A Dickens, Brunswick Heads
Re: Simon Richardson’s response to the concerns raised by Tamara Smith MP (Echo page 1, August 14) that Council’s map clearly shows a critically endangered rainforest that would support animal species at risk by the bypass.
Simon Richardson’s response was if the project is delayed it will cost ratepayers more money. Maybe if Simon Richardson ensured all environmental investigations needed had been completed by Council staff before charging ahead he would not have put the ratepayers in this position.
Simon Richardson seems to have forgotten the platform he ran on to be elected as a councillor – that of a Green, a person concerned about our environment.
I was approached by Simon Richardson to join the Waste Water Advisory Committee (WWAC) in 2016 to be part of a team to make recommendations to the elected council. I quickly realised Simon Richardson would not allow management on the committee to be questioned on some issues that could have environmental ramifications. I was also surprised by the lack of questions on issues that could have an adverse environmental impact by Richardson, Lyon, Ndiaye, and Corey.
The closure of the Ocean Shores Sewerage Treatment plant and the cost of infrastructure needed to pump the raw sewage across to Valances Road STP plus the possible environmental impact this pipeline potentially represented seemed of no concern to our three Greens councillors.
The Council-owned laboratory in the Byron industrial estate, on which a lot of ratepayer money had been spent getting a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation, should have been a significant asset to Council, presenting the opportunity for people and industries to identify environmental risks before they became a problem. They just closed it.
Simon Richardson promised transparency previously but information from staff is impossible to get. I as a member of the committee was told I could not contact staff for information; the information I wanted was not of a confidential nature but committee members cannot talk to staff. I did not find this in line with Simon Richardson’s statement promising an open and transparent council.