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Byron Shire
March 7, 2021

Progressive councillors back business

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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...

Menkit Prince, Uki

In the wake of the former general manager’s sacking, with accompanying vitriol about the ‘gang of four’ being anti-business, I’d like to point out just how pro-business the four pro-environment councillors (Crs Milne, Bagnall, Armstrong and Mayor Longland) actually are.

At the 16 May council meeting Cr Bagnall put up the following motions: to fill cultural development officer position (ie promote tourism); spruce up Murwillumbah business district; boating plan of management (protecting eroded banks, helping tourism); and more Rural Lands Strategy community meetings in coastal farming areas.

Moreover, Cr Bagnall is the one initiating the upgrades to the courthouse and cleaning up street seats and bins in downtown Murwillumbah.

Mayor Longland put up a motion for more walking trails (ie more tourism) and he made an amendment to abandon paid parking, which appears to have been pushed by former general manager, David Keenan.

Cr Bagnall had been working with boating, surfing and recreational fishing groups (including clubs from Victoria to Queensland) including residents associations, which overwhelmingly do not want paid parking and presented a petition to council signed by 500 people against it at the April council meeting.

The local preference procurement policy, initially moved by Cr Bagnall some months ago, was advanced by staff and it was voted in. This alone will bring potentially up to $73 million into the local economy for jobs!

Cr Milne was the one who originally brought up the motion of a economic development strategy several months ago and is being worked on right now. This will be a key driver for the local economy.

The ‘gang of four’ voted all these in so I hardly think anyone can accuse them of being bad for local businesses.

In fact they are all pro-business, as long as it’s sustainable. No point destroying the environment for a quick buck which then impacts on another important business for the Tweed, tourism.

I just wanted to share what fine councillors these ‘gang of four’ actually are. I’m proud of them, we all should be.



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  1. Hear, hear Menkit, bravo for pointing out all these good initiatives which the 4 named councillors are actioning for our community. It is indeed heartening to know that worthwhile policies, practices and strategies which are sustainable and enhance our shire’s lifestyle are happening!!! Hoorah. Long may it continue, and expand!


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