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Byron Shire
April 20, 2021

Labor politician leads Tweed council back-flip on anti-Adani stance

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The Tweed Shire Council has performed a political back-flip on a 2017 promise to avoid hiring building companies contracted to Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine in central Queensland.

Councillors voted for the ban two years ago, with Tweed Shire Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry (Independent) saying they ‘wished to represent the views of the community’.

Cr Cherry said Adani didn’t have any approvals to mine in Carmichael at the time but people on the Tweed were concerned about potential environmental impacts of the project on the Great Barrier Reef.

Cr Reece Brynes. Photo Facebook.

Labor councillor flips anti-Adani ban in favour of jobs

Last week, Cr James Owen (Liberals) tabled a rescission on the 2017 vote and won majority support, meaning the ban no longer applies.

Cr Ron Cooper (Independent) was absent from the meeting and had originally supported an anti-Adani stance.

But a change of heart from Cr Reece Brynes (Labor) was enough to change council policy as he joined forces with Councillors Owen, Pryce Allsop (Independent) and Warren Polglase (Nationals).

Cr Byrnes told Echonetdaily although he initially voted for the ban and continues to share environmental impact concerns, state and federal government approvals of the Carmichael project mean the council has to ‘accept realities’.

‘My priority and Labor’s priority is always about creating more local jobs in the Tweed,’ he wrote in an email, ‘I make no apologies that Labor’s priority is always about creating jobs’.

The council had to ‘move away from a position of protest’ to one that wouldn’t ‘prohibit or hamper future projects and jobs for people in the tweed’, Cr Byrnes wrote.

Financial risk-aversion not an ideology, says deputy mayor

But Cr Cherry has told Echonetdaily hers was not a decision based on ideologies.

‘This is a decision based on limiting Councils financial risk,’ she wrote in an email.

Cr Cherry said very few companies on the Tweed were impacted by the council’s 2017 decision.

The councillor last week wrote to NewsCorp, asking a reporter at Tweed Daily News to let readers know the council’s ban applied to civil construction companies only.

She wrote of a ‘misunderstanding’ in the community that the council’s vote two years ago impacted on all tender processes.

‘If you have a company that tenders for other services or products then this requirement does not impact on you,’ Cr Cherry wrote.

‘It would appear the Carmichael mine project is financially extremely vulnerable,’ she wrote, before quoting from senior forensic accounting specialist from the University of Sydney, Professor van der Laan.

Professor van der Laan has described Adani as ‘effectively insolvent’ and says she wouldn’t have anything to do with the company.

Cr Cherry wrote ‘I think we, as a council, need to distance ourselves from this financial risk, just like the four major banks have done.’

The deputy mayor and Tweed Shire Mayor Katie Milne (Greens) lost their vote against the rescission.

  • This article has been updated since it was originally published to include a correction. Cr James Owen tabled the rescission, not Cr Reece Byrnes as originally written. Cr Byrnes voted in support of the rescission.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. In Federal Parliament the Australian Labor Party is called the Opposition because they oppose the government. The Opposition is a position of protest against the government.
    In religion we have the Catholics and we have the Protestants. They are called the Protestants because they protested.

  2. Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has removed the restrictions that were imposed two years ago on Tweed Shire Council. The Shire is now free to accept tenders from whatever human rights abusing or environment destroying corporations that can most loudly scream ‘jobs and growth’ at the ethically-impaired Labor Cr Reece Byrnes.

  3. Reece Brynes I’m only too happy to send you a truck-full of
    tools [shovels etc] so you can personally get on with the
    Shire’s work that needs doing. You’re young & fit enough to
    work as a labour man – loyal & true blue. Egg flippers are
    needed in this land of wonder who accept reality.

  4. Have any of these people done even a little research on Adani? Can’t believe our politicians are selling our country to these criminals.

  5. The Australian Labor Party hasn’t been the lesser of two evils since Hawke/Keating conned Australia into the economic rationalist straightjacket. Byrnes is simply doing the bidding of the billionaires and corporations that own Labor as much as they own the COALition. And under Albanese the ALP will be even more in lockstep with Scumo’s mob. (Or should that be “goose step”?).

    • Bruce and Michael,
      You’re both spot on, and I am surprised to hear that some still remember the history of politics in this post TRUTH Australia . There hasn’t been a labour voice since Gough was intimidated out of office by the CIA and ‘our ‘? ” graceous” Queen.
      G”)

  6. Good to see some common sense prevail! How does a ban on companies working with Adani save the Great Barrier Reef?
    Surely the environmental approvals they have sought and obtained provide the mechanisms and the requirements that they have to meet to ensure they don’t cause damage to the reef?

    • Sober up Scott !
      What planet are you on ?, or perhaps, what are you on ?
      The mere fact that this coal will be mined ensures that the Great Barrier Reef and much of the Earth will be severely impacted and the life of your grand children will be bleak ,to say the least .
      G”)

  7. Lets throw the cat amongst the pidgeons- thanks to the bob brown led Adani caravan polarising Queensland we now have a conservative government. I use to admire bob brown but now he is even opposing wind farming in tassie really! Remember there are more mines than adani in the carmichael basin including one from Clive but nobody seems to care about them.

  8. I’m a carrier of all at the moment. Gina
    Rinehart & Clive Palmer [buddies] do
    stir me up. Also, misquoting Bob’s
    a bit stiff. He’s not anti wind-farms.
    [And most of Tassie runs on hydro].
    Bob’s on about one farm that’s a giant
    of a farm named Robbins Island that’s
    a step to far. It’s also in a bad spot &
    because of height etc it is capable of
    killing wildlife.

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