22.1 C
Byron Shire
July 29, 2021

Complaints against suspended market stallholder verified

Latest News

I’m with you Mandy…

Dominica Coulthurst, Knockrow I’m with you Mandy... all the way. Thanks so much for your Soapbox message last week. Always love...

Other News

John ‘Strop’ Cornell dies

John Cornell, a character credited with initiating major change in Byron Bay after his purchase of the Beach Hotel, has died at his home in Byron Bay, aged 80, surrounded by his wife Delvene Delaney and family.

Saddle Road land snapped up for $10m

A picturesque property in Brunswick Heads that was once slated to become an eco-village may become a light industrial precinct after the owners sold it to a developer for $10 million. 

Why the rush?

Sara Rath, Goonengerry I was born in Byron Bay and I am deeply concerned for the known and unknown impacts of...

Interview with Felix Riebl from the Cat Empire

One of the most danceable outfits in the lineup, The Cat Empire make a welcome return to Bluesfest 2021 with their infectious, genre-embracing anthems and a world-class, awe-inspiring show. Last week Seven caught up with co-founder, band leader and principal songwriter, Felix Riebl, from his lockdown hidey hole in Melbourne.

$10k fine for man who flew to Ballina while COVID infected, as govt takes Pfizer vaccine from regions

A young man who left COVID lockdown in Sydney and flew to Ballina while infected with the virus has been fined nearly $10,000 for numerous health order breaches in NSW and Queensland.

Bangalow health food staff fined for failing to mask-up

Anyone who cannot wear a face mask because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition must now carry proof of exemption.

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

Ballina Shire Council supports application for new croquet club

The Ballina Croquet Club is hoping to receive up to $300,000 in funding for a new club house at Cawarra Park. 

Storylines: Growing hope

Hope is a fragile thing in 2021. With the current pandemic and the uncertainty in so many aspects of life, our hope is being shadowed by fear. It is profoundly affecting our humanity.

Northern Rivers responds to cal for COVID-19 testing

Following the flight of a COVID positive traveller from Sydney to Ballina and the detection of COVID fragments in the Byron Bay Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) both locals and visitors have responded to calls for more testing in the region.

Open-air art walk by the river at Murwillumbah completed

The Ages of the Tweed mural that accompanies the open-air riverside art walk has now been completed.