15.5 C
Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

Merger off the agenda

Latest News

From go to whoa – Norco Primex expo covers it all

Norco and Primex are bringing a three-day sustainable farming and primary industry expo to you.

Other News

No air for Ben

Rhonda Ansiewicz, Federal Stop giving Franklin air time. Mayor Richardson, in his usual fashion, joins up with his mate Franklin...

Boarding houses

Matthew O’Reilly, CABS president and Council candidate for the new Byron Greens The over-development of cramped boarding-house accommodation in Sunrise...

Is hydrogen part of a sustainable energy future?

There’s a lot to like about hydrogen. For starters, it’s abundant. Hydrogen can store excess renewable power. When liquified, it’s more energy intense than fossil alternatives. In a fuel cell, it can generate electricity. When it’s burned, the only by-product is water.

Mayor’s parting gift 

Michele Grant, Ocean Shores The Mayor’s parting gift to the Bruns/Bayside Community was ushering through approval for the controversial Corso...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Killer Crocs!

When I was 18, to rebel against the world my parents had created, I shaved a half Mohawk, encouraged my hair to stand on end, grew my armpit hair, wore torn black rags, too much eyeliner and wore 18-hole Dr. Martens boots. These days, to give their parents the shits, the kids are wearing Crocs. With socks. They’re going for comfort.

Come and try basketball in Byron

The next generation of female basketball players, with coordinator Karen Irwin, turned up to a ‘come and try day’...

Chris Dobney

There was little talk of amalgamation at yesterday’s meeting of the local government review panel, set up by the state government to find ways to make councils more effective and financially viable.

All members of the Northern Region of Councils (NOROC) plus Byron Shire sent representatives to the meeting, held in Ballina’s council chambers yesterday morning.

Ahead of the meeting, Tweed Shire Council adopted an options paper, drafted by its new general manager David Keenan, looking at council boundaries. All of the six options put forward would have seen Byron Shire swallowed up by surrounding councils.

But outgoing Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham told Echonetdaily yesterday that the options barely got an airing and the councils represented were in broad agreement that the present configuration best served the needs of local residents.

‘The model that the new [Tweed] GM put forward is nothing more than an options paper,’ she said last night. ‘Elected representatives like where they are and the level of engagement they have with local communities. It would be a backward step to change that and there is no proof that it delivers economic benefits. What it does do is take away people’s sense of belonging.’

In a candid moment she added, ‘most elected representatives from other councils know the pressures Byron is under [because of tourism] and frankly I don’t think they want a bar of it.’

What the councils did agree on was the need for more funding, she said.

‘We’re pretty much in agreement about cost-shifting pressures, the changing needs of the population and the need for federal and state governments to support local government’s delivery of soft and hard infrastructure. We’re going to be faced with a lot of issues around an ageing population. It’s not just about hard infrastructure requirements but also home services and so on.’

Bed tax reconsidered

The impact of tourism and the associated pressures on council were the issues that set Byron apart, she said.

As a result of the meeting Byron may get the right to levy a bed tax on visitors, something that successive councils have considered.

Byron’s submission included provisions for accommodation and events levies.

Deputy mayor Basil Cameron defended the move, which has been roundly condemned by accommodation providers in the past.

‘It’s in the tourist industry’s interest that infrastructure is well maintained and looked after,’ he told ABC radio this morning. ‘Without it their lifeblood – the visitors – will stop coming. So if you want the benefits you’ve actually got to help the community pay for the impacts as well.’


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.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Greater Sydney goes into COVID related lockdown

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

Board defends its management of Mullum Rural Co-op

The issue of potential fraud and financial mismanagement was a key part of the response from Mullumbimby Rural Co-op board, and Chair Ross Tucker,...

An operetta and children’s theatre for NORPA

NOPRA has announced recipients of the theatre company’s two artist residencies.

Dam doesn’t give a damn about koalas

The proposed Dunoon Dam is still a possibility, though it has been voted against twice by the members of Rous County Council. Now information has emerged which presents another reason to shut down the threat of the dam once and for all.