13.4 C
Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Editorial – Road funding announcement turns into a political dumpster fire

Latest News

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Other News

The Channon resilient after disaster

Northern Rivers communities are nothing if not resilient and The Channon community is preparing to take a proactive stance when it comes to disasters in the area.

Tweed council adopts Jack Evans Boat Harbour plan

The Tweed Shire Council has announced that they have adopted the Plan of Management for the Jack Evans Boat Harbour precinct.

Professor Graham Samuel says dementia care is personal

In a moving address to the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, Dementia Australia Chair Professor Graham Samuel AC shared his personal experience of dementia – the anguish, bewilderment, frustration and torment experienced by his mother as she descended into the abyss of the disease.

Will the Shenhua Watermark coal mine be cancelled?

News is trickling through unofficial channels about the possibility of a Berejiklian government plan to buy out the remaining licence from the Shenhua Watermark coal mine project at Breeze in the state's west.

Common courtesy

Anonymous, Byron Bay First of all, thank you to those customers who did the right thing and wore their masks in...

Beware of flood damage scams

NSW Fair Trading is warning consumers about opportunistic tradespeople trying to take advantage during the flood recovery process as the state gets back on its feet.

Local MP Tamara Smith was once again not invited to the state government funding announcement of over $2m for local roads. Maybe it’s misogyny? Photo Byron Shire Council.

Hans Lovejoy, editor

There was a terrific announcement of $2.28 million in road funding for some of Byron’s worst roads by two odd bedfellows last week – the non-elected local Nationals representative and the Greens mayor.

It was odd because the elected local NSW Greens MP, Tamara Smith, wasn’t invited to join the celebrations. Nor was she mentioned by either of them as they gushed over each other on location in Tyagarah. We’ll get to that later.

The Council press release reads, ‘Grays Lane will now be sealed to the boundary of the Tyagarah Nature Reserve and raised to reduce flooding. A 700m section of Seven Mile Beach Road at Broken Head will also be sealed from the Broken Head Reserve Road intersection to the Kings Beach carpark’.

Wahoo! Yet what wasn’t mentioned was that this funding appears tied exclusively to plans of management (PoMs) for these areas. They were quietly adopted by NSW Parks and Wildlife late last year. PoMs are handy documents because they provide the go ahead to increase tourism and development, for example.

A Council staff member took the rap for not inviting Ms Smith to the announcement, despite Ms Smith providing Council a PR comment and ‘supporting the government at the request of Council for the funding’.

There is yet to be reply from the mayor as to whether he apologised to his Greens counterpart for the lack of an invitation.

What is confusing, dear reader, is that the Greens mayor isn’t particularly aligned with the values of the NSW or federal Greens.

That’s created conflict within the local Greens Party. Instead, he appears right at home with the ideals of the National Party.

The Echo asked Mr Franklin if he had ever invited Tamara Smith to a funding announcement. He replied, ‘It is appropriate that significant government funding is announced by a member of the government. She has other funds over which she has discretion – like the Community Building Partnerships Program for example – which it is appropriate for her to announce’. 

Meanwhile Ms Smith told The Echo, ‘In the 16 years my Nationals predecessor [Don Page] was in opposition, he was invited by the then Labor government to attend state funding announcements. Maybe it’s misogyny?’

From Franklin’s reply, it appears his strategy at the next state election (he failed at the last one in 2019) will include bombarding the public with a narrative that the Greens were never elected.

While it seems to lack grace, it fits perfectly with the continual erosion of political discourse, which leads to nowhere good.

We want good, right?

News tips are welcome: [email protected]


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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. If the Mayor would like to win kudos for road upgrades he would do well to outline how compliance to the Shire’s existing environmental laws are now to be upheld in Tyagarah and Broken Head. He would be applauded for outlining how the Tyagarah Creek floodplain is to be protected from development, how wildlife is to be protected from increasing traffic and how sex tourists can be prevented from using and destroying the dune ecology in the Tyagarah Beach Nature Reserve.

  2. There needs to be an explanation.
    What does this sentence actually mean:
    “Wahoo! Yet what wasn’t mentioned was that this funding appears tied exclusively to plans of management (PoMs) for these areas.”
    These roads are public roads, so just because the road is tarred it does not put the use of the road into the Plan of Management of any land beside the road. To attach the road to a PoM is that not like privatising the road and that parking meters could be put at the end of the road without consultation.

  3. Oh, please. Even if the Member for Ballina were invited, she never shows up for ANYTHING. She is an incredibly lazy representative for the seat of Ballina and most local orgs are sick of inviting her to things only to have her office cancel at the last minute.

  4. In my and many others’ experience, if you invite Tamara Smith MP to an event she simply doesn’t show up, or cancels at the last minute.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Your Local Club Academy Games

The North Coast Academy of Sport prepared its largest squad ever to compete at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games, held in the Hunter region last weekend.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 21 April, 2021

Check out entertainment listings for the week, with music, dance, cinema and all sorts events happening in and around the Byron Shire

Interview with Toni Childs

Internationally celebrated musician, Emmy winner and three times Grammy nominee Toni Childs is bringing her show to The Brunswick Picture House. With two acts, Childs is promising a special two hour performance as she celebrates her vast catalogue of music, which also saw her celebrate the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union in 2019.

Jungle juice

There are times when water just doesn’t cut it. And luckily, for those times, there is Jungle Juice.