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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

The Life of Byron

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Not quite ‘too late’

Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia Sir David Attenborough, the world’s most famous naturalist, has just addressed the United Nations Security Council to...

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‘Groundhog Day’ shifts Splendour to November

Splendour in the Grass 2021 organisers say that Groundhog Day jokes aside, the festival will be rescheduled for a late spring edition, from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November.

Action on Cumbalum Interchange at Ballina?

Following multiple community requests, Cr Phillip Meehan brought a motion to the last Ballina Council meeting calling for additional ramps to be built at the Cumbalum-Pacific Motorway interchange.

Lennox Rise development clears another hurdle

The massive new residential development planned west of Epiq in Lennox Head continued its progress towards becoming reality at the last Ballina Shire Council meeting.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Dear Brittany

We watched you. We watched you break the silence. We heard the truth shatter like a glass hitting the tiles.

Cartoon of the week – 3 March, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Praying for Vanuatu in Ballina

The World Day of Prayer is a gigantic ecumenical event staged on the first Friday of March.

It’s always interesting – but, who would have thought the mayoral voting count would be on a knife edge two days after the elections with still no result – and a reported check through today occurring on the vote count – it’s that close.

In the Australian preferential voting system – every vote counts, and when a candidate reaches 51 per cent of the vote, a winner is declared. And in the councillor race, where eight positions are available for councillors to be elected [in Byron Shire], the lowest-polling candidate’s votes are redistributed according to who was voted number two on the voter sheet for that candidate – and on and on – until ultimately eight councillors are elected.

In the mayoral vote, only one candidate will be elected mayor and, in the case of Saturday’s election, no-one has gained a clear majority of the vote, meaning now that every vote must be counted carefully – especially informal votes – and possibly re-counted.

If preferences are true – which they never are exactly – according to each candidate’s how-to-vote directions, then both Jack Sugarman and Sol Ibrahim, who preferenced Diane Woods at No 2, will see votes going to her.

This adds up as of Monday evening to 49.3 per cent of the vote.

Unbelievable to many – but true.

It is now to be seen whether mayoral candidate Basil Cameron’s No 2 preferences will flow through truly to Simon Richardson – giving him 48.76 per cent of the vote – and with Morgan’s 1.92 per cent being the decider Simon Richardson will be declared mayor at just over 50 per cent of the vote.

The problem here is that not everyone votes as per the suggested No 2 on the candidate’s ticket – and we may see a number of Basil Cameron’s votes go to the Woods camp just as we are likely to see a number of Jack Sugarman’s votes go to the Simon Richardson one.

I cannot recall a more closely contested election in Byron Shire for the mayor in the more than 20 years I have lived in and around the shire. The result is truly on a knife edge.

For those of us who like watching the numbers and predicting the result – I truly would say this is a very close one – too close to call at the moment.

Both candidates gave it their all – both deserve to win in my opinion – but there can only be one winner.

Good luck to both of you at this very critical time – I hope you are getting some sleep – it must be hard for both of you right now.

For our shire’s sake I hope we get a result by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest. This is unprecedented.

Peter Noble
Byron Bay

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  1. Simon won fairly easily in the end. When eliminated 48% of Sols votes exhausted. 39 went to Di and 15% to Simon. In other words only 37% of voters follow their HTV cards. While there has been a swing to the candidates seen to be not aligned with the Greens, it has been underwhelming, particularly when they had a marked swing aginst them in inner city seats. Most likely be business as usual on Council 6-3 to Greens and perceived aligned or 5-4 at best for Woods camp. There are also plenty of examples of Cameron (still struggling to get a seat) not voting with the Greens. Also, Sol is a complete unknown so it can not be assumed he will vote in Woods camp if they get 3. But he’ll probably let the Belongil mob put their sandbags in front of their properties – Like Xerxes whipping the Hellespont. ftp://ftp.elections.nsw.gov.au/Results/LGE2012/EMA/Mayor%20DOP/Byron/Mayoral-DOP.pdf


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