Story & photo Melissa Hargraves
Councillor Simon Clough, of Our Sustainable Future, has pipped councillors Gianpiero Battista and Neil Marks to be mayor Dowell’s wingman at an extraordinary meeting Lismore City Council (LCC) last night.
Cr Clough pitched himself for the 12-month role as deputy mayor by offering ‘comprehensive support’ to the mayor, and the experience of ‘having fulfilled the role previously’.
Cr Clough also wants to use his position to stand up for local councils against overriding state government decisions.
‘We need to make it very clear that local decisions need to be made locally,’ said Cr Clough as part of his address.
‘There are three significant areas where the state government have overridden our local council decisions,’ Cr Clough told Echonetdaily after his appointment.
‘[They are] coal-seam gas, Champions Quarry and the environmental zonings. In these situations local council expended a huge amount of energy and resources, only to be completely overridden by the state.’
Echonetdaily asked Cr Clough what steps LCC could take to achieve effective governance?
He replied, ‘… by pointing out the total double standard that is going on. We have a state government that constantly says it’s returning local decision-making to local government. It is blatantly not true.’