23.9 C
Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Community survey: a mixed report for Byron Council

Latest News

Soli becalmed in NSW Pro surf series

Local surfer Soli Bailey has finished in second place at the Mad Mex Maroubra Pro World Surf League Qualifying Series event held at Sydney’s Maroubra beach last weekend.

Other News

A closer look at Byron Council’s fossil fuel investments

Is Byron Council putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to reducing carbon emissions?

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our...

Housing affordability on agenda at Ballina

With the housing crisis worsening in Ballina and across the Northern Rivers, councillors agreed that something had to be done about the problem at their meeting yesterday.

Northern Rivers policeman accused of youth assault acquitted

Magistrate Michael Dakin has ordered a common assault charge against a former Byron-based policeman be dropped after an altercation involving a naked youth in Byron Bay three years ago.

Amber alert for blue-green algae at Lake Ainsworth

An amber alert has been put in place for Lake Ainsworth near Lennox Head in relation to the presence of blue-green algae.

Sing Lisa Sing

Jo Faith, Newtown How very distressing is the recent story of beautiful singer Lisa Hunt. She followed protocol, paid the...

Most students get their report cards at the end of term, but Byron Council has been given its marks early this year in the form of results from its bi-annual community satisfaction survey.

And it’s fair to say there will more than a few things to discuss come parent-teacher night.

Let’s start with the good news.

A solid 64 per cent of the 400 respondents to the survey were ‘at least somewhat satisfied’ with the overall performance of Council over the past two years.

And 68 per cent of residents who made the effort to personally contact Council over that period said they were ‘at least somewhat satisfied’ with the way their contact was handled.

Unfortunately that’s about as good as it gets.

The overall level of satisfaction with the council fell five per cent from the last survey in 2016, which isn’t great when you consider that that earlier survey covered one of the most tumultuous periods in the council’s recent history.

Satisfaction down

The new satisfaction rating of 2.76 out of 5 is, in the words of the authors of the survey report, ‘significantly lower than the NSW regional benchmark and the all-of-NSW benchmark’.

While there was an increase in satisfaction in one area of Council’s operations – coastal management – satisfaction fell in eight other areas, including roads, future planning, tourism management and recycling.

No gold star for guessing which aspect of Council’s activities were deemed most important: the region’s roads remain at the front of many locals’ minds.

However, financial management was a somewhat surprising entrant into the top three concerns, with affordable housing close behind, providing yet more evidence that the affordability crisis is really starting to bite.

Sound management

Deputy mayor Michael Lyon said he believed financial management was at the forefront of people’s minds because of the council’s recent rate increase.

‘Through the special rate variation process the backlog of infrastructure became known,’ Cr Lyon said.

‘People started to question whether our financial management was sound.

‘I believe it is sound, and I think the fact that we introduced the rate variation is actually evidence of that because we were dealing with a financial situation we inherited.’

Councillor Lyon also defended the council’s record on providing basic infrastructure such as roads.

‘As was noted in the report, the type of issues we’re facing in the Byron Shire, things like tourism management and a severe housing affordability crisis, are issues you’re more likely to find in a city council rather than a regional council,’ he said.

‘There is a very specific set of circumstances that have created these issues, but unfortunately we haven’t had the recognition or funding at state or federal level to deal with them.

‘Having said that I think we as councillors, and Council staff, are doing a pretty good job of meeting the needs of residents.’

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. Not wishing to tar everyone who works for BSC in a negative light as there are some fantastic people toiling away in there. By the same token there will be many ratepayers out there who have been thoroughly ignored and wronged by council staffers, of all grades. They would probably hold the opinion there are certain cliques festering away inside that building in Mullumbimby and that those who are part of them need bringing out into the light.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Shores United win local derby in season opener

Shores United FC began their season in the Anzac Cup B football competition with a 3-1 win over local rivals the Mullumbimby Brunswick Valley FC last Sunday.

Ballina Dragon Boaters win world championships

Shelley Cornish from Tintenbar has won two gold medals in the world indoor rowing championships as well as a world record time, while husband Paul Hurley chimed in with a silver medal.

Senior players triumph at Cherry Street Croquet Club

The experience combination of Joan Campbell (92 years young) and Elaine Astley (89) were able to beat the field and collect a win in the Cherry Streety Twilight Golf Croquet Plate Competition held at Ballina.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 3 March, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 3 March, 2021