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Coffs Harbour

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 - 8:32pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Wed, 19/04/2017 - 8:37pm in

I'm prepared to suspend judgment over this bit of landscape gardening until it's done, but calling it "momentous" and a "corner of paradise" does seem to be overstating the scope of the project. Granted, the Key Stakeholders who say "Ni!" did threaten to say "Ni!" to us again unless we brought them a shrubbery, but I'm sure that once it's done we'll resume going about our business as though it never happened.

Unless they decide they want another shrubbery…

Forest action outside Coffs Forestry Office this Tues 21 March at 10 am

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 17/03/2017 - 5:19am in


Coffs Harbour

The United Nations has declared Tues 21st of March as 'International Day Of Forests'.

This Tuesday 21 March we are asking Forest conservationists to rally outside Coffs Harbour Forestry Office with speakers
from the National Parks Association, Bellingen Environment Centre, The Greens, the Kalang River Forest Alliance, Coffs Harbour Climate Action and North East Forest Alliance.

Our forest here is in dire straits.

In Australia we have so little of our native forest and original native vegetation left, and we need to protect what we have, it is so important for healthy ecosystems on land and in water ways and to help mitigate climate change. 

Luke Wilton a well known passionate forest muso and supporter will be entertaining us with own songs. 

It is the International Day of Water the next day and we are therefore also highlighting the proposed logging into the Kalang River's Headwaters and the detrimental effect this will have on the Kalang River, all the way down the river system to the sea at Urunga.

Victory in Emerald Beach: Environmental Victory for Coffs Harbour Region

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 05/03/2017 - 6:01am in

Emerald Beach community celebrated an extraordinary outcome last month when the Land and Environment Court ruled in their favour.

A proposed coastal wetland development north of the existing community was comprehensively dismissed for failing to adequately plan for the future.

In March 2015, Greens councillor Sally Townley moved a council motion to reject the development outright on nine unacceptable reasons.

Council planning staff recommended this development be approved subject to conditions. However, the motion proved successful as a majority of councillors supported Cr Townley to the delight of a rowdy public gallery.

The developer, Pridel developments, then appealed this verdict going to the Land and Environment Court.

Finally on February 7, the court verdict justified community concerns regarding coastal inundation, flooding, emergency exit plans, community disconnection, development footprint, and threat to the adjacent Coffs Coast Regional Park managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The court has now delivered council their first Land and Environment Court win.

As a central campaigner for the Emerald Beach community Group, URGE, the win provides not only personal elation but also a lasting legacy for the region.

This case now sets a precedence for future coastal planning for councils and developers in NSW.

According to the court judgement, the developer application failed, amongst other things, to appropriately consider coastal inundation as a cause for concern risking the safety of its residents.

Sea level rise associated with climate change will impact our coastal region over this century and beyond with high confidence, the court heard.

Due to the high degree of uncertainty, the precautionary principle was argued for since it is likely that the development may become unsuitable.

The proposed development did not accord with the principles of NSW Coastal Policy in that it did not adequately consider the "ecologically sustainable development of the NSW coastline" which includes the principle of intergenerational equity.

In light of the verdict, how did council planners come to recommend this DA for approval? Furthermore, how many other developments are recommended that may also be a risk in the future?

For example, the exclusive gated community of North Sapphire “just metres from the beach” who started selling properties in 2012.

Are council planners understaffed and overwhelmed by complex DA’s leading to poor
recommendations or do they simply want the easy way out?

However this court verdict is read, it seems pretty clear that coastal development is dangerous and council should now zone entirely the North Emerald property E2 Conservation. Council planners may also benefit from reading the 2003 NSW Coastal Policy.

In finishing, insufficient assessment of risk and $640 000 worth of court costs later - a rare Coastal Wet heath lives on!        
By Jonathan Cassell

Victory in Emerald BeachPosted: 03 Mar 2017 01:58 PM PSTEnvironmental Victory for Coffs Harbour Region 

A Plastic Ocean: Feature Documentary February 23, 7.00pm in Sawtell

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 14/02/2017 - 7:16am in

  • Thursday, February 23rd 2017 @ 7:00pm 
  • Sawtell Majestic Cinema 
  • First Ave, Sawtell NSW 2452
  • Presented by 

  • Sea Shepherd  Australia
  •  Take 3 for the Seas 
  •  Join us for the premiere in Coffs Harbour NSW of this feature length documentary 
  • Described by Sir David Attenborough as 
  • “One of the most important films of our time”
  • Introduction by Tim Silverwood - CEO of Take 3 for the Sea
    Co-founder and CEO of Take 3 for the Sea, Tim Silverwood will introduce the film and conduct a Q and A.  In 2011 Tim Silverwood spent 3 weeks sailing across the North Pacific Gyre to study and document the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Tim has conducted over 200 educational seminars in schools and communities around the world and helped drive successful campaigns to reduce plastic pollution including plastic bag bans and container deposit scheme
  • In A Plastic Ocean an international team of adventurers, researchers, and Ocean Ambassadors go on a mission around the globe to uncover the shocking truth about what is truly lurking beneath the surface of our seemingly pristine ocean.

