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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Page deserts Northern Rivers

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Jo Faith, Newtown Thank you all at The Echo for upholding independent journalism. For readers and activists concerned about the demise...

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.

Jeff Johnson, Ballina shire councillor

It’s outrageous that the Minister for Local Government, Don Page, is not supportive of local government being recognised in the Australian Constitution. Mr Page in not supporting a ‘yes’ vote in the forthcoming referendum and offers the pitiful excuse that, ‘federal funding could then be used in marginal seats before an election’.

Is Mr Page suggesting that both state and federal governments don’t already engage in this type of practice? It’s well known that ‘porkbarrelling’ is common practice by both the Coalition and Labor governments.

It is also widely acknowledged that local government is the most efficient level of government for the delivery of important community services and infrastructure. Moreover, it is widely accepted  that local governments lack the funding to adequately maintain roads and other essential public infrastructure.

Referendum questions rarely succeed without bipartisan support. This is an important reform to enable additional funding and recognition of local government.

Please Mr Page, represent your constituents, Northern Rivers councils, and your portfolio and not the interests of the NSW Liberal Party in Sydney.


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  1. What is outrageous is using local government as a proving ground for aspiring politicians Mr. Johnson. The more true way to enable funding is by regular people putting up relevant and community orientated proposals not the clandestine manipulation and then grandstanding of how much money a politician has been able to connect to their name.
    Local government has the wrong name and focus. Currently most would lean towards the notion local ‘government’ is an unwieldy axe, a law unto its own, difficult to understand, uncompromising, untrustworthy and the target for misguided (read aspiring) egos seeking power while hopelessly mired in self interest groups with parallels to various forms of human ugliness, single minded self interest and personal gain.
    It should have a name that reflects something that is in tune with getting things done differently, less reliant on strength of personality and power to something that is generated, moderated and determined within the community disassociated from existing expensive, dictatorial and uncommon punitive law. So Community something, not “government.”Government means more by – laws more legislation and less common justice

    • What ridiculously long sentences! You lost me in the quagmire of your second ‘paragraph’ sentence and, frankly, I have not a clue what your point was. If, indeed, you had a point.

  2. Look, I’ve said it before & I’ll say it now: Don Page is asleep at the wheel. He doesn’t justify his existance in the political arena, ” If you DON’T want anything done” vote national (the same goes for Geoff provest & Thomas George). You vote for them in good faith & get nothing in return, How long does it take people to wake up…………….


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