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Byron Shire
June 7, 2023

Byron shire’s community associations defended

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‘A bunch of old retired, misfits, loose fits and unfits, with political motivations who know diddly squat about economic development and are totally opposed to everything, spreading fear and distrust’.

These are the words used by Byron shire councillor’s Alan Hunter, Chris Cubis, Di Woods and Sol Ibrahim to describe the shire’s many community associations during a recent council meeting debating community participation in the shire consultation process.

During this derogative and vicious attack/rant, they also said community associations are regressive with no structure, no charter and questionable membership thus recommending that the council not allow community associations representation in any debate re the future of the shire.

However, these same councilors acknowledged that while the chambers of commerce are political and express political views, they should be advised on the shire’s future.

I am involved in several community associations and most are incorporated bodies with a charter and hold formal monthly meetings but to my knowledge no one in any of the committees are members of a political party.

Following accusations by Cr Cubis last year that ‘SSPA were a bunch of Communists’, I surveyed the committee who gave me assurance that non were or ever had been members of the Communist Party and for that matter, the Greens.

Community associations are made up of residents giving their time freely volunteering to work in and for the community.

I would say the age range of the associations is similar to the crrent council, so by Crs Ibrahim ageist definition I would suppose that they are mostly unfit.

Some of us are retired others not, however the life skills and credentials they bring to the table are extensive with professional back grounds at executive level, educational and medical fields, holders of tertiary degrees, some have worked or owned their own small business, others currently run small businesses, some are home keepers raising the younger members of our community while supporting their neighbors, friends, the elderly and homeless.

Not sure what diddly squat Cr Cubis thinks we don’t know, but obviously judging by his outbursts he must know a lot about diddly squat!

I suggest to these four councillors, that the functioning of the shire owes a great deal to these selfless community association volunteers and to exclude their representation in the consulting process is nothing short of ignorant, arrogant ill-informed and disrespectful to the views of our shire’s community.

At the last Suffolk Park Progress Association public meeting, we had over 160 community members attend. With 218 followers on Facebook and, as last week, our page reached 726 posts, with 260 subscribers on Mailchimp.

The Suffolk Park association has been operating since 1950s holding monthly committee and regular public meetings is this representative enough for these Councillors?

Donald Maughan, president Suffolk Park Progress Association



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  1. Good on you Don. My feelings exactly. To this can be added Cr Cubis’s accusation that any who oppose his view is a neo-Nazi. Sheer arrogance. He treats his community with disdain. He lives in Suffolk Park but has not been seen at any SPPA meeting to express his view.I hope he doesn’t stand again for council.

  2. Well said Don. My guess is that many of the committees of our local resident and progress associations put in more time in the interests of our communities than do most of these right wing developer oriented Councillors, focused as they seem to be on how they and their mates can make money out of ruining our beautiful shire.

  3. The four conservative councillors have a habit of “playing the man rather than the issue”. Some intelligent discussion and ideas are needed.

  4. I heard Cr Woods call you a dickhead at the extraordinary meeting yesterday Don. You are certainly aren’t that and what you said makes sense. Another example of Cr Woods contempt for the community.

    I hope you will stand at the next election Don. Good, committed and intelligent people are required.

    • A cheap parting shot from Diane Woods. She wants to divest herself of her involvement as Council rep in a number of local committees at the next meeting. Excuse she is offering is that she will be busy packing up her house. Making the big move to that developers heaven, the Gold Coast. Too many “left leaning dickheads” for her liking in Byron Shire. She will feel well suited to Brisvegas.


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