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Byron Shire
April 14, 2021

The ongoing bypass/Greens councillors controversy

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Warren Kennedy, Mullumbimby

The ongoing bypass/Greens councillors controversy has reminded me why I don’t vote Greens even though their policies generally reflect how I think Australia should be governed.

Their rigid adherence to hard-line environmental ideals drives them to an intransigent position of never compromising and trying to save every last snail, which leads them to extremes. They have no prospect of forming government so it’s easy for them to stick to extreme positions because they know they’ll never have to act on any them.

The local Greens councillors, however, don’t have this luxury. They have to act for the benefit of all residents of the Shire. They inhabit the world of real politick where almost all action requires some compromise; politics being the art of the possible, after all.

What would be the effect of Mitchell’s rainforest snail joining the billions of other species in extinction? Well, nothing much. Climate change won’t suddenly get worse. Darkness won’t envelop Earth. A ‘fitter’ species will move over and the world will roll on without a hiccup.

What’s needed is a dose of reality. In the real world species go extinct all the time, with and without human assistance. It’s a natural process and it’s extremely unrealistic to imagine we can save every threatened species.

And in the real world councils sometimes have to make difficult decisions that require councillors to compromise their ideals. This requires some courage especially when the decisions provoke extreme responses from part of the community.

At the next council elections, for the first time, I’ll seriously consider voting Greens, because the Greens councillors have demonstrated a willingness to engage with reality in a way their state and federal colleagues never have.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Of course government involves compromise but it’s your attitude to biodiversity that strikes me as extreme. There are many thousands of endangered species around the world and the extinction rates we have experienced in the last few decades go way beyond anything to be expected from natural selection. Each loss affects our delicately balanced eco system in totally unpredictable ways.

    If those responsible all take the same attitude that one more doesn’t matter, it’s bound to soon be homo the non sapiens that joins the IUCN’s red list.

    Besides, much better alternatives existed for the bypass.

  2. WOW the stupidity and cynical self serving garbage some people come up with to justify their lack of concern over anything is mirrored in this driveling load of nonsense. The idea that the destruction of remnant wetlands is only a ” hiccup’ in evolution shows just how uneducated some people truly are. I doubt he ever has voted anything but LNP so claiming to like the way the Greens would govern is nonsense as it is their unbending devotion to the environment that sees them being so much more principled than the other scumbags who people our politics. The Greens Councillors have compromised their integrity and not listened to the community. Facts are an alternative to this bypass route exists alongside the railway track which is already there, and it would not take much to use that route. The council has not made a realistic decision it has made a stupid one, and it will pay at the ballot box come election time. So isn’t it such a mealy mouthed technique to call people ” extremists” and such like when they go against your shallow and pathetic ideas these days? Maybe you also think that the old adage ” power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely” is actually a policy and not a warning.

  3. The Greens are regularly part of governments. They are part of the current ACT government, for example. To say they can never be in government or that they don’t have to govern is just flat out false.

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