Acting mayor Michael Lyon (Greens) has defended Council’s governance, claiming there is ‘broad community support’ for the Butler bypass project.
The Echo asked, ‘Since Tamara Smith (Greens) was re-elected with a majority of around 55/45 last week, have you changed your attitude towards large developments underway, especially in Byron CBD? Smith was the only candidate who ran on a platform of pausing major developments, yet the Greens in Council appear to have a completely different view.
‘Given the election was a clear result in terms of public sentiment for many issues, including development, will you work with Ms Smith to get a better outcome than is currently underway?’
He replied, ‘This is a collegiate Council focused on good governance’.
‘Case in point is the [Byron] bypass, which, despite the disproportionate airplay [The Echo] gives detractors, has broad community support.
‘Many would-be Greens voters communicated to me that the one concern they had if Tamara Smith were elected was that the bypass would be halted. I assured them there were plenty of other very good reasons to vote Greens and my feeling is that local development had little to do with us holding Ballina’.
Another Echo question was, ‘Who mentors the Greens councillors? Are there any? Given the Greens councillors do not have any relationship with the elder/retired Greens, is your only guidance and mentorship with staff? If so, how does that benefit the community?’
Lyon replied, ‘I have good relationships with many of the elder crew, including Tom [Tabart], Ian [Cohen] and Duncan [Dey] to name a few as well as many of the older crew behind the scenes. There are plenty of mentors and their experience is invaluable’.
♦ The Echo stands by its coverage of those affected by the bypass and bus interchange. Responsible media should give a voice to those affected by large developments and question transparency and process, especially Council-state government led developments such as these – Editor.