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Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Council in vogue

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Malcolm Price, Durrumbul

It has been fashionable to tear down our local council for as long as I can remember, it is a blood sport, as if either those who represent us or the staff have no relation to us the collective community.

There is no doubt Council is flawed, fallible but if we are honest probably less so then the big crazy, exuberant, wonderful, and oppositionally defiant community they serve. If we tear it down then what? If we continually batter it like a child in a tantrum, is continuing communication more or less likely?

I say this from a position of being one of the children. I am writing here to applaud Council’s recent efforts, particularly in regards to important strategic planning they have conducted in the last 2 to 3 years.

The body of work including: the master plans for Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Bangalow; The Draft Residential; The Draft Employment Lands; and the recent Multiuse Rail Corridor report represent great community consensus process, and most of the content is impressive and farsighted.Similar planning twenty years ago probably would have avoided disasters like West Byron and the badly located Byron Central Hospital. I don’t agree with all of it, but I think it is time to trust and act, even a sceptical trust.

After all the alternative is probably to watch money take over, the best bits of the community disappear, as we sink into the mud.


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