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Byron Shire
January 29, 2023

Free reign

Latest News

Bundjalung host Byron Shire Survival Day 

Main Beach Park in Cavanbah – Byron Bay, was the place where both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people gathered yesterday to celebrate the longest-living culture in the world – people who are now living on unceded land.

Other News

Federal Drive landslip update

Council staff have updated the status of the hinterland Federal landslip that cut access at Federal Drive, north of Federal village on February 28, 2022. The road that connects Federal to Goonengerry has been closed a year this week.

New partnership set to ReCirculate plastic waste into construction material

Turning the Northern Rivers' unwanted plastics into a reusable commodity is one step closer, with Southern Cross University and CRDC Global signing a new partnership agreement.

One in six older Australians experience elder abuse – what can you do?

An aging population is seeing up to one in six elderly Australians now experiencing elder abuse according to a...

Sydney Dance Company in Lismore teaching young dancers

The prestigious Sydney Dance Company joined forces with NORPA last week to mentor young dancers from the Northern Rivers in a week-long dance intensive held at Southern Cross University in Lismore. 

For Tony Barry

The Drill Hall Theatre Company’s season of Andrew Bovell’s When the Rain Stops Falling is dedicated to the memory...

Man charged over sexual assault – Bondi Beach

NSW Police say that after a report was made in the Tweed/Byron district, a man has been charged following an investigation into an alleged sexual assault in Sydney’s east last year.

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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Ballina’s Citizens of the Year announced

Ballina Shire Council announced its Australia Day Awards yesterday at the Lennox Head Cultural Centre. The awards were presented by Sandra Jackson and netballer Liz Ellis, with music by Katie Rutledge and Levi Maxwell. The event was also livestreamed.

Lismore City Council’s awards ceremony

Sophia Watt was named Lismore City Council’s 2023 Citizen of the Year at an awards ceremony held at the Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre yesterday.

Police find body of missing Elanora woman

Detectives attached to taskforce Victor Arum investigating the disappearance of 61-year-old Elanora woman Wendy Sleeman have recovered a body and vehicle at Wilston on Brisbane’s inner north yesterday.

Tweed Council celebrates citizens new and old

Yesterday Tweed Shire Council celebrated members of the community, old and new, with an award ceremony. The Citizen of the Year award went to refugee advocate Joan Henderson of Urliup.