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Byron Shire
January 21, 2022

Free reign

Latest News

First Byron Shire Council meeting postponed

Byron Shire Council’s first meeting of newly minted councillors was to take place today, 20 January, however, the storm of COVID-19 that is taking place across the country led to it being postponed.

Other News

Bioenergy precaution

The notion of ‘Green Energy’ has recently excited business investors and no doubt the public. We need positive solutions...

Renew Fest hosts May vigil for grief

Renew Fest will host a weekend-long Vigil For Grief in May 2022, and will return with the festival itself in 2023.

Holy Joe: premium cold-drip coffee and medicinal mushrooms

After a long addiction to regular espresso and an urge to try something new, lifelong tinkerer James Bullock hammered...

It is The Byron Shire Quiz!

It is The Byron Shire Quiz!  How much do you think you know about the Byron Shire? Ross Kendall challenges you to...

Lismore Women’s Festival cancelled

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis that is sweeping NSW and other states in Australia the Lismore Women’s Festival has been cancelled.

Free KYUP! Project workshops

Empowering our next generation to value and champion their safety and well being through self-worth and self-defence is the mission of the KYUP Project who are running free workshops in the Northern Rivers today and tomorrow.

Fast Buck$, Coorabell

I think it was the October Council meeting. I was complaining yet again that staff were concealing important matters by hiding them in the attachments to the agenda, hoping thereby that the councillors and the public wouldn’t notice them.

I was blindsided when the mayor interrupted by saying ‘you don’t read the attachments anyway’. I thought to myself that he couldn’t know that and was just gratuitously insulting me.

Later I surmised that he had seen things in the attachments which he expected me to complain about and when I didn’t – he concluded that I hadn’t read them, and if so he was right.

At the September meeting, for example, the main agenda reported that certain ‘minor’ changes were proposed to the GM’s delegated powers in line with alleged changes to the Local Government Act.

I only recently became aware that in fact the attachments contained a very major change indeed: The GM was given the delegated power to do everything that the elected council can legally do, ie unless specifically prohibited by law, resolution or policy.

I think I know exactly  why that change was made: I have argued previously the GM was acting way outside his power by defending the Butler Street appeal and by spending $450k doing so.

He also spent well over $350k on Sydney consultants to prepare the Butler Street development application, without the consultation from Council specifically giving him that latitude that I believe should have been sought.

The September change is therefore in my opinion a belated attempt to patch up this loophole; pity for Ken Gainger it’s not retrospective.

From now on though, subject to any prohibitions as mentioned above, he can do whatever he likes without even reporting back to Council and your average elected councillor wouldn’t have a clue that that’s the power they’ve given him… not a clue.

Anyway, Simon, it’s your job to read all the documents, not mine. If you were doing your job of protecting the public interest, then I wouldn’t need to be involved at all…


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