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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Michael Murray – Byron candidate

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1 Candidate details

Michael Murray

Council: Byron Shire

Town/city: Myocum, Byron Bay

Number of years in shire/LGA: 25 years

Current councillor? No

Clubs/sports/interests: Architecture and design, surfing, bridge, film and literature, gardening; board member of Screenworks, which promotes film and screen production and culture in the northern rivers: Natural Death Centre, an NFP advocating a better way for death, dying and body disposal; and a past president of UNCLE, an organisation mentoring boys without active fathers.

Are you a member of a political party or an organised ‘ticket’?
Vision in Action

If yes, which party or who else is on your ticket?:
Sol Ibraham, Rebecca Sargeant, Laurie Lynch, Bradley Wodiske, Mira Eady

Brief description: A long-term resident of Byron Shire, I live in Myocum with musician partner Susanna and daughter Lucy. I am a buyers agent, finance broker, freelance writer and blogger, often commentating on Byron and its foibles.

2 What has motivated you to stand?

I felt it hypocritical of me to have strong opinions and ideas about the shire and not be more involved. Many people like me are reluctant to stand because of the adversarial and polarising atmosphere in the shire. I think its time to move on from that.

3 What is your vision for the shire/LGA?

We need to keep Byron Shire unique and this involves more than just maintaining the natural environment. We need to be more than a one-trick pony with tourism by also promoting creative industries (screen production, fashion, IT etc) and become a global destination for personal development, spiritual retreats, yoga and health. We need to limit chain stores, and find a way to deliver affordable housing so we do not become a monoculture of the wealthy.

4 In your opinion, how can council best balance the need for further residential development with the need to preserve the local environment?

• resurrect the ecovillage zoning that allows minimal cluster housing on large over-grazed acreages in exchange for 90 per cent of the land being reforested

• allow the development of new, small industrial estates that combine residential and commercial zoning that encourage creative industry hubs

• more medium-density dwellings close to existing towns; discourage suburban sprawl and use bike and walking paths

• relax some compliance regulations so cheaper dwellings can be built

• extend the new granny-flat initiative to include rural zoning

5 What particular issues do you feel strongly about?

We can have creative, innovative development that will enhance the shire and not destroy it. We have to stop paying lawyers in the Land and Environment Court but work together to get the best outcomes for all.

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