12.4 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

Ballina ratepayers lose control

Latest News

Cr Keith Williams calls for consultation on South Ballina Beach access

At today's Ballina Council meeting, Cr Keith Williams is going to urge council to write to the NSW Minister for Crown Lands about South Ballina beach, which has recently been closed to public 4WD access.

Other News

You Donne good

Liz Levy, Suffolk Park I’d like to thank whoever decided to reprint John Donne’s beautiful poem ‘No Man is an Island’...

Head-on crash car traveling in wrong direction

Police say that two men are in hospital after an accident on the M1 overnight, when emergency services responded to reports of a crash involving two cars near Clothiers Creek

Augmented Reality gives local art exhibition a high-tech twist

A Byron Bay art gallery is seeking to bring paintings to life in its new exhibition, by making Augmented Reality technology part of the experience.

Upgrades for Lighthouse Parade in Ballina

One of the showcase areas of Ballina is about to get a safety and aesthetic upgrade, with the Lighthouse Parade Pedestrian Precinct and Road Safety Project commencing soon.

Step up, Ben

Martin Corben, Lennox Head With the cancellation of Bluesfest now would be a good time for the NSW state government’s...

The ghost in the archives #3: Sexism, legal discrimination and ‘the game of bastardry’

The ghost in the archives #3 – In which a former Echo drudge dives into the crypt and comes up covered in dusty memories.

Margaret Howes, Empire Vale

An ever widening gap appears to be developing between Ballina Council and its ratepayer owners. No longer are the ratepayers in control. Their hard earned rate monies seem to be spent at a great rate of knots on unnecessary commercial developments – to be topped up by a demand for higher and higher rates to balance the books. After all it’s the ratepayers who fund the Commercial Services wage bill of around $450,000 per annum.

The empty shops and restaurant in Ballina’s Wigmore Arcade and Pelican 181 have cost the ratepayers dearly, with over $300,000 in lost revenue from what can only be described as negligence and mismanagement. With vacant shops appearing in towns all over Australia, how do you replace those tenants once you have let them go? More importantly, how do you replace them at the lease termination prices, as everyone is out for a bargain at the moment?

In order to recoup the losses, I believe the ratepayers should ask the director general to surcharge the councillors and staff under the Local Government Act 1993 Section 435 (2) which states:

435 Surcharging by Departmental representative

  1. If satisfied that any expenditure or transfer, or any entry in a council’s accounts, has been incurred or made in contravention of this or any other Act or of any regulation in force under this or any other Act, a Departmental representative may:
    (a) disallow the expenditure, transfer or entry, and
    (b) surcharge the amount of the disallowance on the councillor, the general manager or any other member of staff of the council by whom the expenditure, transfer or entry was incurred or made or ordered to be incurred or made.
  2. A Departmental representative may also surcharge on a councillor, the general manager or any other member of staff of the council the amount of:
    (a) any deficiency or loss incurred by the council as a consequence of the negligence or misconduct of the councillor, general manager or member of staff, or
    (b) any money which ought to have been, but has not been, brought into account by the councillor, general manager or member of staff.
  3. A Departmental representative may not exercise the powers conferred by this section unless expressly authorised to do so by the Director General.

Time for change? Bring on amalgamation and make the new super councils more accountable to their ratepayers.

Previous articleGreens not a gamble
Next articleCops and robbers

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Local youth among those hardest hit by housing affordability crisis

A 20 per cent spike in rents is driving an increase in youth homelessness across the North Coast, the organisers of a national campaign to end homelessness say.

Fresh faces for Council elections

A very distinct, black flat-cap has just been thrown into the ring for the upcoming Byron Council elections, pegged for September 4.

Follow the buck$

JK Mckenna, Burringbar Give Fast Buck$ his own column in the paper. Let him speak. Let him be heard. Let’s also see some accountability from councils...

A bouquet for Lilac House

L Jenkins, Byron Bay Nicole Habrecht should receive free paint and brushes and a pat on the back from Council for maintaining her house in a...