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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Tendering or cronyism?

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Paul Spooner makes some good points about Council tendering [Echonetdaily 6 Aug], but his driver-licence analogy doesn’t hold up. There is no limit to the number of driver licences issued so there is no reason to ration them. But licences to use a community asset (the beach and ocean) for private commercial gain is a limited resource in much demand – hence the need for a tendering process to decide which applicant is offering the best deal to the community in return. And why shouldn’t Byron Shire residents get something back from those who use community facilities for private profit?

As Jan Barham has pointed out, both the applicants in the recent surf-school case are locals. So how should we decide who gets the guernsey?

Mayoral candidate Simon Richardson seems to think that existing operators should be given the inside running to continue creaming profits from community assets indefinitely. But is this fair to local residents whose council is forever in catch-up mode in delivering essential services because its revenue base is completely inadequate to the needs of the shire? The alternative seems to be some kind of cronyism. You’ll need to do way better than this, Simon.



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  1. Common Sense and Justice is not “cronyism”.

    To the man in need of a dictionary: Cronyism – derogatory – the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without regard to their qualifications.

    Maintaining the status quo is not “cronyism”.

    The question being: “is it fair” – Justice – not to favour the existing local operator?

    Justice would dictate that, unless the existing operator has failed to provide the service adequately, the existing operator should be permitted to continue operations without fear of threat from a challenger offering Council more money and a promise of doing better than the existing operator.


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