This week I spent my first time in a council chamber meeting. I was there to protest about introducing paid parking to Brunswick Heads.
When I first moved to Bruns it was because I had lost everything of value to me in financial terms, I had no where to go and was at rock bottom.
I went to volunteer at the visitor centre and from there was able to rebuild my life. I have watched for four years the community build itself around a brand of ‘simple pleasures’.
There were times when this was incredibly important to businesses and the economic upturn of the town, with small local events helping to create the brand.
I have also been a resident of the Byron shire for over twenty years. I have watched Byron Bay become a former shadow of itself, without a strong vision to hold it together.
Today I watched our Green council completely shaft our town. Was this what happened to Byron?
Where is the spirit, where is the community that made Byron such an amazing place to be?
Today was a realisation that after many many years of a town, without any council help, pull itself up to what it is today.. now we are ‘low hanging fruit’ for a council to come in and rape it.
Our strong opposition has been dismissed and deemed ridiculous, we are accused of being ‘religiously fervent’ and ‘intimidating’.
If anyone out there would like to accuse us of this, and would be that intent on paid parking in our village, please come forward, we don’t bite.
I actually for the first time at the last elections, voted Green and I did it because it was Simon.
He came to every meeting and event we had and expounded the virtues of Simple Pleasures and our commitment to Bruns, so I voted for him, now for a few dollars he had turned on us and stabbed us in the back. I won’t do it again.
It is incredibly important to stand up for our village, our small businesses (who are, contrary to council belief) a part of the community.
Council’s whole game is to divide and conquer by suggesting that we are not representative of the Bruns community.
This includes the progress association, the school, the community groups and the chamber and visitor centre.
We in Bruns have the sole responsibility, in the face of our popularity, to manage the outcome of our own town.
Paid parking meters are just the ugly tip of an ugly iceberg, it really is now or never, where has the spirit gone from the Byron Shire?