Cr Jeannette Martin, Mullumbimby
In response to John Anderson’s (aka Fast Buck$) advertisement in last week’s Echo (Jun2, 2021), I feel I must set things straight. As usual, Mr Anderson has got it so very wrong – nothing particularly strange about that – councillors, council staff and the public gallery experience his often malicious and misinformed shenanigans repeatedly at every Council meeting.
In stating that Sarah Ndiaye went to Tweed Heads to take out the AVO (apprehended violence order), he is misleading the public yet again.
Sarah did not go to Tweed Heads police station, nor was there any political play involved. This was not something she planned to do – the police were called to the Council meeting when, once again, he refused to leave. Police approached her at Council and it was their decision, not hers, to issue the provisional AVO on Mr Andersen.
Police have been called to remove Mr Anderson from the Council chambers on several occasions now because of his refusal to leave and his obnoxious behaviour. In one of the latest episodes, he was not asked to leave Council chambers just because he mispronounced Sarah’s name. It was because he repeatedly refused to pronounce it correctly, and became quite belligerent, swearing at members of the gallery, ultimately obstructing Council procedures with his rantings.
His aggressive behaviour towards Sarah has been ongoing, from insulting statements directed at her, to blocking doorways, pulling faces, as well as his regular, well documented jibes at her in the local newspaper. She is a tough cookie but he hasn’t made any secret of his intentions to intimidate her. It’s all been very public. Clearly he has set out to undermine her and how you could ever associate her work with a ‘right wing, development at all costs’ agenda is ridiculous and completely at odds with her voting record.
Sarah has a right to a safe workplace, and trying to work under a sense of threat is not acceptable.
The police acknowledged that his behaviour warranted an AVO and to formalise the process it had to be heard in court.
Sarah was asked, on very short notice by the police – the morning of, to attend Byron Court in case the judge had questions for her. I went with her as a friend and work colleague. While we were there, another acquaintance who, as a legal professional, was attending another matter, decided to stay to give extra support to Sarah in these very unpleasant proceedings. Despite everything that was going on, John Anderson continued to hover at an uncomfortably close distance. I was glad I was there.
I hope this situation is settled quickly – there are far more important matters to be dealt with than Mr Andersen’s continued attempts at wasting time and resources. I don’t doubt that he believes that, since the 1980s, he is still fighting corruption – but he’s not. I can hardly remember an interesting or insightful question he’s brought to councillors – particularly that hasn’t already been addressed. And most are completely off the mark. He is just stuck in trying to be relevant, and it’s very, very sad.
Mr Andersen, as I once said to you personally, you need to get a new hobby. This one is not working for you, or anyone else for that matter.