If the Byron Greens continue along this path of pragmatism, if its councillors remain divided, the rich and powerful developers will win. The electorate will lose. The political differentiation will diminish and the ideological foundations of the green movement of the northern rivers will succumb to mass ignorance.
For almost 226 years this continent has been beaten and bruised and poisoned with unsustainable farming, manufacturing and mining. In all these years the Greens have been the only political voice successfully protecting and regenerating the very land that Australians apparently take pride in. The influential Byron Greens are at the fore of this movement, located in one of the most naturally beautiful regions in the country and being the voice of some of the most environmentally aware citizens. The Byron Greens are also a vulnerable mob.
With only one longstanding member (Duncan Dey) aside from Simon Richardson standing for the last council preselection, we were eager to fill the positions vacated by Jan Barham, Tom Tabart and Richard Staples – perhaps too eager. We need a continuous stream of committed and serious Greens bubbling up from our great voter base looking for political experience and careers. We need authentic champions of green ideology. Without real support we will be left in limbo. This council’s term is a watershed episode for local environmental concerns, integrity concerns and for the future of green politics in the region.
Kris Budden, assistant treasurer, Byron Greens