons it is great. It’s not losing any water now.”

Despite some interruptions to the work from Cyclone Oma, the work was completed on time and substantially under budget.

The savings have allowed the council to undertake further improvements at the pool site, including the replacement of ageing timber railings with stainless steel and the widening of concrete paths.

Project manager, council’s Justin Menzies, said working in a marine environment in sometimes unpredictable conditions provided plenty of challenges, but thorough planning and having contingencies meant they could be resolved with little impact on the project.

“We put a lot of effort into project management to make sure we deliver projects on time and within budget and we couldn’t be happier with the result,” he said.

“We’ve got pool users giving us the thumbs up each time we go there and that is really rewarding. That’s what you do it for.”

Mr Menzies said observations since the work was complete suggested the pool would stay clean for much longer following the works.

He said that before the repairs started, holes in the pool allowed sand to penetrate the base and the pool would be dirty with sand and decaying seaweed within a few days after cleaning.

“That’s not happening now and the only sand getting into the pool is coming over the top,” he said.

“That means it’s clean much longer and is much more attractive for users.

“It is a great result for pool users and Yamba.”

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Yamba, the jewel in the crown of Clarence Valley tourism

The Daily Examiner, 18 September 2018, p.1:

The Clarence Valley is out-performing the whole state in tourism growth, according to Clarence Valley Council, with Yamba the jewel in the crown.

Director environment, planning and community Des Schroder said the Clarence Valley had recorded a 12.2 per cent growth, while NSW had only notched up a 5.7 per cent growth.

Tourism has become one of the Valley’s biggest employers with 6.8 per cent of people employed in the Valley working in tourism and hospitality according to Mr Schroder.

Council statistics show Yamba has become the fourth most visited town in the North Coast behind Byron Bay, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour, with more tourists than Ballina, Tweed Heads and Old Bar, Taree.

Mr Schroder said according to NSW tourism research Yamba statistics are merely 30 per cent of Byron Bay’s tourism numbers at the moment, but it might not be that way for long.

“Yamba is growing but it’s not Byron Bay yet from a tourism point of view, but it’s getting up there,” he said.

Mr Schroder added the population of Yamba is fairly stable, but still growing.

He said the influx of people visiting Yamba around Christmas is starting to become a constant stream of tourists all year round.

“The impact of the highway will make a big difference,” Mr Schroder said. “The highway will improve access for people coming to Yamba from the north and south.”

With 30 per cent of tourists visiting Yamba hailing from South-East Queensland he said the council is conscious the tourism in Yamba will continue to grow.

“All council can do is put the framework in place,” Mr Schroder said.

“We need to manage lifestyle for the locals while allowing for tourism growth which balances jobs. You need tourism to create jobs but you don’t want to be over run by tourists.”…….

Friday, 7 September 2018

Yamba community successfully lobbied for the installation of a roundabout instead of traffic lights at intersection of Treelands Drive and Yamba Road

One of a number of signs along Yamba Road protesting the traffic lights

After a protracted debate on 21 August 2018 Clarence Valley Council voted to install traffic lights at an intersection in Yamba by five votes to four, with councillors Richie Williamson, Jason Kingsley, Andrew Baker, Arthur Lysaught and Mayor Jim Simmons voting in favour and Debrah Novak, Peter Ellem, Greg Clancy and Karen Toms against.

It was noticeable that all three Yamba councillors were against the motion, reflecting the sentiments of many local residents.

A formal rescission motion was lodged by Clrs. Toms, Ellem and Clancy which read:

That Council:
1. Rescind Part 2 and 3 of resolution 15.134/18 on Yamba Road/Treelands Drive Intersection Upgrade
And replace with the following points:
2. Adopt Option 4 - Mini Roundabout as the control measure for the Treelands Drive/Yamba Road
3. Complete the detailed design for the Mini Roundabout intersection of Treelands Drive and Yamba Road.

On 4 September this was considered at an extraordinary council meeting.

At this meeting the vote ratio reversed itself and Option 4 – Mini Roundabout was adopted by five votes to four.

Much to the relief of a crowded visitors’ gallery.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Clarence River Estuary communities need to remain both alert and alarmed as NSW Berejiklian Government seeks to expand exposure to international cruise ship industry

In July 2018 the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government released the document “NSW Cruise Development Plan” to the delight of the international cruise ship industry.

This plan confirms that Berejiklian ministry - sitting in offices over 670kms south of the small towns of Yamba and Iluka on the banks of the Clarence River estuary - is still pursuing the idea that the Port of Yamba is a potential official cruise ship destination.

