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Byron Shire
July 4, 2022

Money not well spent

Latest News

Council advertising

Thanks Council, for the advertisement on page 5 letting us know that you co-hosted a conference. It is good...

Other News

Man charged following break and enter – Casino

A man has been charged following an investigation into an alleged break and enter at Casino.

Lake Ainsworth

The heavy rain on 28–30 March 2022 resulted in flooding of Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head to about 2m...

A poem

Row upon row Lest we forget the rows of trees they planted to recall the rows of boys they sent to die in the war Jon...

First Nations place-names under Ballina council spotlight

Greater efforts at reconciliation with First Nations people in the Ballina Shire when it comes to place-names is to happen after furious agreement at June’s council meeting.

Get booked, from July 1

The annual Byron Shire Book Fair is finally going ahead from Friday July 1 to Sunday July 3 from 9am to 4pm at the Byron Bay Surf Club.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 29 June, 2022

The Nimbin Art Fair is on again after many postponements owing to covid and the floods. Hosted by Nimbin Artists Gallery, a not-for-profit organisation supporting local creatives, the Fair allows you to see the whole gamut of creative art from the vibrant arts community that is Nimbin and its surrounds.

Ballina councillor Jeff Johnson, Lennox Head

It is of great concern that Ballina Council does not have as part of its standing governances, processes and procedures a requirement to obtain an Independent Financial Feasibility Assessment (IFFA) before significant funding is allocated to land-development and property-investment projects. This has led to council approving and allocating substantial amounts of capital to commercially non-viable and unprofitable projects that have resulted in financial losses and/or inadequate returns on investment. Council should focus on community infrastructure and services instead of speculative commercial property investments.

Councillors have the responsibility to professionally and prudently manage ratepayers’ funds, which are public monies. This responsibility requires the undertaking of due diligence in respect to the financial viability of projects. While council staff may have qualifications and experience in some of the relevant disciplines, their roles cover a number of areas and consequently their positions are conflicted. They are not in a position to provide independent advice in respect to the financial feasibility of projects on which councillors can rely for capital allocation and investment decisions.

Examples include the failed Wigmore Arcade Carpark Development that cost the council/community up to $1 million (approximately $770,000 in consultant fees alone), and the proposed Wigmore Arcade redevelopment. This later proposal is causing great uncertainty for local businesses, has resulted in an increase in vacancies (loss of income for council), and carries significant costs and risks associated with the proposal. I believe that an IFFA will show that what council’s Commercial Services Unit is proposing is financially unviable.

Given the large community infrastructure backlog, council needs to stop throwing money at commercially unviable ‘investment’ projects and refocus on delivering community infrastructure and services.

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Teen missing from Coffs Harbour

NSW Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a teenager missing in the Coffs Harbour area.

A poem

Row upon row Lest we forget the rows of trees they planted to recall the rows of boys they sent to die in the war Jon Paul Summers, Suffolk Park

Destruction of Brunswick Heads mahogany

The foulest crime against the planet was committed secretly in the heart of Brunswick Heads during the pandemic lockdown. The rarest and most iconic...

Supply chain pain? Try localisation!

A community screening of Local Futures’ new film, 'Planet Local: A Quiet Revolution', will be held today, Friday, July 1, at The Farm in Byron Bay from 6pm. Damon Gameau and Pacha Light will be joining Helena Norberg-Hodge for a discussion afterwards.