Author: jasonadmin

Transport & mobility links

This Transport list is maintained by Sapoty Brook. Please email with suggestions.
We invite you to comment and recommend useful links.

Electric Cars

Bicycles, Trikes, and Scooters (including electric)

  • Go Further Faster on an electric bike.beyond-oil
    Sapoty has Mountain Bikes [2 models], Step Thru Bikes, Folding Bikes, Conversion Kits, and Electric Motor Scooters [Registerable].
    He is also developing a cargo carrying trike called SolarEV.
    Contact: Sapoty Brook, Mullumbimby
    m 0407 213 267
    h: 02 6684 2927

Bicycle Shops

  • Byron Bay Bicycles
    2/Plaza Cellars, 90 Jonson Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481
    (02) 6685 6067
  • Sunrise Cycles Byron Bay
    102 Centennial Circuit, Byron Bay NSW 2481
    (02) 6680 9590
  • Transition Cycles & Fitness
    49 River Street, Ballina NSW 2478
    (02) 6686 6522
  • True Wheel Cycles
    Anglican Church of St Martin’s, 42 Stuart St, Mullumbimby NSW 2482
    (02) 6684 1959
  • Byron Bay Threesome
    2/9 Marvell Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481
    (02) 6680 7906
  • Byron Bay Bike Shops. Bay Cruisers Pty Ltd.
    69 Shirley St, Byron Bay, NSW, 2481.
    (02) 66807906.
  • COG Cycle & Outdoor Gear
    2/31 Lawson Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481
    (02) 6680 7066
  • Byron Bay Freeriders Bicycle Club
    102-104 Centennial Circuit, Byron Bay NSW 2481
    (02) 6680 9590
  • Vitality 4 Life
    10 Brigantine Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481
    (02) 6680 7444

Taxis and Car Rentals

Public Transport

  • Going Places
    This is an outstanding source of transport information.
    Lists local bus services including timetables. When will they go electric?
  • Tweed Byron and Ballina Community Transport
    Head Office Shop 9/14 Middleton St, Byron Bay NSW 2481
    1300 875 895
    Fax: 6685 7027
  • Premier Motor Service
    Premier has two routes through the Northern Rivers:
    Lismore – Brisbane: Lismore Alstonville, Ballina, Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Tweed Heads, Gold Coast, Brisbane.
    Sydney – Brisbane: Sydney…Grafton, Mclean, Iluka, Woodburn, Ballina, Byron Bay, Tweed Heads, Gold Coast, Brisbane
    Phone: 133 410
    Office: 10 Investigator Street, South Nowra NSW 2541
  • Greyhound/McCaffertys Australia
    Route: Sydney – Brisbane – Sydney
    Sydney – Brisbane: Sydney…South Grafton, Ballina, Byron Bay, Murwillumbah, Gold Coast, Brisbane
    Half fare concessions are available for students, apprentices, trainees, Job Seekers, and pensioners (more options available to pensioners).
    1300 473 946
    Fax: (07) 4632 5457
  • Countrylink
    Bookings can be made online with a credit card up to 2 hours before the service departs from its origin. If you don’t have a credit card you can still make a booking online and pay by using “Pay It @Post”, providing you book at least 7 days in advance. Email reservations will be accepted up to 48 hours prior to departure.
    (Rail and coach reservations, train arrival & departure times and accessibility help)
    Phone: 132 232
  • Byron Night Shuttle
    6687 2104
    Mainly weekends
  • Bat Bus service
    For groups of young people aged 12-25 in the Byron Shire, who need help with transport.
    Phone: 6685 8771
  • Northern Rivers Carpool
    The Northern Rivers Carpool is a free, online service for anyone who wants to save money, meet new people and reduce their carbon footprint while travelling to work or study. The NR Carpool is easy to use. It takes two minutes to join the network and then NR Carpool will search its database and match you with other people travelling in the same direction.
  • Jayride car pooling – ride share lists
    Share empty seats when you drive and make your travel fun and cheap. Find transport by carpool, rideshare, bus, shuttle, relocation cars and more…
    Jayride – Byron Bay carpooling

Education & reskilling links

We invite you to comment and recommend useful links.