The state government also obviously expects that Clarence Valley local government will both accommodate the needs of the plan and contribute to the cost of meeting this aim if it is progressed.

To further the Berejiklian Government’s aim to make as many small ports or undeveloped harbours/inlets capable of use by cruise ships the NSW Cruise Development Plan states that:

A regulatory framework that fosters the competitiveness of ports, encourages the expansion of the tourism sector, minimises environmental impacts, protects the community, and supports jobs growth is required for the NSW cruise industry.
National regulatory barriers currently inhibit the cruise industry, including the small expedition and luxury cruise market’s, access to NSW coastal ports.

Differences in regulatory requirements between states also restricts the freedom of cruise liners to set national itineraries that take advantage of regional ports.
The NSW Government will continue to lead discussions with the other States, Territories and the Commonwealth on removing regulatory barriers that limit cruise ship growth potential.

Action: The NSW Government will investigate opportunities to remove regulatory barriers to entry for emerging cruise markets, including the expedition cruise market, and will seek an inter-jurisdictional policy position with other governments. [my yellow highlighting]

What the Liberal-Nationals government in faraway Sydney considers as “regulatory barriers” may not be what the people of the Lower Clarence River consider as impediments which should be removed.

They are in place for good reason and any weakening of these regulations has the potential to affect the environmental sustainability of an ancient, healthy and highly productive estuary system which is the largest in south-east Australia and, whose waters are covered by Yaegl Native Title.

Facts estuary communities may need to continually press upon a state government wrapped up as it is in a cosy relationship with the international cruise ship industry.

Monday, 23 July 2018

One of the reasons why local government, traditional owners and communities in the Clarence Valley should be very wary of home-grown and foreign lobbyists, investment consortiums and land developers – Part Three

In July 2018 the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) continues to hear evidence in Operation Skyline.

An organisation called United Land Councils Limited was mentioned as allegedly sending its then sole director Richard Green around New South Wales to talk with local aboriginal land councils concerning certain proposals.

These trips appear to have commenced sometime in 2015.

At least one trip taken in 2016 by Mr. Green was to Yamba in the Clarence Valley, allegedly at the behest of Nicholas Petroulias.

The subject of the alleged discussion/s with the Yaegl community in Yamba was the creation of a large port in the Clarence River estuary.

It shoud be noted that by July 2016 Yaegl elders and the Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation were strongly opposed to a mega port being created in the estuary.

Mainstream media has been following current events as they unfolded.....

The Daily Telegraph, 13 July 2018:

AUSTRALIA’S youngest ever tax chief is behind bars after ­allegedly being caught with a wallet full of counterfeit cash, bank cards in different names and dodgy driver’s licences.

Nick Petroulias, once the nation’s second most powerful tax official, appeared before Burwood Local Court as Michael Nicholas Felson earlier this week having been pulled over by police while driving his luxury black BMW X5.

When the officers stopped him in inner-west Sydney on June 20, the 50-year-old is alleged to have handed them a current New Zealand driver’s licence in the name of another alias, Nicholas James Piers.

Police will allege that inquiries revealed Piers was a permanent resident of Australia and allegedly had a number of aliases including Nick Petersen, Michael Felson as well as his real name — Nick Petroulias.

Under his various aliases he is alleged to have held one NSW driver’s licence, three Queensland licences, one from Victoria and another from Tasmania, only two of which were current. He has not been charged over those licences.

Once a Melbourne legal whiz-kid, Petroulias (pictured left) was made assistant commissioner of the Australian Taxation Office at the age of 30. In 2014 he was declared bankrupt with eye-watering estimated debts of $104 million.

On Tuesday he appeared in court via videolink from Silverwater Jail dressed in prison greens as he used his fingers to flatten the “comb-over” hiding his bald head.

Court documents show he has pleaded not guilty to knowingly possessing seven counterfeit Australian $50 bank notes and two counts of possessing bank cards with the intention of committing fraud. He was refused police bail on June 20 and refused bail in Burwood Local Court the next day.

His case has been adjourned to August 14 when the court was told he will make a fresh bail application.

Newcastle Herald, 17 July 2018:

A member of the Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council has admitted to giving false evidence to the Independent Commission against Corruption and disobeying orders not to discuss its inquiry with other potential witnesses, after an intercepted phone call was played in which he told former tax official Nick Petroulias about an inquiry into land deals with which the pair were involved.

