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Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

Ballina candidate’s van burnt out

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Chris Dobney

Ballina Greens council and mayoral candidate Jeff Johnson had his Tarago van stolen and burnt out on Wednesday night. There were electoral posters covering the outside of the van.

Mr Johnson told Echonetdaily the van was taken while parked at Alstonville and found dumped and in flames on the corner of Lennox Circuit and Ballina St Pottsville yesterday morning.

He said that while he wasn’t definitively calling it politically motivated, the barbs thrown at him by opponents could have inspired the vandalism.  The irony of the street names where it was found was not lost on him.

Police are continuing to investigate the matter.

Early in the campaign Mr Johnson was the target of a smear campaign by Kieren Drabsch, the Country Labor candidate, who accused him in a local newspaper of having a secret agenda to merge with Byron Council and spend money from Ballina’s coffers to ‘bail out his Green mates in Byron’.

Mr Johnson has run a campaign focused on the delivery of local community infrastructure projects such as the construction of a four-court indoor sports centre and the upgrading of the public pools infrastructure projects by selling under-performing council investments and industrial land.

‘Local community and sporting groups have been calling for these facilities for over a decade,’ he said.

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  1. Alstonville is going through a period of teenage drunkenness and vandalism right now. As there are no police manning the police station, the kids are running wild at night, smashing windscreens, overturning bins, assaulting the elderly and sucking on goon bags bought for them by older brothers and parents.

    Gotta ask yourself, what kind of parents these kids have. I’d know if my kid was out at 3 a.m.

  2. Hi there,
    Would like to say, what an awful incidence to happen to some young person who is openly trying to conserve mother earth, that provides us with all what we need ie, food, shelter. water. beauty etc lots of things that help and nuture us. Yes there is problems in the youth of today…. just as there was in the last couple of generations that I have personally experienced.
    Yes there are statistically more of them today, yes there is a different culture, (just as in previous generations) and yes we have a much more exposing, narrow, sensationalistic media pushing anything that will make their basis view/opinion attract audiences. I suggest reading the Echo newspaper and getting out in the community. I have personally fathered 4 children and have found them to be wonderful children/young adults, as has been their friends and partners.
    Cheers Col Dutton


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