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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Whose money is it?

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Fast Buck$ – J Anderson

Last week Council had its first ordinary meeting in which planning matters were dealt with exclusively, to be followed one week later with the usual business: notices of motion, staff reports, etc.

One of the listed items was a proposal to spend $80k on an update of the Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plan (CCAIP).

There was no discussion of how that money was proposed to be spent, but you can bet that there will be some high-flying consultant involved. You can also bet that that consultant will simply press a button to print out something that he/she has done before.

The staff report accompanying this proposal was waffly in the extreme, full of lots of proposed workshops, plans, policies, strategies, and consultants, with much reference to other waffly documents already doing the rounds. This stuff is all designed to make those involved feel as though they are saving the world, actual eco-warriors, when in fact all they are doing is creating a parallel reality made of paper that serves to distract their attention from what’s really going on in the world.

The staff report admits that the existing version of the CCAIP has been ‘implemented in an inconsistent manner’, yet it fails to argue how spending another $80,000 will boost implementation. As I put it in my submission to Council: ‘Council planning staff do not adhere to the statute and policy already in existence and are frequently influenced by unidentified circumstances, which make them arrive at decisions that favour short-term profit making’. As a test I referred councillors to the second-last item on the agenda, which was a proposal to amend the LEP and create a 34-lot Community Title subdivision on land at Broken Head.

These lots will fetch $1 million each minimum, so we’re talking big money here.

Money talks, the staff recommendation favours the development as put.

There is nothing unusual in Council’s appearing to do one thing while actually doing another; in fact it’s the signature behaviour of this dysfunctional lot.

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  1. Talk about weak? Council, last week had its first ordinary meeting where planning matters were exclusively dealt with and now this week, they have the usual business: notices of motion, staff reports, etc. That is so weak to turn one week into two weeks. Too weak to have it all in one week.
    Go for it Fast Buck$.


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