10.4 C
Byron Shire
August 15, 2022

Ballina’s library push on hold

Latest News

Mud benda rant

Regarding last week’s Splendour Festival and all the ‘haters’ out there. I took along a few seriously fun-deprived teenage...

Other News

Criminalising protest

In another Sstate government descent into criminalising protest, to protect their own government’s sabotage of a liveable planet, last...

Recognition for Brunswick SLSC volunteers

Five national medals presented on behalf of Governor General David Hurley were some of the awards given to Brunswick...

The COVID-19 Booster: Latest news from the pandemic

The COVID-19 Booster is Cosmos Magazine’s weekly shot of the latest research, news and data from the pandemic.

Secrecy surrounds govt’s Reconstruction Corp

Echo questions remain unanswered around the advisory board appointments for the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation, which the NSW government says will help with ‘rebuilding flood-affected Northern Rivers’. 

Tweed Council refuse aged care facility Tweed Heads

The proposed aged care facility at Caloola Drive Tweed Heads (DA20/0712) was refused at the Tweed Shire Council meeting last Thursday.

A long and chequered career in cooking

When she was just 16, Elizabeth Jackson was kicked out of a home economics class – not because she burnt a pot or had a collapsed sponge, but because she made a black wedding cake.

Luis Feliu

Ballina councillors have backed away from a move tentatively favouring Lismore City Council’s management of the Richmond Tweed Regional Library (RTRL) and will join Byron shire in considering a return to shared administration of the service.

Councillors voted 6-4 on Tuesday to rescind a previous decision giving in-principle support for the administrative council model by which Lismore council has been running the service for nearly two years, and which critics had described as a ‘takeover’.

The Ballina councillors decided to reserve their position on the library’s future till further advice was received on recent changes to the Library Act, which paved the way for a return to the independent shared model of running the service, and wait for Byron council to report back on several options discussed at a recent meeting of all four member councils of the RTRL.

Tweed Shire Council recently voted to back Lismore’s current running of the service after being told the previous county-council style of governance was not legally sound.

A public meeting called by North Coast MLC Catherine Cusack earlier this month decided to run a campaign for a return to the previous co-operative model of management.

The following day at a meeting of the member councils, Byron councillors and staff expressed serious doubts about Lismore’s running of the service and called for more information on options to run it. Some of them suggested Byron would go it alone rather than be bound by the current model.

At Thursday’s Ballina meeting, Cr Jeff Johnson said the current draft five-year library agreement had ‘gaping holes’ in it and if Byron council opted out, library services would decline.

Cr Johnson said it would be prudent to wait for the further advice from the State Library on the new legislation and a preferred model would be one in which each council had input on staffing, services and resources of the library.

But Cr Sue Meehan said the current service-level agreements between Lismore and the other councils was where Ballina council had more scope for input and considering further options was just ‘beating around the bush’.

Cr Peter Moore said there was deep-seated fear in the community that library services were being reduced under the current model and that other options should be looked at to ensure services were not diminished.

Cr Robyn Hordern said the ‘misplaced passion’ for the library to return to its old style of governance had moved to an ‘aggressive level’ and singled out Byron mayor Jan Barham for ‘aggressive attacks’ on councillors favouring Lismore’s management suggesting they had not read all the reports on the issue.

‘These aggressive acts are seriously counterproductive,’ Cr Hordern said.

Cr Sharon Cadwallader praised former longtime director Martin Field, who earlier told councillors that Lismore council’s own solicitor had concluded the library should be run under a county council mode.

Cr Cadwallader said Mr Field had taken the library from one of the worst in the state to one of the best before the Lismore council took over its running.

Mayor Phil Silver said the most important thing was to keep all four councils ‘in harness’ saying the recent meeting was member-councils’ ‘most embarrassing’  with councillors ‘squabbling with each other’.

Cr Silver said Byron had ‘overreacted to the harshness’ of Lismore’s administration of the service and he wanted to pay his ‘respects to them for sticking their necks out to ensure it stayed operating’.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Autocracy or democracy for Byron Shire?

The New Yorker Magazine recently wrote a quote from Mr Rupert Murdoch ‘The truth is authoritarian governments do work!’ Hold that thought. It has been...

Criminalising protest

In another Sstate government descent into criminalising protest, to protect their own government’s sabotage of a liveable planet, last Thursday new laws were passed...

Mullum pods

First, Hans Lovejoy’s article ‘emergency wedged’ was educational, factual and provided valuable information to the community. Michele Grant’s letter (27 July) was emotive overgeneralisations...

Flood residents get $650 from Lismore Council

Lismore City Mayor Steve Krieg today announced that 1,558 residents will receive a grant of $650 from the Lismore Flood Appeal.