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Byron Shire
July 28, 2021

Woods appointed Byron deputy mayor

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Hans Lovejoy

Cr Diane Woods has pipped Cr Basil Cameron to the position of Byron Shire deputy mayor for the next four years after an anonymous vote by all councillors at last Thursday’s inaugural meeting of the newly elected Byron Shire Council.

Former deputy mayor Cameron was the only other nomination for the position.

Meanwhile, Ballina Shire councillors last Thursday elected Cr Sue Meehan as deputy mayor. Cr Meehan was elected earlier this month as one of the three A-Ward councillors and this is her second term in local government

Another coup for Cr Woods was also nomination to the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP), which determines ‘regionally significant development applications’.

The JRPP considers DAs worth more than $20 million or $10 million if referred by the applicant if the council has not made an decision on them after 120 days.

General manager

A recruitment panel to employ a general manager was decided, with the mayor and five councillors being appointed: mayor Richardson, Crs Ibrahim, Dey, Woods, Cameron and Wanchap. The quorum has been set at three. During the meeting, it was announced that 42 applications have been received for the top job, which pays approximately $190,000 plus expenses.

The appointment is under the delegation of executive manager of organisational support, Shannon McKelvey. It was asked if the job applications could be made available to councillors, to which staff replied it could be arranged.

Serial council nagger John Anderson aka Fast Buck$ offered his wisdom over the general-manager selection process during public access, saying it is ‘the single most important decision you will make and if you get it wrong you will pay for it by having to do more work’. He also provided an opportunity for councillors to escape his regular castigations.

‘Get it right and you will get rid of me. I don’t want to have to come here. [But] If you employ another GM Faulkner we might as well get married.’

According to Council minutes, the recruitment panel – with the support of the recruitment agency – will consider the initial shortlisting report, determine applicants for first-round interviews, conduct first-round interviews and undertake shortlisting to determine list of final-round interviewees.

Parklands Working Group

Cr Diane Woods was one of the councillors who attended the first North Byron Parklands Working Group last week.

The group’s formation is one of the state government’s conditions for the festival site (which hosts Splendour In The Grass) to operate. She told councillors, ‘It was a very, very conciliatory meeting… It was a real eye-opener I think for some, and it’s really good to see that they’ve got quite a nice working relationship with some of the people who are the main objectors up there.’

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