Tom Tabart, Bangalow
A few years ago at the Tweed-based round of the ‘International Car Trials’, subsidised with undisclosed gobs of tax money by ‘Sir Lunchalot’ MacDonald, I and two others attended the Murwillumbah Police Station to formally report trials cars overtaking a line of traffic, at excessive speed, over double lines – pictures and numbers provided. No action was ever taken.
Yesterday environmental protestor Jonathon Moylan faced the court for allegedly upsetting the share market with a misleading letter regarding Whitehaven Coal, penalty up to ten years’ jail. Whitehaven Coal is about to destroy a large tract of environmentally sensitive land and is itself defending allegations of misrepresenting the compensatory habitat they offered.
The Moylan charge has been brought by ASIC, a hitherto ineffectual organisation known for ignoring reports, sitting on its hands for years over well-founded criminal allegations and beating malefactors with a feather. Amazing how big coal money fronted by a former high-powered Nationals pollie has brought them to unprecedented life.
Recently Byron Council dragged a number of the Brunswick Heads homeless into court for illegal camping. This was very much against the spirit of its own Homeless Policy and undertaken without recourse to the elected councillors. One can only speculate over their motivation but a homeless spokesperson mentioned that the ‘much-loved’ North Coast Holiday Parks has big plans for the Crown lands where they live.
Local defender of Brunswick Heads public land Michele Grant was last week convicted of the improbable offence of ‘disposing of stolen property’. The matter concerned a group of residents removing plastic barriers illegally blocking the launch-ramp road next to the Ferry Reserve caravan park and relocating them to the Council Chambers – after first notifying all parties of their intention.
After dithering for over six weeks the police dredged up the ‘disposal’ concept and applied it only to Ms Grant – a considerable thorn in the side of the North Coast Holiday Parks management. After a two-day hearing the magistrate delivered a judgment based on tortured dissections of definitions in which he convinced himself that this strangely inappropriate offence was sustained.
The casual observer may be forgiven for suspecting that ‘the powers’ are orchestrating these matters. Indirectly this is probably true but sadly only in as far as minor government functionaries ‘know what is expected of them’.