28.5 C
Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Byron Council moves to censor critic

Latest News

The amazing world of seeds

Hilary Bain If it wasn’t for seeds and plants, we humans, along with all the animals, birds and insects would...

Other News

Housing affordability on agenda at Ballina

With the housing crisis worsening in Ballina and across the Northern Rivers, councillors agreed that something had to be done about the problem at their meeting yesterday.

Action on Cumbalum Interchange at Ballina?

Following multiple community requests, Cr Phillip Meehan brought a motion to the last Ballina Council meeting calling for additional ramps to be built at the Cumbalum-Pacific Motorway interchange.

Blue-green algae amber alert still active at Uki

Last Thursday Tweed Shire Council issued an amber alert for blue-green algae in the Tweed River at Uki, with Clarrie Hall Dam remaining on a green alert. This morning they say the alerts are still active.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: There is no place like home… actually there are no places

Local low income residents in Byron Bay are the human koalas of our Shire. They too have lost much of their habitat. We need affordable housing now, not in three years, or five years, or ten. Now.

Australia’s bastardry

Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay Australia has a long string of racist and anti-humanitarian policies. These range from its...

‘The Great Reset’

Gary Opit, Wooyung I appreciated the letter by Lucas Wright (17 February) on the Great Reset conspiracy fantasy. With our...

Christ Buck$ blesses Council as he joins the flock. Photo Jeff ‘Shepherd’ Dawson

After many years of inconvenience to the local government establishment, Council’s general manager Mark Arnold is now considering whether to refuse public access to agitator Fast Buck$, aka John Anderson.

In a June 19 letter to Mr Anderson, the GM offers him a chance to say – within four days – why he should be allowed to ask questions. It follows Mayor Simon Richardson’s expulsion of Mr Anderson from the meeting last week.

The letter to Mr Anderson alleges his ‘ongoing failure to adhere to Council’s Code of Meeting Practice and for ignoring requests by staff to behave in a safe and appropriate manner’.

Clause 4.30 of the code is cited as grounds for the action.

Mr Anderson replied to the GM by saying no evidence has been specified for the alleged breach. 

‘Because you (supposedly) don’t record public access, you’ll have a bit of trouble getting your case together, won’t you. You may “require” me to do anything you like, but that doesn’t mean I’m obliged to do it’.

Mr Anderson then goes on to call the current Greens councillors the GM’s ‘trained monkeys’ and alleges Council is run by the National Party.

Mayor expels Mr Anderson

Mayor Simon Richardson. Photo David Hancock

Meanwhile, Greens Mayor Simon Richardson defended his decision to lead a vote to expel Mr Anderson at the last Council meeting.

Independent Cr Basil Cameron told The Echo, the vote ‘was put very quickly without debate or explanation’.

‘In the absence of any debate or explanation to councillors from the Mayor, the move to expel John Anderson gave every appearance of being an arbitrary act of power.’

But the mayor told The Echo, ‘Owing to COVID-19 restrictions, no member of the public is currently allowed to be in a council meeting, and Mr Anderson knows this well. When Mr Anderson entered the chamber and refused to leave, we should have simply not begun the meeting and called the police for his removal, which would have resulted in a fine for breaching State Government legislated COVID-19 breaches’. 

‘Instead, after his request for a vote on the matter, I held one and the majority voted for his removal and this for the meeting to commence. Since then, we have learned about the proper way to ensure a persons removal if unfortunately it is needed and we will be using this process henceforth’. 

Cr Cameron added, ‘Using COVID-19 regulations without explanation against a vociferous and obvious political opponent looks like overreach.’

‘Mr Anderson’s belligerent approach generally fails to persuade councillors, and there are times when his disorderly conduct would justify expulsion; however, a transparent approach that is within power is the only way to move.  ‘These are fundamental protections built into our legal system to ensure that allegation and judgement are not the same thing’.

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.


  1. I don’t trust this council however, Fast Buck$ is a self absorbed attention seeker. He was happy to trash the local rainforest and break the laws with his dance parties but is always quick to criticize the council.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Ballina Shire Council meeting wrap-up

The last Ballina meeting was another bruising encounter for some councillors, though there were several unanimous decisions too.

Storylines: Uluru Statement from the Heart

The 'Uluru Statement from the Heart' seeks constitutional reform to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a say and be involved over matters that impact their lives.

‘Groundhog Day’ shifts Splendour to November

Splendour in the Grass 2021 organisers say that Groundhog Day jokes aside, the festival will be rescheduled for a late spring edition, from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November.

Lennox Rise development clears another hurdle

The massive new residential development planned west of Epiq in Lennox Head continued its progress towards becoming reality at the last Ballina Shire Council meeting.