Dennis Stevenson, Ocean Shores
In voting on 27 June to install parking meters in Brunswick Heads shopping area, of the nine Byron Shire councillors, only Basil Cameron represented the people by voting No.
Community polling shows that 89.7 per cent of residents and 91.2 per cent local businesses oppose meters. Meanwhile, TPS, the consultants hired by Council, reported that meters were unnecessary.
This demonstrates the usual problem with polls, mass protests, election-candidate promises, lobbying, independent reviews, and petitions, even those that overwhelmingly demonstrate our will. We have no way to ensure democracy.
In western democracies there is a growing trend towards direct, popular law-making. Switzerland, Canada, the USA, Italy, and Austria all use it in different forms. Australia has mandatory binding referendums on proposed constitutional change. Binding referendums allow voters to settle any divisive issue.
So what of the meters? Let’s increase the campaign for true representation, insisting that paid parking not proceed, either in Brunswick, Mullumbimby, or Bangalow.
Perhaps people may also wish to put councillors on notice that if meters are installed, we will only elect future councillors sworn to remove them.