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Byron Shire
June 18, 2021

Apprehended violence order (AVO) or political wedge?

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Tom Tabart, Victorian Greens

I see the pile-on has begun and the pursuit of Fast Buck$ (John Anderson) is in full cry. I realise there is little hope of injecting any semblance of history and balance in this instance against a background of the dreadful state of violence against women.

However, a little history may not go amiss. I joined the Greens in 1992 and together with Ian Cohen, Jan Barham, Duncan Dey, Jo Faith and others formed the Byron Greens (BG), which has probably been the most successful Greens group in NSW. I served two terms on Council and stood as a candidate for Richmond. For many years I was the secretary/ convenor of the BG.

In the Greens’ preselection for the current Council I stood as a candidate. Simon Richardson standing for his second term as mayor brought along Sarah Ndiaye and promoted her as a future mayor. Sarah had previously had no contact with the Greens, she finished last in the vote and withdrew. When I had to move away from the Shire Sarah was back on the ticket.

The history of the performance of the Richardson Council is well documented; Simon decided that scrutiny and control of Council staff (governance) would not be to his advantage and opted instead for photo ops with developers and National party politicians.

Sarah has been his willing helper and ended down the selection preference for the coming election but was promoted to a higher position using a NSW Greens rule that a woman should be at least second on any ticket.

Fast Buck$ has been an unrelenting and informed fighter for the public good since the Northern Rivers’ land rorts scandals of the 1980s. He has displayed great moral courage in his many battles and once took on and defeated Alan Bond in court over a local development.

His battles with the current Council, which I shared for a while, were a source of great frustration. Despite having a level of experience and history far exceeding the councillors, we were pointedly ignored and often insulted.

Buck$’ little stroll down the aisle behind Sarah was ill-advised, but despite his verbal forcefulness he is physically harmless. It was also a bad political move giving Cr Ndiaye a perfect opportunity to utilise the totally unnecessary AVO option.

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  1. Thank god we received Sarah and not some blinkered dark green candidates who would prefer keeping Byron Shire residents living in an 80s dream of bare foot bohemians smoking marijuana dreaming of living in tents .
    Love that our mayor and councillors stood firm with the railway park upgrade and stood firm on the Butler St bypass, they are wonderful and very well used .
    After living in Byron Bay from 1964 to 2019 I sadly left looking for a progressive shire to live , which is Ballina Shire .
    After leaving the Railway Park , Butler St Bypass , Suffolk Park Cycleway and the Masterplan of the Rail Corridor precinct was finally realised .
    No thanks to the previous NO to everything council who either sat on infrastructure projects or was too afraid of tackling large infrastructure projects .
    Thanks Simon and Sarah plus the other great councillors for standing strong and tall.


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