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Byron Shire
April 17, 2021

Bypass, ambush and apologies

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Paul Jones – President, Butler St C’ty Network Inc

Michael Lyon owes me an apology. As you reported last week I had to withstand an extraordinary ambush by Councillor Lyon at the Council meeting after presenting a very difficult speech simply despairing at Council’s disconnect with its community and the unnecessary, stupid destruction they are imposing on people, place, natural habitat, and our future generations.

Demonstrating the complete lack of interest Councillor Lyon had for the content of my speech he was already prepared to post projections of some negative political poster of him and harassing me for posting them during his federal election bid. I was surprised and humiliated as I had not seen or been in any way associated with the offending material.

For the record I, on behalf of our community group, had privately emailed Cr Lyon as acting mayor with a detailed request to reconsider his position on the Byron Bay bypass for which he claimed he had ‘broad community support’. This was in light of the local Greens MP Tamara Smith’s call for a reconsideration, his obvious disregard for well-elucidated Greens policy, and his further parroting of what I have previously explained is a position based on the lies and deception that underpin the Butler Street bypass. We informed him that if he declined to reconsider his position we had no alternative but to call for his dis-endorsement by the local Byron Greens and call for a boycott of his election campaign.

In my opinion Councillor Lyon by his actions in Council has wrongly discriminated against me, and offended me, because of a stated political opposition, quite apart from the fact that, as I read it, this is expressly disallowed under the Local Government model code of conduct; this is right out of Dictatorship 101. How dare we suggest we might oppose him?

There is something wrong in the state of Byron Shire Council. The former general manager Ken Gainger referred to our community as the dissidents of Butler Street. We could not believe we had been branded as such, the word dissident being associated with opponents to totalitarian regimes and the likes of the KGB and Stasi.

Council has not responded to our consistent approaches.

This is consistent with the dictatorial attitude demonstrated by Councillor Lyon. I ask for an apology for me and my community. We may have lost the good fight but we will not lower our standards.

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  1. Paul Jones:
    Discrimination and defamation are linked but not the same. It depends on many circumstances.
    In your fourth paragraph you begin “In my opinion …”
    It is not up to your opinion. You are a businessman and in business and have a good business reputation in Byron and you have clients so it is up to them and in their opinion. If business to you begins to drop off and clients begin to go somewhere else and it is proved that your business reputation has begun to wain because of the stand you have made against Council and the Acting mayor then discrimination begins to take shape in a physical form against you. Then you have a case of discrimination. Many people do business with Byron Council so economics becomes apparent in how people act and how you are treated.

  2. It would be good to know where councilors like Micheal Lyon got their “green” credentials. This community deserves to know.


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