Fast Buck$, Coorabell
Everyone who’s watched [Byron Shire councillor] Diane Woods in action will have concluded that she gets her orders from [retiring councillor] Ross Tucker, though she herself seems to remember only the rare times she has been allowed to disagree with him.
I’d thought that Group D, the Vision In Action people led by Sol Ibrahim (whoever the fuck he might be), were put up as a stalking horse to funnel votes back to Di Woods, but maybe the businesspeople of the shire are actually a little embarrassed at Di’s crew and want to put up a rightwing group that’s not stuck in the 1950s. One suspects that their ‘vision’, however, entails little more than large piles of money. If you’re tempted by anyone in this group at least vote above the line, ie don’t follow their preference card or you’ll end up giving your vote to the hillbillies.
Because the progressive vote for mayor will be split between Basil Cameron and Simon Richardson, it may be that Di Woods will get a bigger primary vote than either of them. She isn’t allocating any preferences, meaning that the rednecks see Basil and Simon as equally unacceptable.
Basil’s estimation of himself as the most intelligent of the councillors is correct, but in politics it’s instinct, grit and working towards an identifiable ideal that counts. He’s certainly been out there working hard at a retail level to connect with the punters but behind the scenes he has participated in changing the way council works so that the process favours the general manager’s power at the expense of the elected.
Which leaves us with Simon Richardson, the ‘least worst’ choice in my view – by which I mean that he’s not exactly an inspiring natural leader, but has a heart which is in the right place and is much more prepared to listen than is Basil.
There is an urgent need to clean out the stables and I think the Greens are more likely to sympathise with that aim than Basil.
Oh yes, there is Morgan, who has taken a tough stance against the Greens over their copout on the issue of street camping, but after the Tom Wilson experience I doubt if anyone will again vote in as mayor a person who hasn’t first strutted his/her stuff as a councillor, however promising.