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.