Reading Tom Tabart’s letter, two things struck me. The first was a reminder to my diary that when I do retire from politics, to go quietly and leave it at that. Why ex-Greens councillor Tabart insists on standing on the sidelines spewing his venom and fighting his old fights is beyond most fair-minded people, as he adds little or nothing to the debate on any subject other than his toxic barbs.
And secondly, the sound of shattering glass in the Greens house was overwhelming. To be called out on election funding by the Greens party, which has attracted some of the largest donations, is totally jaw dropping in its hypocrisy. The Greens have been gaming the electoral funding laws for the past two decades by using an entire brigade of environmental and lobbying front groups to help fund their various campaigns. It’s actually nuclear-scale hypocrisy on their part as our election funding was totally transparent and provably so. Our returns were lodged and passed by the Electoral Commission and Tabart is fully aware of that. We still await the Greens’ and allies’ disclosures. Slurring and innuendo do not pass for fact.
However, here’s an inconvenient fact. Would the Greens care to explain how they came to run their very expensive campaign for council and the mayoralty out of an otherwise vacant shop in the Mooney family’s development in Johnson Street? The Mooney family is possibly the largest property developer and the largest liquor retailer in the region. There is nothing wrong with that and they are entitled to run their businesses as they see fit. But many would wonder whether it was appropriate for a Greens mayoral candidate to work out of their premises.
An even more inconvenient truth is that while organising his campaign from Mooney Central in Byron Street, Cr Richardson was also fronting the Dan Murphy’s liquor licence hearing opposing the Dan Murphy’s bottleshop licence application alongside the other bottleshop owners, including the Mooney liquor outlets. Was that appropriate behaviour?
Cr Richardson’s recent change of heart on the Last Drinks at Midnight campaign and his switch to support the liquor interests over late-night trading has recently been well documented by none other than former Greens councillor Tabart. Maybe this missing part of the equation could also be addressed by Tabart in his next acid-laden missive.
As they say, people who live in glass houses should beware of throwing stones.
Byron Shire councillor Diane Woods, Brunswick Heads