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Byron Shire
December 1, 2022

Tweed council votes Yes for marriage equality

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By Luis Feliu

Tweed Shire Council’s chambers in Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads will be flying the rainbow flag proudly soon after councillors last night voted to support the Yes vote in the upcoming same-sex marriage survey.

The council’s progressive majority backed mayor Katie Milne’s notice of motion (in a 4-3 vote) for council to support amending the Marriage Act to include all members of the LGBTQIA community

Council will now erect a rainbow flag or banners outside the Tweed and Murwillumbah council chambers for the duration of the controversial postal survey.

Cr Milne’s motion also proposes that council promotes its position on the issue through the media and social networking and holds at least one councilor-led public function to promote the Yes vote.

The Greens mayor said that while the Marriage Act is the responsibility of the Commonwealth ‘councils are met with varying levels of success and/or criticism when they lend weight to matters outside of their jurisdiction’.

‘Council must also consider that adopting a specific view on items that are subject to a conscience vote could result in unwanted community division being directed towards it,’ she said.

‘Flag etiquette requires that any flag, other than the Australian flag, must be flown lower than the Australian flag.

‘Council will also need to give direction on what flag is to be removed to fly the rainbow flag.

‘Therefore the option of the banner is easier to implement.’

Cr Milne told councillors the rainbow flags would cost around $300 each and that there may also be other costs associated with the public function.

New deputy

Meanwhile, Cr Reece Byrnes was elected unopposed as new deputy mayor at an extraordinary meeting held last night.

Cr Byrnes, a Labor Party-endorsed councilor, was voted to replace Cr Chris Cherry.

Mayor Milne thanked Cr Cherry for her service in the past year.

Cr Byrnes will hold the position until September next year, when another election will be held.

Under the Local Government Act, the term of deputy is a year while for mayor it is two years.

At 29, Cr Byrnes is believed to be the youngest deputy mayor in Tweed shire’s history.

Outgoing deputy Cr Cherry, said councillors gave Cr Byrnes their full support by electing him unopposed.

The newly-elected deputy last night led a condolence motion for the late, Murwillumbah-born, Labor luminary John ‘Johno’ Johnson.

It noted the recent passing of the former Member of the NSW Legislative Council and his ‘great contribution to public life’.

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Isn’t this FAB ?
    The rainbow flag is the proud symbol of the psychedelic sixties. It’s about time these councils ,and of course the other levels of government, acknowledged the wonderful revolution and great leap forward that the HIPPY movement delivered .
    The anti-war movement ,to protect those too young to vote (seventeen and nine months- call up,but twenty one to vote ) From being sent as cannon fodder for the Yanks in the Vietnam invasion .
    The right for women to wear skirts above the knee, and civil-rights in general with the new understanding ,that the authorities are just plain wrong or evil sometimes and must be ignored .
    G”)

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