15.7 C
Byron Shire
September 30, 2022

GM’s delegation powers questioned

Latest News

On Save the Koala Day conservationists all agree they disagree with the Minister for Environment

Ahead of today’s Save the Koala Day, NSW Minister for Environment James Griffin yesterday announced that private landholders are being supported to restore 200 hectares of koala habitat in the Northern Rivers.

Other News

Major construction works to begin at Tweed tip

The next phase of the Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre (the Tip) is about to begin with major construction works set to begin on the master plan.

Party with a conscience

Nudge Nudge Wink Wink – the party with a conscience, is on this weekend at the Billi Pub. DJs...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: War on Trauma

In the War on Trauma we care for hurt people. We understand the importance of safety, of nutrition, of connection to community, of addressing loneliness, of the power of being in nature.  Being locked in jail for drug-related offences doesn’t change the underlying reasons for why someone has addiction issues. It just amplifies the trauma. And amplified trauma leads to drug harm.

Bioenergy facility funding rejected

Mayor Michael Lyon is downplaying a funding rejection for Council’s much touted Bioenergy Facility proposal by a federal government agency, claiming other funding sources are available.

The Irukandjis sting in USA

Australia's national surfing team the Irukandjis have won a silver medal overall at the International Surfing Association World Surfing Games which just wrapped up at Huntington Beach, California.

Unions meet with Norco over staff stand down

With flood-ravaged Norco in Lismore under scrutiny, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union, and the Electrical Trades Union met with management on Thursday to discuss the company’s plans for its Lismore ice cream factory.

Hans Lovejoy

Byron Shire Council general manager Ken Gainger. Photo supplied

A councillor decision at the September 21, 2017 meeting that updated the general manager’s (GM) delegated powers has been questioned by longtime council critic Fast Buck$ aka John Anderson.

He says the general manager (GM) now has power over any elected councillor, or at the very least the same powers since the delegations were adopted recently.

Staff described changes in the September report as  ‘minor changes to the GM’s delegations’, which they claim were ‘in line with recent amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 [LGA]’

Mr Buck$ questioned whether such a change was ‘minor’ given the previous GM’s 2016 delegation policy only confers ‘power to exercise any function of the council which is excluded from the council’s power of delegation pursuant to s377’ of the LGA. 

The newly adopted delegations in September list a long schedule of conditions and limitations over three pages and adheres to GM’s powers as defined in the LGA (s377).

Subject to the exclusions, the new policy says the GM has delegation of ‘ALL the powers and functions of the council.’

Butler St appeal

Mr Buck$ says, ‘The GM definitely did not at the time have the delegated authority to even defend the Butler Street appeal, let alone spend $450k on it.’

‘Nor did he have the delegated authority to engage big-city consultants and spend $350k on the Butler Street bypass DA etc.’

The Echo asked outgoing GM Ken Gainger, ‘How is this a minor change to delegations? And – there appears no reference to the recent amendments to the LG Act 1993 within the September staff report that supports this decision. What are they?’

GM replies

Mr Gainger replied that as the report’s author and legal services co-ordinator Ralph James was away, he couldn’t ‘give a definitive response’.

Yet Mr Gainger did say, ‘My delegations, which were recently updated by Council, reflect the same delegated authority that I had previously, plus additional authority to approve certain tenders up to $250,000 in value.’

‘This additional authority reflects changes to the local government legislation authorising this.

‘Previously the GM could only approve tenders under $150,000 in value.

‘With respect to Buck$ – he is misreading the delegation and has been provided with legal advice to this effect.

‘Accordingly, his suggestion that I did not have the delegated authority to defend the bypass appeal is plainly wrong.’

The GM continued, ‘Staff have suggested to him that if he doesn’t accept the advice that he has been given, then he should contact the Office of Local Government and take it up with them.’

See Fast Buck$’s letter

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.


  1. So is there an interference into the institution of Democracy. This would displease Abraham Lincoln. Councillors are elected by ballot at an election by the ratepayers of Byron Shire according to the democratic process. The General Manager is not so elected, but is employed by councillors to oversee the management of council and to direct the economics of the council for the people of Byron Shire. It is the Councillors who have power over the General Manager so that the economics of the shire is on course to prosperity for all concerned.

    • I doubt Abraham Lincoln has any interest in the function of Byron Shire Council so it is hard to understand how he would be displeased . I think Mr Lincoln , if he could , would be far more displeased with the goings on in the White House .


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Firearm and drug offence charges laid after Coraki vehicle stop

NSW Police say a man has been charged after a firearm and prohibited drugs were seized during a vehicle stop yesterday.

Chemicals left by first stars in the universe may have been detected by the Gemini North telescope

The chemical remains of the earliest stars in the universe may have been discovered by astronomers.

New digs for flood adaptation project

Mullum Cares has a new home in the Railway Shed Yard, on the corner of Prince and Ann Streets in Mullum.

Police suspect dies at Clothiers Creek

NSW Police say a critical incident investigation has commenced following the death of a man at Clothiers Creek yesterday.