But Richard Green, former deputy chair of Awabakal, denied he was “tipping off” Mr Petroulias about the ICAC inquiry.

He was reprimanded by Commissioner Peter Hall QC for failing to answer questions directly.

“Mr Green if you're going to obstruct this commission you could be putting yourself into real trouble,” Commissioner Hall said.

On Monday, Mr Green was questioned about whether he spoke to anyone after receiving a summons from the ICAC in January, telling him he would be required to appear before its Operation Skyline public hearings and warning him not to discuss the matter with any other person.

When pressed by counsel assisting the commission, Nicholas Chen SC, Mr Green admitted he had a brief conversation with Mr Petroulias about the summons, but said it was because he had not read the warning contained within the letter.

However minutes later, a phone intercept was played where Mr Green was heard to read the contents of the letter to Mr Petroulias, including the direction to keep the summons confidential.

“That was contrary to the clear and express statement of what you were not permitted to do. Isn't that right?” Mr Chen said. “What's your excuse, Mr Green, for doing that?”

“Like I said before I don't – I haven't got an excuse,” Mr Green responded.

The inquiry heard that Mr Petroulias is in custody on unrelated charges. 

The former tax office high flyer is accused of playing a "central role" in four deals to sell off Awabakal land. The ICAC is investigating whether the deals were a sham to benefit Mr Petroulias, his lawyer partner Despina Bakis, and Awabakal board members Mr Green and Debbie Dates.

Mr Green conceded that his signature appeared on a number of the sales agreements. However he insisted he could not read well and had not read through documents when they were given to him to sign by either Mr Petroulias or Ms Bakis.
He could not explain why he signed the documents without telling other board members about them, despite board approval being a requirement of land sales. He agreed his behaviour was "reckless in the extreme" but denied he benefited financially from it.

"When you've got a person acting like Nick you take notice of them," he said. "And I keep saying over and over if people understand how Aboriginal land councils function they will understand what I'm talking about.''

Newcastle Herald, 19 July 2018:

Luxury cars, gold jewellery, and Foxtel subscriptions were among the items that Richard Green bought with money disgraced former assistant tax commissioner Nick Petroulias provided to him, allegedly for helping facilitate the sale of Aboriginal-owned land in the Lower Hunter.  

The Independent Commission Against Corruption heard on Wednesday that Mr Green, a former land council board member, is alleged to have received an estimated $145,000 between 2014 and 2016 for his personal benefit from Mr Petroulias. 

The money was received via several bank and credit card accounts that were operated in Mr Green’s name, but which appear to have been opened on behalf of him by Mr Petroulias. 

Mr Green appeared confused when presented with statements from some of the accounts and denied any prior knowledge of others. 

The commission is investigating whether a series of deals to sell Awabakal land to developers were a “ruse” to benefit former board members Richard Green or Debbie Dates.

It is also probing whether the first of the deals was a sham set up by Mr Petroulias – using a company he allegedly controlled called Gows Heat – so he could on-sell his interests to other buyers. 


25 September 2016 What's in a name?

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Killing coastal trees is an occupation for individuals with puny minds and shrivelled souls

Clarence Valley Council, media release, May 21, 2018:

Tree vandals hit Yamba again

MULTIPLE trees on the headland between Yamba’s Convent and Pippi beaches are dying in what Clarence Valley Council staff believe is a deliberate and brazen attempt to improve views for nearby residents.

Council’s works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said coastal trees had an important role in protecting headlands and landowners needed to remember they belonged to the community.

“The environment is not theirs to destroy,” he said.
“It belongs to everyone.”

Mr Anderson said about 20 trees had been poisoned in the area over the past six months. They included coastal casuarinas, coastal banksias, pandanus and tuckeroos – all native and endemic to the area.

“In the past two years we have lost between 50 and 100 trees along our coastline.
“We’ve had it happen in Wooli, Diggers Camp, Angourie and twice in Yamba last year – including the site of this latest poisoning.”

He said staff would prepare a report to council recommending a range of actions to mitigate tree vandalism that could include:

managing views for public benefit only at approved locations;

planting species that will enable views to be substantially retained in locations where those views may be enjoyed by the public;

public awareness and education initiatives;

installation of signage at the vandalised area;

installation of view screens or containers at the vandalised area, and
rehabilitation of the vandalised area.

“If people have any evidence of who might be responsible they should report it to council and we will follow it up,” he said.

The sites of where some of the trees have been destroyed.

Trees between Yamba’s Convent and Pippi beaches destroyed by vandals.....