25 C
Byron Shire
October 16, 2021

Are extra powers for local mayors needed during COVID-19?

Latest News

Let’s get real

AFL Aussie Rules Grand Final in Western Australia... Rugby League Grand Final in Queensland... Melbourne Cup in Tasmania?    Margaret Keating,...

Other News

International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day 2021

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is an annual day of remembrance for the families of lost babies and is observed on October 15.

Lismore landmark saved as Skimmo’s site DA knocked back

Lismore residents watch avidly last night as the drama of a development application for 135 Union Street South Lismore, played out on their little screens.

The say ‘beer’ a lot press conference on NSW opening up

Today the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet hosted a press conference at Watson’s Pub in Sydney's Moore Park. The theme of...

Lismore Council votes to naturalise Browns Creek

At Tuesday’s Lismore Council meeting, Councillor Vanessa Ekins moved a motion to begin the Browns Creek Naturalisation Project, which involves the removal of the existing concrete stormwater drain that traverses Lismore Park from Brewster Street through to Uralba Street, and reconstruction as a more natural watercourse.

Thanks David

Thank you David Heilpern for elucidating so eloquently a raft of issues that succinctly cover the current political climate…...

End the cult

A military conflict between China and the USA would very likely result in global nuclear war, a major setback...

While Byron Shire Council today debates giving far-reaching emergency decision making powers to Mayor Simon Richardson, Tweed Shire has already provided these powers to their mayor while Ballina’s mayor and councillors say they aren’t needed.

Ballina has not considered any extra powers for the mayor,’ said Ballina Mayor David Wright.

‘I work very closely with senior staff and this works well.’

Ballina Councillor Ben Smith told Echonetdaily that, ‘It greatly depends upon the dynamics between the Mayor and the general manager.

Ballina Mayor David Wright. Photo Eve Jeffery.

No extra powers needed in Ballina

There is no scenario where in Ballina Shire such a motion would be required. Our GM and management executive have been extremely proactive with regards to the COVID-19 situation. Staff initiated the initial response which provided over $800k of assistance to our community and they had covered all of the issues Councillors had discussed by the time it was put on the table, this demonstrates our processes are working and that staff and council are on the same page.’

Ballina Councillors Sharon Cadwallader and Jeff Johnson were both in agreement.

While a lot of councils are doing this I don’t believe it is necessary for Ballina Shire Council as the General Manager has very broad delegation which covers almost all situations,’ said Councillor Cadwallader.

‘One such example was when I asked to convene a meeting at council with the view to setting up the Business Connect Hotline, the General Manager facilitated that process without any hesitation or red tape standing in the way. That Hotline now established is proving to be a valuable resource during COVID-19 for both businesses and community members.’

In fact Councillor Johnson went so far as to say that he would be unlikely to support such measures for Ballina Shire Council.

Within the Ballina Shire there are committees of staff that have been making decisions based on the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions and other measures that they feel are necessary to provide greater safety to our community. 

‘I’m not sure what circumstances would require extra powers to be given to the Mayor and I’d be hesitant to support such a move. 

I have just finished a zoom meeting of the Council and these appear to be working well. If there are decisions that are required to be made by Councillors i’m sure a zoom or other type of software could be held to get a quick decision from the majority of Council.’

Mayor of Tweed, Cr Katie Milne and Deputy Mayor, Cr Chris Cherry. Photo supplied.

Tweed Council took action in early April

The NSW Government sent out advice for all Council’s to review their delegations in light of the pandemic.,’ said Tweed Mayor Katie Milne.

‘Tweed resolved to make delegations on the 2 April meeting. I did include extra conditions so the delegation is to the Mayor and/or Deputy Mayor and General Manager jointly, and that it can only be used for issues that cannot be deferred to a future Council meeting.

‘Our main concern was that we might not be able to reach a quorum if the majority of our Councillors fell ill.  Council would not be able to fully function under such circumstances as certain decisions such as budgets and major contracts cannot be delegated to the staff.’

The delegation was passed unanimously by all councillors at the 2 April meeting said Councillor James Owen.

However, Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry confirmed that,’here in the Tweed we plan to continue having online webcast meetings to allow the full democratic process to continue occurring as per usual.’

♦ Lismore City Mayor Isaac Smith and Lismore Councillors were contacted but did not respond prior to publicaiton.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Mandatory vax

I write to you in response to the article on the front page of The Echo relating to mandatory vax. I find it extremely...

End the cult

A military conflict between China and the USA would very likely result in global nuclear war, a major setback to human civilisation and possibly...

Hundreds queue to have COVID test and two new cases in the NNSWLHD

Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) is urging people to continue coming forward for testing and vaccination after two further COVID-19 cases were reported in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, October 14. 

Charges after cars damaged in police pursuit – Coffs Harbour

Police say a man has been charged following a pursuit, where a number of cars – including an unmarked police car – were sideswiped on the Mid-North Coast yesterday.