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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

Free reign

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Secret footage from Manus detention centre to be screened in Lismore

A thirteen-minute award-winning documentary based on footage secretly filmed inside Australia’s former detention centre on Manus Island is to be screened in Lismore Thursday night.


Gareth Smith, Byron Bay Trade Minister Dan Tehan wants to refer China to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because he...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 12

Check out what's on going the Byron Shire and surrounding area this week

Remembering Bentley

Saturday 15 May is the seventh anniversary of Victory Day at the historic Bentley Blockade, just west of Lismore.

Interview with Bob Vegas

The glorious Bob Downe is back with a brand new show: Viva Bob Vegas! at the Brunswick Picture House. He gave Seven the Downe low…

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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Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality.