18.5 C
Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Byron councillors back in the hot seat

Latest News

From go to whoa – Norco Primex expo covers it all

Norco and Primex are bringing a three-day sustainable farming and primary industry expo to you.

Other News

Understanding police

Brian Warrick, Bangalow  I would have thought that someone like David Heilpern with his experience as a magistrate would have...

Byron Bay wins season opener against Mullum Giants

  Ross Kendall The local league derby is always  and the Byron Bay Red Devils have won the first game of...

Conversing in an age of verbal flatulence 

The other day I bumped into an old acquaintance of mine in the centre of Brisbane. For twenty-five breathless minutes he regaled me with a microscopically detailed account of his secondhand electric car.

Get over it, Byron Baes!

Andrew Willy Wilson, Mullumbimby Are you guys for real? I can’t believe all the fuss over the proposed Byron Baes...

Schools planting trees to save riverbanks

Six schools in the Lismore area six will plant about 6000 trees creating links across the Wilsons River corridor in Lismore and Tucki Creek in Goonellabah.

Greater Sydney goes into COVID related lockdown

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

Byron Shire Council chambers in Mullumbimby.

Paul Bibby

Their eco-friendly lunch boxes have been carefully packed, graphite-free pencils sharpened, and fair-trade thongs polished to a stunning shine.

It can mean only one thing – the holidays are over for Byron’s local councillors.

The first council meeting of the year will take place on Thursday, February 1 and it promises to be a fascinating affair for local political junkies.Here’s a taste of the policy goodness on offer.

Paid parking

Labor councillor Paul Spooner’s proposal that all parking revenue obtained in Byron Bay should be spent on projects for the town itself will be one of the first cabs off the rank.

Its fate will depend, of course, on the votes of the Greens councillors led by mayor Simon Richardson.

Interestingly, revenue obtained from parking fines and resident exemption fees will be free to roam the Shire under Cr Spooner’s motion.

Cavanbah plan

The council will need all the revenue it can get if it’s going to fund the proposed $10m redevelopment of the Cavanbah Centre revealed in this month’s agenda.

In a report to the council, outgoing general manager Ken Gainger notes that the Centre has recorded a cumulative operating deficit of $2.71m owing in large part to poor planning prior to construction.

Nevertheless, the GM notes that the cost-benefit of further capital investment is ‘quite positive’.

Mullum hospital

It seems Council staff also remain positive about the purchase of the old Mullumbimby hospital site, despite the ever-increasing cost of remediation works on the site and the risks posed by contamination.

This week’s meeting will be told that the cost estimate for the removal of asbestos at the site has climbed to $2.8m, well above the $2m previously estimated by NSW Health.

Staff have recommended that Council begin negotiations with the demolition contractor previously appointed by NSW Health forthwith, rather than putting the job out to tender, owing to the risks posed by the asbestos contamination if delayed and the costs of the tender process.

GM recruitment plans

As if that wasn’t enough to get our hearts racing, the council will also begin planning the recruitment of a new general manager.

Sadly, it seems those in the public gallery may be quietly ushered from the room when discussion of the relevant report takes place.

The reason for this exclusion was described in the agenda in the following tantalising example of council speak: ‘[Because the report contains] commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed,  prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it’.

Ah, it’s great to have them back isn’t it?


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Greater Sydney goes into COVID related lockdown

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

Board defends its management of Mullum Rural Co-op

The issue of potential fraud and financial mismanagement was a key part of the response from Mullumbimby Rural Co-op board, and Chair Ross Tucker,...

An operetta and children’s theatre for NORPA

NOPRA has announced recipients of the theatre company’s two artist residencies.

Dam doesn’t give a damn about koalas

The proposed Dunoon Dam is still a possibility, though it has been voted against twice by the members of Rous County Council. Now information has emerged which presents another reason to shut down the threat of the dam once and for all.