    A Plastic Ocean brings to light the consequences of our global disposable lifestyle and shows never-before-seen images of marine life, plastic pollution, and its ultimate consequences for human health. 
    During its four-year production period, A Plastic Ocean was filmed in 20 locations around the world in beautiful and chilling detail to document the global effects of plastic pollution–and introduce workable technology and policy solutions that can, if implemented in time, change things for the better. 

Steve Posselt's kayak to visit Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Heads and Port Macquarie

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/01/2017 - 3:22am in


Coffs Harbour

Support Greens member Steve Posselt's Climate Emergency Campaign. Sign the petition. Be there at 5.30 PM on January 9 at the Wharf St Cafe, Nambucca Heads, to greet Steve with your Greens' signs and banners.

The Nambucca Heads arrival will be a particular focus for Greens supporters from Bellingen and further south.

DATE DAY DEPARTURE ARRIVAL EVENTS 6-Jan Friday Minnie Water Woolgoolga
7-Jan Saturday Woolgoolga Coffs Harbour Welcome Flotilla 3.00pm 8-Jan Sunday Coffs Harbour Nambucca Heads
9-Jan Monday Arrive Nambuca Heads 5.30 PM Wharf St Cafe

10-Jan Tuesday Nambucca Heads

13-Jan Friday Port Macquarie
Arrive Frday 9.00am. Presentation Fri 6.00pm Departure flotilla Sat 1pm -3pm 14-Jan Saturday Port Macquarie North Haven

– See more at:

Steve is interviewed at Coffs Harbour
Steve arrives at Coffs' Jetty Beach
Steve talks on Jetty Beach

Uncle Martin welcomes Steve to Gumbaynggir country
Steve is welcomed by a haka

Steve Posselt kayaks to Canberra via Nambucca Heads.
Steve Posselt, kayak adventurer and ecowarrior, set off from Ballina on New Years Day on the last leg of his Connecting Climate Chaos journey that has taken him around the world. He plans to collect 100,000 signatures for the Climate Emergency Declaration petition.
Steve Posselt will be met at cities and towns on the way, including Nambucca Heads. At Nambucca Heads, Justin Field and Jeremy Buckingham, Greens MLCs will paddle out to meet Steve. Steve plans to arrive at 5.30 PM, January 9, at the Wharf St Café, weather permitting. 
It is hoped many Nambucca Valley and Bellingen Valley residents will gather to greet Steve, hear his climate emergency message, and sign the Climate Emergency Declaration petition. He will depart for South West Rocks before sunrise on January 10.
His journey is 1200km down the coast to Moruya and then 180km dragging the kayak up the mountains to Canberra.
Posselt said that paddling into New York past the Statue of Liberty, paddling past Big Ben in London, and paddling to the steps at the Eiffel Tower in Paris were the emotional highs on his journey but that nothing beats paddling in his own country.
The petition Posselt will deliver to Canberra asks Parliament to declare a climate emergency and mobilise resources to restore a safe climate. It can be signed at

Steve's wheeled kayak odyssey started on 15 Jan 2015 in Canberra with the aim of publicising the urgent need to act against dangerous climate change and to connect extreme weather event areas to this need. Steve's epic journey then continued to the Sydney Opera House on 31 Jan 2015, Gulf of Mexico 1 March, New Orleans, up the Mississippi in flood, 22 April across to USA East Coast,  New York in June, across the UK, through London, English Channel and then up the Seine to Paris arriving 15 Oct 2015 for the COP 21 Paris Climate Conference. 

The last leg of his journey from Ballina on January 1 to Sydney and Canberra, includes publicity for the need for at least 100,000 people to sign the Climate Emergency Declaration Petition, which he will present to the Australian Government.Climate Emergency Declaration petition to signClimate Emergency Declaration websiteClimate Emergency Mobilisation on Facebook

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 - 9:34pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Tue, 28/06/2016 - 9:34pm in

The jewel in Coffs Harbour's cliche crown is still putting out the red light for any real estate agents in need of discreet, high-class services, after rejecting suggestions that a news story requires more than one source before it can be considered journalism.

The Advocate's advertorial editor-in-chief, Mr. Earnest Hardwicke-Goodge said he was disappointed by so many readers mystified as to why the unchanged ownership of prime CBD graffiti canvas was considered newsworthy.

