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Byron Shire
July 14, 2024

Was councillor ‘helping mate’ with water DA approval?

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Councillor Byrnes claims that Council role in Jack Hallam’s DA is ‘essentially the approval of truck movements on our local roads.’

This is totally incorrect. We provided legal advice to the Council in 2017 that Council has a different and higher legal standard in relation to water extraction than the Office of Water. Council must be satisfied under section 7.15 of its Local Environment Plan that there will be ‘no adverse impacts’ on natural systems or residents.

This advice has been confirmed by Council’s own lawyers. The Tweed Water Alliance has made this point in at least two access meetings at which we’ve spoken which Councillor Byrnes has attended.

Why doesn’t Councillor Byrnes know this?

He also claims that ‘shared political views do not constitute a conflict of interest.’  That’s correct, but shared political affiliations do raise a potential conflict of interest according to ICAC and Byrnes and Hallam have a shared political affiliation.

Why doesn’t Councillor Byrnes know this?

The obvious answer is that he didn’t read any of the documents leading into his vote on Thursday. He had already made up his mind to vote yes for his ALP mate Jack Hallam.


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