22.7 C
Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

Former Greens councillor to run for Ballina Mayor

Latest News

COVID update December 3: One new case and advice for international travellers

One new case of COVID-19 was reported for Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) in the 24 hours to...

Other News

Want to make your own nest box and help with bushfire recovery on Friday?

Conservation Volunteers Australia are running a nest-building workshop in one of Australia’s most biodiverse hotspots, the Nightcap Range, ‘to create homes and hope for wildlife’.

Historical truth

Some people choose to rewrite history when it suits them. Former mayor Simon Richardson has been telling people that...

A little rail tale

There is still a chance to save our wonderful railway line between Casino and Murwillumbah, especially in the Byron...

Remember Ocean Shores?

When Ocean Shores – now the largest town in the Byron Shire – was established, Council enforced strict directives....

Laurel Lodge open for community housing

North Coast Community Housing (NCCH) has officially opened 12 refurbished fit-for-purpose homes in the former Lismore Base Hospital accommodation known as Laurel Lodge.

Wilsons River flood peak and flooding not expected for Tweed, Rouse, Brunswick River catchments

The prediction provided by the Bureau of Meteorology expects that locals around the Wilsons River at Lismore will see the river peak this afternoon at 4.20m. However, ‘Flooding is no longer expected in the Tweed, Rouse, Brunswick River catchments.

Ballina Shire councillor Jeff Johnson.

Independent Ballina Shire Councillor Jeff Johnson has confirmed he’ll be running for mayor in September’s local government elections.

Ballina Shire Council candidate for The Greens Kiri Dicker revealed the former Greens member had the party’s support for his campaign two weeks ago, before Cr Johnson had publicly announced it.

Lennox Head resident Kiri Dicker is running for The Greens in the 2021 Ballina Shire Council election. PIC: supplied.

Ms Dicker said the party decided not to run for mayor in the Ballina Shire election since none of the candidates have council experience, although Ms Dicker has campaigned as an independent.

Cr Johnson was asked last week to confirm whether or not the news of his mayoral campaign was true.

‘I will be putting my hand up again for the election, at the forthcoming council elections in Ballina,’ Cr Johnson said.

‘I’ve been on Ballina Council now, representing the community for the last three terms and I’m still passionate about representing my community and being involved so I will be nominating again,’ he said.

Cr Johnson refuses to give up on protecting Seven Mile Beach from ‘4WD tourism’

Councillor Johnson said he wasn’t giving up on his campaign to end what he calls 4-wheel drive tourism on Seven Mile Beach, despite failing to win majority support in the council for two recent motions aimed at restricting access to locals.

‘The motion went down 5-4, which was quite disappointing given we have the statistics and data in now,’ Cr Johnson said.

The latest data on 4WD permits at Seven Mile Beach showed more than a 50 per cent increase this financial year, Cr Johnson said, with about 90 per cent issued as single-day permits.

‘The number of vehicles down there who don’t even bother to get permits can be up to 50 per cent of the vehicles on the beach,’ he said, ’Council has installed a gate at the 4WD entrance however it is left open twenty-four seven’.

4WD vehicles on Seven Mile Beach, 14 November 2020. Photo Coastal Defenders Network.

Cr Johnson said a few councillors were ‘happy to sit on their hands and wait for the Coastal Reserve Management Plan to be updated’, a process expected to take at least six months.

‘We can’t discuss it again in the next couple of months,’ Cr Johnson said, ‘but if I’m elected to the council I’ll certainly be bringing this up’.

Community first ‘within prescribed framework’ says Cr Johnson

Cr Johnson said addressing the local Northern Rivers housing crisis was also one of his priorities, having recently won the support of his fellow Ballina Shire councillors for a new version of the shire’s affordable housing policy.

But he expressed a cautionary approach to confronting concerns of inappropriate development.

‘I will always put the community first over developers,’ he wrote in a statement to The Echo last week, ‘but Council has to work within its prescribed framework otherwise we would just end up in court all the time and waste money and Council resources’.

‘That can be frustrating but as Mayor I would take those decisions very seriously,’ he said.

Jobs, economy and amenity on mayoral candidate’s agenda

Cr Johnson trying to maintain or improve Ballina’s local amenity and services was ‘key’, adding that the council was in a ‘very strong financial position’.

The independent councillor said as someone with a young family and a mortgage he understood the needs of families in terms of access to playgrounds, childcare, preschools and safe pathways to schools.

‘I’m also a business owner,’, the mayoral candidate said, referring to his local Premium Solar and Electrical company, ‘so I’m acutely aware that small business is the engine room of our local economy and a key driver of employment growth’.

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.


  1. Getting vehicles off Seven Mie Beach (exception commercial fisher persons) gets my vote! Plus Jeff has been a consistent positive voice for Lennox & the Shire across so many issues. We need younger faces in Council & Jeff is experienced & still young.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Last mayoral candidates Q and A: are you a landlord?

Here at The Echo we have seen and heard the word ‘housing’ come up time and again throughout the local government election campaign period, whether it’s from candidates or other voters.

On the ground work assists evicted women 

We know the region has some of the highest rents, and highest housing costs in Australia. We all know that this has virtually eliminated affordable housing. We hear the stories of women and children being evicted, of couch surfing and living in cars.

What do the Tweed Council candidates stand for?

The final day of voting for your local Tweed Shire Councill candidates is Saturday 4 December at a venue near you.

Today is International Day of People with Disability

This language trend around People With a Disability has tended to emphasise the disability rather than the person, which can lead to derogatory labelling, depersonalisation or impersonal, collective references.