"The continued presence of readers is a regrettable distraction from our core business of connecting advertisers with other sophisticated, consensual, like-minded advertisers," Mr. Hardwicke-Goodge said. "Unfortunately, despite filling any unsold advertorial space with the most unreadable tripe imaginable, we've been unable to shake them off."

Mr. Hardwicke-Goodge said that while an upcoming series of particularly nauseating stories of wholly uninspiring local people doing utterly unremarkable things had the potential to turn the situation around for the paper and it's key stakeholders, he urged any remaining would-be readers to remember one simple rule: "If you're not looking to scam or be scammed, just put the paper down and walk away; it's not for you."

Friday, 17 June 2016 - 6:09pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Fri, 17/06/2016 - 6:09pm in

Ha! We stride boldly into a vision of the future from the 1970s. More roads! More cars! More shopping malls! More dormitory suburbs! Knock it all down, and if you can't knock it down, knock something else down to bypass it!

Soon the current plague of property investors will pass, leaving ghost malls sitting alongside the ghost arcades of a previous plague. A home for tattoo parlours, the ever-expanding offices of the privatised dole police, and placards proclaiming "This space for rent" and "Vote Hartsuyker".

Tuesday, 14 June 2016 - 12:24pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Tue, 14/06/2016 - 12:24pm in

If there's one thing you can say about Coffs, it's that it's never afraid to build on its weaknesses. Our local university campus dropped it's Bachelor of Arts course three years ago to make room for an expanded range of business studies courses (on this at least I'm not kidding). We're celebrated as the region with the highest per capita concentration of Elvis impersonators, and the home of "Ain'tmusic: the Original Australian Adam and the Ants (and Tears for Fears) Tribute Show". And the local thigh slappers and scenery chewers collective is currently rehearsing "Rocky Horror Get Your Gun!" The combination of suburban sprawl and inadequate public transport means that for most of the population an evening out involves sitting on an upturned milk crate in the garage listening to Cold Chisel records, gulping rum and coke from a can, and wondering where it all started going so wrong.

I can save us some consultancy money and and deliver a report on the viability of a new performing arts centre right now: There is  none. Anybody in Coffs interested in seriously pursuing the arts has already left. A performing arts centre will, in approximately three years, be hollowed out and refitted as the new expanded headquarters for one of our flourishing Job Services providers. We might as well consider the viability of establishing a space exploration program.

Thursday, 21 April 2016 - 3:37am

Published by Matthew Davidson on Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:37am in

I'm no medical expert, although I do have an advanced diploma in homeopathy from the time I went for a swim with somebody who had that qualification and accidentally swallowed some water. I honestly can't see why it's not possible to put St. Peter on the boom gates to only let in people with nice ailments. I don't like to be judgmental, but it's lowlife scum who ruin sickness for the rest of us. Ambulances are a waste of taxpayers' money and an outrageous rort by the suddenly-gravely-ill lobby. Personally, I schedule my extreme medical distress in installments across the calendar year, then take my treatment out at tax time as a lump sum. If you can't be bothered to plan ahead, I don't see why the rest of us should foot the bill.

Thursday, 21 April 2016 - 3:35am

Published by Matthew Davidson on Thu, 21/04/2016 - 3:35am in

It's hard to pinpoint when a revolutionary idea comes to you. I think I had the first inkling while on the way from my business networking breakfast to my business networking brunch. Later, at business networking lunch, I started to look at the people around me, sensing something… Something tantalising, yet frustratingly intangible, like the distant promise of an unexploited tax exemption. By business networking afternoon coffee, the idea was still yet not fully formed. The dynamic, entrepreneurial buzz washed over me as my gaze settled on the centre of the table. Raw, white, and artificial. These sweetener sachets crammed together in a whisky tumbler—each satisfying different needs, yet also the same need—were calling to me.

As the afternoon wore on, it became a drumbeat: raw, white, and artificial; raw, white, and artificial…

Over dinner, as the rhythm of "raw, white, and artificial…" rose to an intolerable crescendo in my mind, the flash of blinding insight finally hit me. I stood bolt upright and, as if possessed by the spirit of an old testament prophet, I proclaimed to the assembled business networking group: "Hear me! Something is missing from Coffs Harbour! Something disruptive, something game-changing, something that will engage our key stakeholders and enrich our brand! I have a vision of a great coming-together at signature events of well-mannered middle-class people of very marginal talent and even less intelligence, with very mediocre food, and very, very minor celebrities. I say unto you, raise an army of multimedia account managers! Let them go forth and multiply brand awareness! Let them vanquish the unbelievers in bloody and brutal information sessions! Only then—only then, my people—shall we have a new… business… networking… group!"

I fell exhausted to my seat, to rapturous applause. I sank my spork into a dry, tasteless slab of chocolate cake. One thing was clear: Coffs Harbour would never be the same again.