It’s been high drama in Byron shire council chambers in the past 24 hours with what appears to be a final decision by staff to send its controversial coastal policy to the minister.
For those unaware, last Wednesday, the council majority of Sol Ibrahim, Rose Wanchap, Di Woods, Alan Hunter and Chris Cubis voted for their Coastal Management Plan Byron Bay Embayment (CZMP BBE) to go to the next stage, which is an assessment by the planning minister.
It was met by a vocal and sometimes angry gallery who burst into song upon the vote being made.
But later in the day, right-wing Crs Ibrahim and Cubis left the meeting without explanation, leaving the left wing faction in control, despite Cr Paul Spooner’s absence.
This was confirmed to Echonetdaily by both the mayor and Cr Duncan Dey.
That resulted in recasting the vote by Cr Dey, which aimed to delay the coastal policy being sent.
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Echonetdaily understands that it was accepted at the time by staff, but the following day that decision was reversed by staff, who promptly sent the document on to the minister.
Council staff have been asked by Echonetdaily for an explanation as to why the reversal was made, and where it applies to the code of conduct policy and or legislation.
Mayor Simon Richardson said at the time that Cr Woods announced to the room that her faction would leave the chamber to prevent the vote, which he says is a clear breach of the code of conduct.