Jenny Coman, Bangalow
Just before the Council election you ran a full page ad for a meeting in Bangalow to which farmers and others interested were invited to hear about the threat to farming land and farmers’ rights posed by Council’s new LEP zonings. And this week you gave front page coverage to the same issue with very little space given to Jan Barham’s attempts at reassurance.
I went to the Bangalow meeting and found it the most biased, bigoted and badly run meeting I’d ever had the misfortune to attend. The speakers presented worst-case scenarios as if they were inevitable and no-one from the floor was allowed to question, let alone correct, the scaremongering and misinformation freely dispensed by the (carefully chosen) speakers.
At the end Council candidates were invited up to say whether or not they would agree to review the LEP (I assume the relevant sections) and told they must answer just Yes or No; there was no opportunity to explain that a review would be part of the normal process, ie there will be a series of consultations while the LEP is on exhibition with people expected to then make submissions and have them taken into account by planners before a final document is presented to Council.
The timing of this beat-up was significant. It was blatantly anti-Green and probably affected the vote. I went to a trial run of the coming consultation events and believe Council planners have done a great job, especially as the state govt changed the rules halfway through.
This is the sort of thing I suppose one could expect in Tweed; I hope we don’t ever see a repeat here.