Food links

We invite you to comment and recommend useful links.

Electric car conversion

I am embarking on a long desired project of converting a petrol powered Daewoo Matiz car to an all electric vehicle (EV)
Many people think electric cars are the transport of the future as fossil fuels run out however point out that ev’s still have to be charged from the mains and unfortunately most of our power is generated by coal fired power stations. However power stations are much more efficient at converting fossil fuels (coal) into energy (electricity) (about 80%) A petrol or diesel engine is only about 30% efficient with the rest of the energy going into waste heat and partially burnt toxic gases like carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide. Electric motors have been improved so much that they can 96% efficient and of course they are vibrationless quiet and long lasting with zero emissions requiring no maintenance or oil changes or tuning. The conversion will probably never pay back my investment ($20000 or so) but if petrol becomes rationed or scarce then it will be a viable alternative.

For the technically minded
I chose this small car because it is a hatchback which is suitable for battery placement in front of the rear wheels as the weight distribution has to be within 10% of the original car. Also it weighs less than 800 kg and does not have power steering. Converting the car to battery power only, means removing the engine, exhaust system, radiator, petrol tank, fuel pump and lines, alternator, water pump, fanbelts, radiator fan and hoses. Next stage is installing a motor and associated controller and inverter and many other gadgets like a vacuum pump to, make the power brakes work. I will need a sophisticated 3 phase ac motor for efficiency and to enable a reliable regenerative braking system which charges the batteries when you brake to a stop or descend a hill. It’s a bit like using your engine in a low gear to slow a normal car except that it generates electricity which recharges the battery. The combination of the normal brakes and regen braking will be tricky to setup but there are steep hills around my place so I really want this system.

I will fit enough batteries & size the motor to give a range of about 100 km and cruising speed of 90 kmh.
I hope this car will be a shown at sustainable living and transition town events.

If anyone reading this has done an ev conversion or is mechanically minded and wants to be involved please contact me
Peter Wadams ph 02 66805007

Affordable Eco-Housing Forum – Summary


11 September 2011, Byron Region Community College, Mullumbimby 2-4pm

Organised by the Housing Group, Transition Byron Shire

Facilitated by Sustainable Futures Australia

Thank you to everyone who attended the SASHTA forum  on Sunday 11 Sept in Mullumbimby (and thanks for the many apologies from those who couldn’t make it at that time).  Here is a report on the forum for those who missed it, with some added follow-up information for those of you who attended, along with our plans for the next steps ahead.
Also see attachment for questions that came up and further steps.The forum was a great success with about 60 people attending – including the mayor Jan Barham, deputy mayor Basil Cameron, Councilor Simon Richardson and solicitor Wroth Wall (who is a local expert on collective land ownership and has been our pro bono legal consultant since the steering committee’s conception).  Both Jan Barham and Wroth Wall were also on our panel alongside our steering committee members Gabi, Annie, Tracey and Eva, and our two brilliant facilitators Peter Cuming and Eshana Bragg from ‘Sustainable Futures Australia’.
We would especially like to thank Peter and Eshana who did a superb job of keeping the forum on track throughout its entirety, introducing all the speakers and contributors, chairing the panel and question and answer times, and keeping track of all the suggestions and information that was being shared.
We also had a number of side stalls on hand displaying various forms of sustainable buildings such as domes ( , yurts (, recycled shipping containers ( and hemp blocks (Klara Marosszeky,, as well as information from local company E-Construct.

