24.3 C
Byron Shire
December 5, 2022

Two Lismore councillors call it quits

Latest News

Monash report: women will wait 200 years for income equity

The first Australian Women’s Health and Wellbeing Scorecard: Towards equity for women from Monash University found that at current rates it will take 70 years to reach full-time employment equality with men, and more than 200 years to reach income equity.

Other News

Handball bouncing kids back after the floods

Following the 2022 floods, Albert Park Public School teacher Troy Davies had an idea to bring about a bit of much-needed fun into students’ lives by suggesting the handball competition to beat them all.

Blue-green algae at Clarrie Hall Dam

Low levels of blue-green algae has been detected at Clarrie Hall Dam, Tweed’s main facility for water storage. A green alert has been issued for the dam.

Pod homes for Lismore ready for residents

The Southern Cross University temporary housing site is now officially operational and serving as a home for flood affected Lismore locals.

Barrio now open every Sunday

If you’re already dreaming about the weekend, how does spending a long lunch at Barrio Eatery & Bar sound? Owing...

Infatuating audiences

Byron Bay indie-rock outfit The Collifowers have made a habit of infatuating audiences all along the east coast with...

Car drives into side of Byron homelessness cottage

A key homelessness service in Byron Bay is undergoing significant repairs after a car drove into part of the facility last week.

Councillors Gianpiero Battista and Greg Bennett back row centre, decided to stand aside now rather than wait another 12 months.

Last week Lismore City Council gave their thanks to Councillors Gianpiero Battista and Greg Bennett for their service to the Council and the community.

A council press release said that prior to COVID-19, a number of Councillors had privately indicated that they would not be seeking re-election once their terms finished in September this year.

As a result of COVID-19, the current term of all NSW councils was extended by 12 months.

Councillor Battista and Councillor Bennett decided to stand aside now rather than wait another 12 months.

Councillor Battista, whose resignation is effective as of last Thursday, has served the community as a Councillor for the last 12 years.

Councillor Bennett, whose resignation is effective as of this Thursday,  August 13, has been a councillor for eight years.

Connecting with amazing people in the community

Mr Battista said one of the highlights of my his 12 years was connecting with amazing people in the community and having had the opportunity to serve as Deputy Mayor in 2016.

He said dealing with the eclectic range or Lismore shire residents was a matter of being able to listen to every view and make decisions based on good information and without political biases.

Mr Battista said that stopping the Special Rate Variation (SRV) was one of his greatest achievement/s. ‘Also, increasing the local content from 10% to 20% for all Council tenders over $150,000, reduction of 20 % in CBD rates, and support for NORPA, Art Gallery and The Museum.’

Mr Battista said being able to represent ratepayers is one of the things he will miss about being on Council but he is looking forward. ‘I joined Fire and Rescue NSW last year and I am now a retained firefighter and I will be serving my community in this role.’

A big job requiring a lot of different skills

Echonetdaily spoke to Cr Vanessa Ekins, who is a 16 year veteran in her fourth term, about the difficulties of being on a local council. ‘Being a councillor is a big job that requires a lot of different skills,’ she said.

‘It requires a minimum of 15 hours a week, for example, this week I chair floodplain committee meet and have an ordinary meeting – that actual meeting time is six hours but I spend 10 just reading the 4,200 pages of documents, and this doesn’t include responding to emails and phone calls.

‘Committee meetings and other civic commitments interfere with work opportunities – I have casual work as a high school teacher and have refused half my work offers due to council commitments.

Cr Ekins says that when most people are coming home from work, councillors are heading into chambers which takes them away from family and friends. ‘This was particularly hard for me as a single parent.’

Cr Ekins says being on council does have its upside. ‘There are rewards such as having a wholistic view of issues confronting our community and having a say in future planning, and getting access to people and places not usually available in our social sphere. There is also negative trolling – my social media pages are private to avoid the poison.’

Battista and Bennett thanked for leadership

Lismore City Council management and staff wish to thank both Battista and Bennett for their leadership over their years of service and wish them well for the future.

The NSW Government’s Office of Local Government has previously determined that due to COVID-19, no by-elections will be held to replace any councillor who resigns before the rescheduled Council elections on 4 September, 2021.


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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

So you think someone needs a puppy for Christmas?

If you’re thinking about giving your loved one a puppy as a gift this Christmas, Dogs Australia urges you to think twice.

Handball bouncing kids back after the floods

Following the 2022 floods, Albert Park Public School teacher Troy Davies had an idea to bring about a bit of much-needed fun into students’ lives by suggesting the handball competition to beat them all.

Pianos delivered, for the people!

Following the devastating 2022 floods, Pianos for the People answered the call to bring music to the people of the Northern Rivers. 

Migrant workers exploited and ripped off

Unions NSW say that a firewall between the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Department of Home Affairs is needed to protect migrant workers from deportation when they report exploitation, as new data reaffirms rife underpayment across Australia.