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Byron Shire
June 18, 2021

Rose didn’t jump, she was pushed

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Doug Luke, Byron Bay. 

Congratulations, Byron Greens!

I was secretary of Byron Greens at the time when Rose Wanchap ceased to be a member.

Not long after her election to Byron Shire Council she started to deviate from even longstanding Greens policies. This led to lengthy discussions among our members on how to deal with this errant behaviour. We were divided: some attempted to bring her back into the fold and others wanted her gone.

By the time of the March 11, 2014, members-only meeting we had reached consensus that SHE MUST GO. She was asked to attend, having missed the previous monthly meetings. We were treated to a display of all her good work on laminated A3 sheets, mostly of wells drilled in lands far from Byron Shire. Even she could see that the consensus was for her to go. She said she would resign: (I quote her) ‘if that was what the consensus was’.

Let’s set the record straight; She did not defect from the Greens. She was booted out. Any defection was from Greens principles and the trust of Byron Shire voters. Their sweet revenge has seen her cast out at Saturday’s election. Her buddies have gone too.

The people have seen how the progressive minority never gave up the fight against the right wing dinosaurs.

It’s now time for the progressive majority to listen to the resurgent cries of the people.

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  1. Jeeez…you guys really need to move on, you have a Shire to run. You can’t keep crying over something that happened several years ago. Let’s see what positive things you are going to do over the next 4 years. According to election promises, the roads will be fixed, the bypass sorted, parking problems solved, there will be ample affordable housing for the young people wanting to move to the area. no CSG, a chemical and plastic-free Byron, youth training and development programs in place and small business development will be encouraged. Time for action, not words. Half of Byron will be cheering you on, the other half will be hard markers. Any chance we can spend more on Shire issues and less on legal issues. Just saying.

  2. In response to Scott (no surname) my letter expressed my joy at Byron Greens success in the Election and ended up expressing my wish for the new Council to listen to the people of The Shire in their decision making. The focus that Scott also wants. I didn’t resort to slagging off any face-slapping shoe throwing antics despite my bitter disappointment at blatant betrayal. I didn’t join in the recriminations in local media. The voters of Byron Shire have, almost singlemindedly, rejected the twisted ideology of right wing Councillors in overwhelming endorsement of progressive, socially aware Councillors. 8:1 would be so much more joyous than 7:2.
    Setting the historical record straight has in no way prevented me from “moving on”. Just like Scott I have my expectations of the new Council; with apparent greater optimism than Scott.

  3. You are right, I am not very optimistic. I am sure they are enthusiastic but not sure they can manage a multi million dollar organisation while juggling the many vested interests of the Shire. I see they mucked up their chances in Ballina by not backing Jeff Johnson as Mayor. Oh, hang on, he left the Greens to become independent and we know how the Greens deal with defectors, though it is easier to bully a mature Lady than it is to bully a 6ft 4″ squash champion. I am a leftie, but I think the greens are morphing into a religious party where the edicts are issued from on high and any alternate opinions are excommunicated or burned on the fires of churlishness. Having said that, for Byron’s sake, I hope they do well.
    Am I being too harsh?


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