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February 26, 2021

Lib backs Greens on library takeover

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Liz Levy, Suffolk Park I couldn’t believe what I was reading in The Echo: a plan to turn an ‘iconic’...

Liberal MLC Catherine Cusack has backed Ballina Shire Greens Councillor Jeff Johnson’s attack on his fellow councillors over the fate of the shire’s libraries, which along with Byron and Tweed libraries, have been taken over by Lismore City Council.

Last week Jeff Johnson said in a statement, ‘It is quite disconcerting that various informed people, including Martin Field, the previous library manager, and Catherine Cusack MLC, who drafted the recent changes to the Library Act, strongly disagree with the information provided to councillors by Ballina Council staff’.

‘Unfortunately the majority (5–4) of Ballina councillors voted to stick with the administration model run by Lismore, despite the conflicting information and uncertainty surrounding the cost effectiveness of the way Lismore is handling it,’ he added.

On the weekend Ms Cusack went one step further, calling for all five councillors who voted in support of the library measure to resign. Mayor Phillip Silver, who endorsed the measure, was one of those she demanded step down.

In local media on Saturday she claimed they were ‘out of their depth’ and ‘totally oblivious to what everyone is telling them’.

The Richmond Tweed Regional Library Service was run by a committee until 2010, at which time Lismore (which was the leading council in the service) sacked the committee and took over running the service itself.

Ms Cusack has called for a meeting on February 6 in Byron Bay to discuss the issue.


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