10.4 C
Byron Shire
August 15, 2022

Byron candidates fail koala test

Latest News

Mud benda rant

Regarding last week’s Splendour Festival and all the ‘haters’ out there. I took along a few seriously fun-deprived teenage...

Other News

Flat Earth Byron councillors

In face of the facts, an approval of the development application (DA) for a basement car park in Brunswick...

Mullum pods

First, Hans Lovejoy’s article ‘emergency wedged’ was educational, factual and provided valuable information to the community. Michele Grant’s letter...

More wildlife please

When a wallaby loped across the dirt road, my heart leapt. It used to be common to spot wallabies...

Recognising history

I arrived in Mullum from Sydney in 1976 – I loved the town and the people and felt like...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: For Sale: Moral compass

Some weeks it’s hard to navigate the big feelings I have around injustice; the kind of injustice that occurs every day, everywhere, underwritten by the privilege of some at the expense of the many. The shit stuff people get away with! The shit stuff no one notices. Shit stuff always happens to people who don’t have much to start with. I sometimes wonder how you can hear story after story and not realise the system is broken. Capitalism sucks. Let’s go break stuff – like, the dominant paradigm! We haven’t managed to subvert it – so can we smash it into tiny pieces? Please?

Cartoon of the week – 10 August, 2022

The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.

Chris Dobney

Despite its alleged environment credentials, just one Byron Shire council candidate – Karin Kolbe – bothered to respond to a pre-poll questionnaire emailed to all prospective councillors in six shires by Lismore-based Friends of the Koala.

The group’s president, Lorraine Vass, told Echonetdaily the result in Byron was particularly disappointing given that Byron is still in the process of developing its Koala Plan of Management.

She said she was fairly confident her email had reached most of the sitting councillors at least. ‘I even got a read receipt from [Greens mayoral candidate] Simon Richardson but he never responded,’ she said.

‘Of course some of the candidates don’t supply any contact information on the Electoral Commission website,’ she added. ‘It makes you wonder why they want to run at all.’

Mrs Vass said that only about half of all the candidates contacted responded.

‘Friends of the Koala can only assume that failing to respond indicates a lack of interest in koalas. This is particularly worrying for koala conservationists given the tenuous situation for koalas and the pressure in regard to coastal and hinterland development in our region.’

The questionnaire ranked candidates out of 20 based on four questions, each with a maximum of five points:

  1. Do you support your council having a Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (CKPOM), as recommended by the state government, to protect and conserve koalas? (At present Lismore is the only council to have adopted a CKPOM and it only covers the south-east part of its area.)
  2. In the absence of a CKPOM, would you support Tree Preservation Orders in rural areas as a way of maintaining koala habitat?
  3. What priority do you think council staff should give to koalas in regard to subdivisions, road construction and traffic management?
  4. How important do you consider koalas are for northern rivers communities?

The six LGAs surveyed were Ballina, Byron, Kyogle Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.

The best response came from Ballina, where 13 out of the 24 candidates responded, most of them positively.

Coming in with the highest possible score of 20/20 were Ballina candidates Tony Gilding, Sue Meehan, Sharon Cadwallader, Jeff Johnson, Keith Williams, Effie Ablett, Paul Worth and David Wright.

Scoring 17/20 were Steven McCarthy and Keith Johnson, with Kiri Dicker on 15 and Kieren Drabsch on 14.

Of Lismore’s 60 prospective candidates, eight returned the survey with four receiving top marks: Simon Clough, Jenny Dowell, Vanessa Ekins and Kate Olivieri all scored 20/20. David Yarnall came next with 17/20.

Gianpiero Battista just scraped in on 12/20 and Graham Meineke scored a fail with just 7/20.

In Tweed, five of the 59 candidates responded –Michael Armstrong, Dot Holdom, Katie Milne and Lindy Smith – all of them scoring 20/20.

In Kyogle, candidates Brodie and Wilson came in on 20/20 and Mullholland on 17/20.

Five candidates (including four in Richmond Valley) responded but didn’t address the questionnaire. They were not assessed for the purposes of the survey. There were no other responses from Richmond Valley.


Previous articleDrift
Next articleMullum dropout makes it in USA

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. Thanks for reporting on this. Could you please correct typo on Simon Clough’s name, it’s cited as “Cough’. Thank you!

  2. All development should be subject to strict controls with regard to impact on our wildlife.

    It should have been done years ago, but Australians are so apathetic we can’t even get it right now…..absolutely pathetic


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Autocracy or democracy for Byron Shire?

The New Yorker Magazine recently wrote a quote from Mr Rupert Murdoch ‘The truth is authoritarian governments do work!’ Hold that thought. It has been...

Criminalising protest

In another Sstate government descent into criminalising protest, to protect their own government’s sabotage of a liveable planet, last Thursday new laws were passed...

Mullum pods

First, Hans Lovejoy’s article ‘emergency wedged’ was educational, factual and provided valuable information to the community. Michele Grant’s letter (27 July) was emotive overgeneralisations...

Flood residents get $650 from Lismore Council

Lismore City Mayor Steve Krieg today announced that 1,558 residents will receive a grant of $650 from the Lismore Flood Appeal.