19.8 C
Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

Complaints against suspended market stallholder verified

Latest News

Children approached by stranger in Murwillumbah

Police say a Queensland man has been charged following two alleged child approaches in Murwillumbah today.

Other News

M1 closed both directions at Yelgun

Traffic is currently at a standstill between Ocean Shores and Crabbes Creek on the M1 Pacific Highway following a truck crash at around 7am this morning.

Leadership lost

Paul Leitch, Ewingsdale Thanks to Hans Lovejoy for commenting on the proposed Ewingsdale Development (24 February). It is worthwhile noting that...

Police operation Billinudgel Nature Reserve

Gary Opit, Brunswick Heads On 22 February residents on Jones Road noticed a major police operation with officers from eight police...

Editorial – #ChooseToChallenge the patriarchy

It is easy to think we have almost achieved equality for men and women in a country like Australia – just as long as you don’t think too hard about it.

Rapey Liberal culture is their undoing

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins’ steel-eyed testimony around rape allegations saw spiders crawl from under rocks and spread in all directions last week. 

Nimbin medicinal cannabis event, March 27

Two experienced medical cannabis doctors and a retired magistrate who is passionate about changing the drug driving rules will take part in the MEDICAN gathering in Nimbin.

BBCC GM Paul Spooner says he had ‘no choice’ but to suspend market stallholder Ian Brown after ‘varying’ complaints.

Hans Lovejoy

Further to last week’s story regarding the suspension of a stallholder by Byron Community Market managers, the Byron Bay Community Centre (BBCC) has provided written evidence of the five complainants to The Echo.

BBCC general manager Paul Spooner, who is also a councillor, was prompted to reply after suspended stallholder Ian Brown erected a large sign on Ewingsdale Road last Monday that read, ‘Who is the bully Spooner? Expose your fabricated allegations!’

The Echo verified statements with three of those complainants by phone.

Cr Spooner suspended Brown after complaints against Brown’s recent behaviour at the markets, yet Brown denied any wrongdoing and said he had been targeted because he is a vocal opponent of moving the markets from Butler Street.

‘This is a total fabrication,’ he told The Echo.

Although Brown’s character has been supported by a number of fellow stallholders, Cr Spooner told The Echo, ‘By not acting upon these complaints, the BBCC believed we would be liable for failing to uphold workplace health and safety. It would open us to legal action.’

As the complaints were varying in nature, Cr Spooner said he had no choice but to suspend Brown.

Additionally Cr Spooner denied that he was pushing for any move of the market, and said that he has always abstained from voting on market-related issues in Council as it is a pecuniary interest.

But he did agree when asked that uncertainty around Council staff’s push for the now abandoned transport hub had caused confusion and angst as there was a lack of detailed plans.

‘As I previously said, the first councillors knew about the transport hub was when it became public.’

And it’s not just the transport hub that is causing angst for stallholders and Butler Street residents; Cr Spooner says there is still no assurance as to how the planned Butler Street bypass will be managed or when it will happen.

In this upcoming Council meeting agenda, staff say they were unsuccessful in applying for a $8m grant for ‘Byron Bay Town Centre Bypass, Commonwealth, Regional Jobs and Investment Packages.’

Cusack metaphor

Meanwhile, Lennox Head-based Liberal MP Catherine Cusack has told NSW parliament that her previous comments about Byron Community Centre president Jason Arthurton and general manager Paul Spooner were a ‘metaphor.’

She told the chamber last week, ‘Mr Spooner has not contacted me directly, but has made representations through other members of parliament requesting clarification of my statement to the effect that the reserve revenues are going into his pocket. I wish to clarify that this was a metaphor and there was no intention to imply corruption or theft. I was alluding to the use of reserve revenues to pay or part pay Byron Community Centre salaries. I make this clarification for the avoidance of doubt.’


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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Police exchange gun fire at Dunoon – man arrested

At a media conference outside the Lismore police station this morning, Acting Superintendent Susan Johnston, Commander, Richmond Police Area Command, said that a man has been charged over an incident at Dunoon last night.

Byron carjacker and stolen vehicle still not found

Police say that a man carjacked a 17-year-old in Byron Bay just before midnight on Friday.

Man arrested after shots fired in Dunoon

A police report says a 63-year-old man man has been arrested following multiple public place shots fired overnight.

Police operation Billinudgel Nature Reserve

Gary Opit, Brunswick Heads On 22 February residents on Jones Road noticed a major police operation with officers from eight police cars and associated dogs entering...