Solicitor Wroth Wall also presented his findings after having examined the set-up of the German tenant syndicate and the possibility of us being able to join this existing tenant alliance. Wroth is also very familiar with the Community Land Trust model which exists in America and long term leases. Wroth’s finding was that it would be best off to form our own tenant alliance here in Australia and only be affiliated with the German group due to the different property and financial laws. He is fully supportive of the idea of approaching Council for a long term lease of at least one of their empty properties in order to make affordable housing possible.After the SASHTA – (Sustainble Affordable Secure Housing Tenant Alliance) – concept was explained, the mayor reported on the ‘Byron Shire Affordable Housing strategy’.  This strategy states that Council would consider a partnership with a community developer, which potentially could be SASHTA. The mayor, deputy mayor and Simon Richardson all encouraged our approach.A major part of our concept is to plan an eco affordable housing village from the ‘bottom-up’ with residents all known to each other beforehand.  So with this in mind we distributed a hard copy of our Survey form at the forum to everyone interested, which questions interested parties about their own housing needs and personal interests, how much they would like to be involved in the planning process from the start, what kind of model they prefer, what kind of cottage industry or business they might like to run or be a part of as part of a village, what kind of skills they can bring to the project, and where they stand financially at present.

A large number of attendees filled out the Survey on the day of the forum.  However, now that we have it loaded onto the website, we encourage all those who haven’t filled it in yet  to do so on-line on by the end of October.  Thanks in advance for your participation.As this first forum was a way of testing the waters to see how many people are actually interested in the SASHTA concept, we were happy to find that virtually everybody who attended expressed their active interest in some way. This was confirmation for us to take some more steps forward with actions such as:

* Expanding our steering committee: Some additional people have come forward expressing interest in joining the committee, however more would be better. Let us know.
* Getting incorporated as a ‘not-for-profit’ incorporated association: We need 7 positions filled in order to do this. Anyone volunteering?
* Collating and writing a report on our findings from the Survey: We have already found some volunteers to do this for us.
* Researching funding options to cover the costs of coordinating the project and facilitating the community planning process. Anyone interested?
* Other suggestions? – Please let us know. – Thanks.
* Organizing our next forum: Maybe at the end of November or beginning December?

On the website you’ll also find the SASHTA project description in case anything’s not totally  clear. If you’d like to participate please fill in the survey.

Thank you very much for your interest and participation.Warmest regards,
Eva, Tracey, Anny and Gabi
The SASHTA Committee

Notes from Whiteboards

Questions posed to SASHTA Panel following presentations by Gabi Bohnet and Jan Barham

1. Were the barracks renovated in Germany bought by the tenants alliance? Yes

2. Is there any opportunity of using existing empty units above shops for a SASHTA project?

3. Given the limited number of Council owned sites suitable for affordable housing, would Council be open to the possibility of new multiple occupancies in other locations?

4. How are people selected to participate in a SASHTA project? Need to develop criteria and transparent process, ensure wide diversity, survey could help with this process

5. What structures could be put in place to enable personal investments to be returned? (eg., loans to alliance above rent)

6. How could this work in with existing housing ‘providers’? Need to develop partnerships with Council and other organisations (eg., community housing, low income not-for-profit)

7. How could we develop an ‘umbrella’ organisation with many projects? SASHTA does not have the capacity at the moment to develop this, however we are happy to be part of a wider network of housing providers and projects and like the idea of ‘cross-fertilizing’

8. If people in the community have rural land adjacent to services, how can they offer it as a potential site for a SASHTA project? The land could be leased long term to us or we might join the Waratah community land trust which is currently established in NSW to establish affordable housing. Land can be donated or bequeathed to this trust.

9. What relevant examples are currently occurring in Byron Shire?


Where to from here? Suggestions and Questions


1. Another forum in 2-3 months for update

2. People need to join the steering committee / working group if things are to progress further

– current tasks include seeking funding / grant opportunities; help analyzing survey

3. How do we stay in contact?

– blog/discussions on

– emails to

4. Encourage others to fill out survey online by end of September

5. Form smaller working groups based on results of survey

6. Link in with Lismore Housing Forum on 19th September (talk with Margaret)

7. Create a collection point – online or offline – for gathering information and materials (then create packages for showing to other people)

8. Start dialogue with Council now about new technologies in building materials (Council regulations lag behind).

9. Explore possibilities and forms of partnerships with other organisations (eg., with Sustainability Research Institute for one project)

