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Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

What would Pollyanna say?

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Dr Ray Moynihan, Suffolk Park

I’ve read with increasing distress of the acrimonious divisions within the local green communities (Echonetdaily July 11, and 25). At risk of asking the bleeding obvious and being called a Pollyanna, is it not possible that important debates could occur with less malice and more mutual respect?

While sharing a common desire to protect the natural world and nurture more humane communities, it’s inevitable our views will diverge on broad approaches and specific strategies. There are people of goodwill on all sides of the current debates, including councillors past and present, distinguished activists, newspaper editors and others. My simple wish, and I suspect the wish of many, is that these arguments occur, loudly and rigorously when necessary, but without the venom of personal attack and with a deeper sense of solidarity.

As we all know, Byron, like many places, faces increasingly urgent challenges to its local environment: most immediately from development pressures. A key difference from other places is that Byron has long been home to a courageous cohort of green activists, and green councils, who act often with enormous local support. An obvious risk from the current rancour is that developers and their political agents will take advantage of it, with disastrous impacts.

I’m not calling for a fake show of unity, or keeping divisions hidden, but rather to conduct and report on debate in ways that help sustain our community, as well as our environment. 


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1 COMMENT

  1. Well Ray we founders of the Byron Greens, former councillors, long-term activists who held the line since the 80s have tried and tried to reason and share our experience with the present councillors who are relatively or very new arrivals. We have have done this at greens meetings, on a personal basis, by researching issues and addressing council meetings, by writing papers and imploring them in the media. We have been completely ignored in preference to very dodgy staff advice and blandishments.
    How long do you stay nice when you see decades of achievements going under a bus?

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