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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Ostrich politics in the Byron Shire

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Cr Paul Spooner, Byron Shire Council

Byron Shire is changing and we need to change with the times.

Looking back to a golden age of activism and saying ‘No’ to any development is just engaging in ‘ostrich politics’. The day of the ‘ism’ is dead.

Much better we wake up to this before we hand over the family jewels to snake-oil salesmen and north coast grifters.

Stopping tourism developments may have saved a snail but it delivered a town of holiday lets on steroids increasingly devouring a community.

Refusing to adequately plan for community infrastructure created a culture that tolerates crappy roads not out of place in the backwaters of a third-world country.

Focusing on the ‘big picture’ delivered us a big, shiny ding-a-ling.

Arguing about bringing back a mythical train line has forced a bypass to be built through a wetland.

Rather than once again gathering at the ‘Barricades of Dissent’ maybe it’s time to change tactics.

What about backing in the elected council so it can effectively negotiate with other levels of government and developers from a position of strength and unity?

Not exactly the ‘Byron Way’ but definitely preferable to the squabbling, rambling mess that the ‘Byron Bubble’ has recently descended into.

As Pablo Casals observed on his 80th birthday, ‘The situation is hopeless. We must take the next step.’

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  1. Some good sense here, Paul. And I know it’s hard to put much detail in a letter but a bit like the Greens’ justifications in its sweeping generalisations. Just like the mantra: ‘is development is bad’ is ostrich like so the mantra: ‘is development is good’ is just another ‘ism’ and a very disturbing one.

    Development needs to be very carefully and strategically planned in an area attracting rapacious greed with the prime areas constrained by lack of available land and huge infrastructure challenges. Just how do you fix Ewingsdale Road? How do you adequately plan for 2 million visitors to a small population? Oversimplification to suggest it’s just a matter of getting with the times.

    Each decision needs to be taken on its own merits not ‘isms’ and I’d like some specific examples (apart from the train issue) to really understand what you mean.

    Besides should someone telling us to get with it really channel Chuck Berry? ?? Loved it tho!

  2. “Much better we wake up to this before we hand over the family jewels to snake-oil salesmen and north coast grifters.” That is so funny. You are about 20 years too late.

  3. Councillor Spooner what on earth are you talking about? Your argument is irrational, lacking in structure and definition, and employing useless circular rhetoric. Thats the last time I bother to expect literacy from anything written by you, ever again
    According to you, we are to ‘back an elected council’ and not ‘oppose’. That’s about all the sense I can make or your bumbling, rambling mess of words. And what sort of sense is that? This council has no mandate to carry on as it has. Eveyrone knows that, everyone except you apparently.

    As the illegal acts by Byron Shire Council and the elected individuals are slowly but surely made transparent and action is taken by the appropriate authorities, looks like we can expect to see your name not with BSC printed to it, but in print on other, more novel types of official documents


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