10. Keep Councillors, not only Council staff, in the loop.

11. Consider education and training opportunities that could be associated with SASHTA (eg., building techniques)

12. Investigate Crown Land and rural land as potential SASHTA sites.

11. Prior to next forum, SASHTA needs to:

– define/propose a short-list of alternative structures for SASHTA

– develop/propose a clear definition of ‘sustainable’ housing, eg.,

– inclusion of food-growing as part of design

– bioregional sources of raw materials for building

– on-site opportunities for income generation, education and research

– protecting the land / biodiversity / environment / natural capital

In the news: Local initiative for affordable housing

Published in The Byron Shire EchoAugust 30, 2011, Page 15
In Articles by Eva St John

Of the many social issues being passionately discussed in the local community in recent years, few could be more pressing and urgent than the need for more affordable housing for the region’s ever-growing permanent population.

The Byron Shire is not alone in this dilemma, of course. Australia-wide, and indeed world-wide, the need for not only affordable housing, but eco-sustainable and securetenure housing, has been recognised by thousands of lateral thinkers and forward planners over the past three decades who have sought to come up with solutions to this ever- growing problem.

(image shown with caption ‘Shipping containers recycled as housing in London.’)

Land trusts
In America, for instance, a growing number of Community Land Trusts have been established for the management of properties which have been donated or bequeathed in order to create perpetual affordable housing collectives. Whether the tenants buy in to the communities or rent long term, the founding goal is to provide permanent, guaranteed secure tenure for people who would otherwise be left in severe long-term housing stress.

With this same goal in mind, in Germany a Tenant Syndicate was birthed in the late 1980s which sought to collectively purchase land and buildings that could be removed permanently from the speculation market in order to create tenant-organised affordable housing communities in perpetuity.

Together with the Syndicate, future tenants of an afford- able housing project establish a ‘limited liability’ company (Ltd) which then collectively buys a property, or acquires a long-term lease of government or private land. As a company the tenant collective can also secure loans – preferably from private ethical sources as opposed to banking institutions – to help finance their community building project. The tenants then pay rent to the company, but are simultaneously responsible for all aspects of running the company, including overseeing the development of the property and the building of their individual dwellings.

In this way affordable housing has been created and protected from future exploitation by real estate speculators. The German Tenant Syndicate has successfully implemented 33 tangible projects thus far, with dozens more in the works throughout Europe. In August 2009 the Syndicate made the decision to link up with, and support, other equivalent projects world-wide.

In response to this, local German-born resident Gabi Bonnet, who has a background in architecture, town planning and sustainable design, began researching and regularly giving talks on comparable ways a local tenant’s syndicate could be formed to establish small, affordable, low-impact eco communities here in the Shire. As a result, a steering commit- tee has been formed to look at ways to take these ideals through to actual implementation.

Shared interests
‘Tenant communities,’ says Gabi, ‘can be designed and focused around shared interests such as art, music, spiritual val- ues, gardening, permaculture or retirement, with the potential of becoming self-sustaining and even developing commercial opportunities for the ten- ants through on-site cottage industries. Tenants with disabilities or who are studying can be located close to services and public transport. Some collectives may also find innovative ways to utilise and encourage rehabilitation of the unused rail corridor.’

Under the interim name ‘Transition Byron Shire’ ( the steering committee has begun consulting with the Byron Shire Council in light of the Council’s own suggested affordable housing strategies (see affordable-housing), and are looking in particular at two council properties which have been earmarked for small affordable housing projects in Suffolk Park and in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate.

Economical and low-impact modes of building such as rammed earth, mud brick, bamboo and straw bale are also being scrutinised, along with the possibility of relocating older houses and recycling attractively-renovated shipping containers which are already weather-proof and structurally strong.

With the support of the Byron Shire Council, Transition Byron Shire will be holding a public meeting on Sustain- able House Day and is inviting everyone who is interested in becoming involved in a local ‘affordable housing eco community’ to come along and hear presentations and participate in the discussion. The meeting will be facilitated by Peter and Eshana of Sustain- able Futures Australia and will be held at the Mullumbimby Community College on Sun- day September 11, beginning at 2pm sharp. Enquiries can be directed to Gabi Bonet at

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