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Byron Shire
October 8, 2022

Apology over Wanchap defection

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In leaving the Greens and joining the pro-development faction early in the current term of Council, Rose Wanchap destroyed the political model voted for in 2012 by the Byron electors and enabled decisions contrary to their clearly expressed values.

Prior to that election Rose presented herself to the Greens as someone who shared their values and objectives. ‘I have now joined the Greens as I believe it is the only party with policies in place who can affect real change’ (Echo advert inserted by Rose). She had demonstrated a sympathetic and helpful model in her business, had been prominent in environmental campaigns and supported Jan Barham when under concerted attack from Byron United interests.

Unfortunately on election it soon became apparent that Rose did not share the Greens’ positions on many key issues like coastal policy, holiday letting and over-development (West Byron). At Greens meetings and during the many ’meet the candidates’ forums, Rose gave no indication that she would depart from those Greens’ election platforms.

There’s been no shortage of people making it patently clear to Rose that through her actions she has betrayed her local community. She still appears to think she’s done nothing ethically wrong and we have found to our cost that ‘the lady’s not for turning’.

In 2012 the Greens and I made a huge mistake in endorsing Rose, we were very wrong and  sincerely regret our lack of foresight and the subsequent damage caused.

In the wake of Rose’s defection, the Greens undertook a major review of their candidate pre-selection processes and criteria, substantially tightening up who can apply and how they are vetted. While no party can ever guarantee no defections, future Greens tickets and the Shire are unlikely to be burdened with another ‘Rose’.

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  1. Further to Greens politicians with questionable alternative veneers.

    Call me a fickle cultural Marxist, but to win my vote the Greens will need to apologize for its leader Richard Di Natale”s failure to declare his ownership of a Tasmanian farm.

    As well as his underpaying of farm servants/au pairs at $6.00 per hour. With couples on $3.00 per hour each.


    I might then give Di Natale my vote. Even though he looks like a Centrelink manager. And someone who would sell his soul to the devil in order to get his hands on power.

  2. Rose is the Byron Bay Greens nemesis. As such, she must be a national legend among realtors. She probably receives standing ovations at conferences and will dine out on this tale into her dotage.

  3. Well said Tom Tobart. Cllr Rose Wanchap relationship with the Greens has been discussed in the Echo at some length in the past. The Echo published my letter below a few months after Rose defected from the Greens in early 2013:
    “Confession, Explanation, Apology. I believe I was the first to urge Rose Wanchap to run for the Greens. She seemed a lovely person. I met her at toxic chemicals protest actions. I believed the Greens needed to embrace progressive business people and unite all sections of our society to create a progressive community. Others agreed and also urged Rose to run.
    At meetings, Rose strongly supported the Greens and especially Simon Richardson. She was opposed to mega developers taking over our Shire. She even wrote a half page Echo election ad saying so: (http://issuu.com/echopublications/docs/byron_echo_27_13/17?e=2296014/4704880).
    Rose charmed the Greens at meetings. Over many Greens meetings prior to the election in 2012 she never deviated. So when she first began to abandon this position at Council, I wrote her a friendly letter trying to understand her actions. I wrote “I believe you are a person of moral integrity…You were elected as …the recipient of Greens votes. I cannot see how a person of moral integrity can resign from the Greens yet continue to remain a Councillor, vote with the pro-development Councillors and live with your conscience. I look forward to your reply.”
    Rose never replied. So I am the person who campaigned for Rose to run for the Greens. I apologise to our Shire. I’ve had many sleepless nights since, consumed with guilt. Jim Beatson, Byron Bay”

    As The Echo reported at the time, once Councillor Wanchap made her true political feelings known, which she had previously hidden, the Green successfully called on her to resign from the Greens.

    To get an understanding of how she misled both the electorate, and the Greens, you only need to read the Echo advertisement listed above or watch her YouTube election video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLNEjfA0r48

    In the September 2012 election Councillor Wanchap received 31 personal votes, while receiving 3,448 or 98.04% of her votes from those who voted for the Greens.

    Prior to the election she explained that although committed to the Greens, she was inexperienced on the machinery of government and would be looking for advice and help, which Tom Tobart, myself and quite a few others offered to provide.

    Following her resignation from the Greens party, I have on two occasions written her polite, friendly letters requesting that we meet up to try to get some understanding of her actions. I have received no replies.

    Her actions were a primary reason for why I resigned from the Greens party, and resume my career as a journalist, unencumbered by being a member of any political party.


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