Stephen Totterman, Ballina
Local Government elections are coming and Cr Jeff Johnson is on the campaign trail, telling us that he has been a Ballina Shire Councillor for three terms and would also like to be mayor. Perhaps I am too negative, but I can only remember Cr Johnson’s failures over the past 13 years, like the BMX track brain fart that was immediately and strongly rejected by the community and the ocean pool that seems to have sunk.
Of late Cr Johnson, much like his pro beach driving co-representative for B Ward, Cr Keith Williams, has shamelessly been playing identity politics with his proposal that ‘locals’ only be allowed to drive on Seven Mile Beach. What next, should ‘locals’ only be allowed to surf Lennox Point? Should visitors just send the money and stay home? Divide and conquer, it’s rather Trumpian. Anyhow, Cr Johnson’s beach driving proposal was rejected in the July Council meeting, like Cr Williams’ proposal to allow local recreational fishers to drive on South Ballina Beach again also was, back in April.
Cr Johnson has also hitched his campaign wagon to the ‘affordable housing crisis’ but in his three terms he has overseen the raping of Skennars Head by ‘Gordon Gecko’ type corporate developers, who view land as a commodity and clearly have no respect for country. See the real estate ads in this paper, new land releases in Lennox Head are fully priced. It’s too late for forward-thinking now, Cr Johnson (and the rest of Ballina Shire Council), but it is an opportune time, leading up to an election, for politicians’ promises and a bit of virtue signalling.
Ballina Shire Council, with its ‘jobs and greed’ agenda (directed by the NSW State Government), is getting stale and I think it’s time for some fresh faces. Let’s all cooperate in a huge protest vote at the coming elections and turf the lot out. It will be fun.