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Byron Shire
June 20, 2021

Fish kill apology sought

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Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay

I demand that Cr Michael Lyon issue a public apology for again slandering me in The Echo (Letters, 1 July) with his false claim that I requested Council staff be fired or prosecuted for killing thousands of fish when Byron Shire Council opened the Tallow Creek estuary in 2019.

When I addressed Council I described the opening as a reckless act because Council had been advised, on three occasions, that opening the estuary without rainfall or an aerator would likely result in a fish kill. I presented the facts.

I did not attack staff personally, or ask for any to be disciplined, sacked or fined. Michael’s lie is his whole rationale for attacking me.

In August 2019 I wrote to the NSW Fisheries Minister asking for Council, not staff, to be prosecuted, after I found out Council opened the estuary despite being warned it would likely cause a fish kill. I did not raise this in the meeting.

NPWS did fine Council, not staff, $1,000 for not complying with the opening rules.

Rather than making things up to denigrate me, Michael needs to identify and rectify what went wrong with Council’s processes that allowed them to override expert advice, to knowingly cause significant environmental harm. Changing the method of estuary opening will not address this.

To learn from your mistakes you first need to admit them.

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