13.8 C
Byron Shire
June 21, 2021

Byron election ponderings

Latest News

Travel declaration required for travellers entering Queensland

Queensland Health says that all travellers from a state or territory with a declared COVID-19 hotspot (currently Victoria and from 1am Saturday, June 19 also New South Wales) are required to complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass prior to entry.

Other News

Celebrating 12 years of liberating food for those in need

Liberation Larder is located on Fletcher St Byron Bay behind the community centre and was founded in 2009 by Venerable Honu, a Buddhist nun, who recognised there were many people in our community struggling to make ends meet. 

‘Influencers’ – just another advertising platform…

The question being asked by many consumers is 'are influencers genuinely promoting products that they like and believe in, or is it just more advertising?

Vaccine passports

David Warth, Byron Bay Vaccine passports, aka certificates, are now sitting in the wings waiting to be taken up by state...

New case of COVID-19 in Brisbane

Queensland has recorded one new case of COVID-19 in the community yesterday, with contact tracing underway after an international cabin crew member tested positive.

No SourDough$

Hayo van der Woude, Myocum 2021 promises to be the greatest year yet for revelations of unethical behaviour and corruption in...

More bullying stories emerge in Lismore

Since local woman Sally Flannery decided to quit the Lismore City Council race, more stories of harassment and attacks have emerged, affecting councillors and others across the political spectrum.

Hans Lovejoy
– Editor, The Byron Shire Echo

The Byron Shire election will not only be an opportunity to elect our next councillors, it will be up to those elected to appoint a new general manager.

The past rocky relationship between the mayor and the previous GM is well documented, so all eyes are on how a new mayor will engage with staff and lead through the murky waters of these agendas.

As it stands, we have three mayoral hopefuls so far: deputy mayor Basil Cameron, Greens candidate Simon Richardson and independent Diane Woods. As current councillors, all three know the terrain and have contributed much to the community already.

As for other councillor candidates, there is a healthy mix of independents who are not party aligned to Labor or Liberal.

There are many who actively work at ground level, such as the community independents, which includes the general manager of the Byron Bay Community Centre, Paul Spooner. Interestingly the business community has not put forward a candidate as yet; however, there is still time. New changes to the NSW government’s pecuniary interest legislation will potentially make it easier for developments to get through, and despite resource grabbing by the state – such as the caravan parks – we are told heavier workloads have been transferred to council staff by the state.

Here are a few issues to ponder over until ballot day:

Address and review unexecuted council motions. Councillors’ many requests to staff have led to a cyber graveyard of well-intentioned but forgotten motions.

There is no doubt that tourism is the dominant economy, but what of other sectors that, with the right nurturing, could provide the resilience that this community continually espouses? Food production, manufacturing, creative arts and IT come to mind.

Addressing affordable housing could perhaps be achieved by investigating working models in neighbouring shires.

Byron Bay has needed a bypass for more than 20 years, and as the Ocean Shores population is almost as large, it too could do with basic infrastructure. An equitable festival policy is needed as well; it’s not just two major events we have in this shire, it’s two major event companies who want to ramp up their event sites that we have to deal with.

There’s holiday letting and the social problems caused by a binge-drinking culture.

And let’s not forget potholes and grubby public toilets.

One last thing: a great start to freshening up council would be to rename our infrastructure. Poor language usage divides and confuses. Until something vaguely cultural is held there, the Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Complex should be just called the Ewingsdale Sports Facility.

National and global media continually analyse this community whether we like it or not. Those outside our bubble often mock Byron’s alternative ways and ridicule the commitment we have to the environment and social issues.

It’s been a constant theme – for many years this shire has proudly questioned the narrative of constant economic – and unsustainable – growth at the expense of environment. Let’s hope it continues.

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

‘Technically no longer human’ – can mRNA COVID-19 vaccines meld with your DNA?

It’s becoming increasingly common to see social media posts claiming that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, which include those made by Pfizer and Moderna, could alter a person’s DNA.

Lantern parade and fiery finish a blast

With just under 5,000 people including performers, workers, schools and volunteers, the 2021 Lismore Lantern Parade and accompanying festival was a sold-out event celebrating light.

Art headed for the bin after Lismore competition

Making rubbish look great is the outcome of a resent art competition in Lismore – Indigenous art, koalas, rainbows, bats and lorikeets all feature in artwork that will soon be printed onto new bins in Carrington Street.

Locals to fight back with a series about the REAL Byron Bay

News that Netflix was planning to film a vacuous docudrama in Byron Bay brought a collective snort of derision across the Shire.