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Byron Shire
February 3, 2023

Greens councillors have lost the plot and the community

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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?

 


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4 COMMENTS

  1. this Council is walking a very fine line …
    Parking meters in Bruns is simply idiotic. It’s a shame that the Mayor can’t see it so clearly.

  2. For many years locals have been calling for ta bed tax to ensure the tourist industry shares the cost of tourism on local ratepayers, but the state government refuses to entertain this idea.

    Paid parking is one way the cost burden on ratepayers is reduced and allows locals to park in their own town. This is the situation in Byron where, according to reports, business is booming. Locals on any kind of benefit with a health care card are exempt. If not, $50 per year is a small price to pay to to be able to park in town.

    Judging by the number of expensive European cars and large 4 wheel drives clogging up our towns these people are able to pay for parking, as we do when we visit other tourist destinations.

    • Paid parking is normally used by councils as a means of controlling movements of vehicles in busy areas and ensuring car users pay the high costs they impose on busy road systems and environment. The token payment you praise in Byron is demonstrably ineffective at controlling movements and ensuring fair payment for scarce road resources as it does nothing to discourage locals – who are generally better placed to use alternatives like public transport or cycles- from using their cars. The census shows people in the Byron Shire are even more likely to use cars than are people in neighbouring LGAs, and the current outcry over paid parking demonstrates how car dependent this “green” shire is. We are a diverse and dispersed community in the Northern Rivers where people often need to visit other LGAs for various shopping, medical, entertainment and other needs,. The people of Byron Shire when they visit neighbouring LGAs are treated the same as locals when they park their cars and locals in all the LGAs pay rates too. By all means support paid parking, but imposes it on everyone and provide alternatives like better bus services and safer cycling ways, to reduce the congestion in your towns.

  3. There is always the next election. But then, who will be next? Two communities, Brunswick Heads and Bangalow have said no to paid parking but have not been listened to. I thought councils were the representative of the people?

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