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Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

Experience and transparency key for Mayor says former Byron Councillor

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It’s not often I agree with Cr Alan Hunter, but in this instance I certainly do, namely with his comments on the new alignment of mayoral candidates in the coming Council elections.

Alan points to their lack of experience and the lack of openness and transparency in the proposed new arrangement – deals done ‘behind closed doors’.

I think the so-called ‘United Front’ would better be described as a coalition of the unexperienced and unadventurous; as mayoral candidate Duncan Dey points out, by tightly preferencing each other the group will just offer voters more of the same.

I am surprised that Labor’s Asren Pugh was prepared to be part of it, but Labor has a poor record, on this Council, of standing up to developers in the interests of the community.

As Hans indicated in last week’s Editorial, it seems the whole purpose of this new alignment is to wedge the other candidates, and I ask voters to foil their plan and vote for an Independent.

Councillor Cate Coorey has consistently voted for the community interest and, based on her record, I believe Cate would make an excellent mayor.

Jenny Coman, Bangalow, Former Byron Shire Councillor


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5 COMMENTS

  1. What have any of the candidates done in their individual capacity over the last twelve months to support local residents and the wider community who have been exposed to injustice and the might of corporations and developers. Why is each candidate standing for Council when the powers of Council have been severely eroded by the NSW government and it is well known the staff although severely under resourced still run Council. Cate Coorey is the only individual who stepped up to address the current intention of the NSW government to permit permanent filming and commercial events on private land throughout Byron Shire. Cate for Mayor.

  2. Jenny Coman continues to srtrike many nails squarely.
    It is extraordinary that three of the Gang of Four, Clarke, Lyon and Swivel made preference deals which will surely only favour the Labor Party.
    A party still trucking fossil fuels.
    What’s more, it was done with the expressed intention to undermine a party dedicated to stopping the planet from cooking.
    Really? I find that deplorable, seemingly no green credentials and certainly contrary to what the three have been spruiking publicly.
    Anything to get elected? Principles … ‘nothing to see here’.
    You can check out their spiels via BayFM’s nifty website.
    Politics is a dirty business … shame it’s on our doorstep.

  3. Politics is indeed a dirty business and it’s not foreign to the Greens either. Look at the way various, I assume dedicated Green followers, target Labor for particular opportunistic vitriol when any advantage can be gleaned at the local government political level but seem silent on the conservatives in their midst.

    The Labor party certainly has its Joel Fitzgibbons factions, but it’s also instructive to see the likes of Joel at odds with most of the caucus and leadership. To imply that Labor does not have a reform agenda in many areas, including climate action, housing and tax reform is part of the successful tactics that sees Labor successfully wedged between the LNP and the Greens, and in danger of being out of office forever. Federally and state level, I suspect this suits the Greens just fine as they see Labor as enemy no 1 – the party with whom they are in the fiercest competition for votes – evidenced by Greens rarely targeting sitting LNP members come election time.

    To ignore the line that Labor has to walk to have any hope of achieving office is naivety to the political realties of the national scene – to deny a difference between the major parties is disingenuous. Major reform can be achieved only from office and, as the great Gough Whitlam said: “Only the impotent are pure”.

    I seem to recall a pile-on of correspondence to these pages when Labor federally announced it would not pursue its badly communicated tax reform policies of last election – all very low hanging fruit and very opportune with a local election looming.

    Please let’s don’t forget that all the Greens voted for a bypass route that decimated the habitat of a critically endangered species after Cate Coorey and Paul Spooner launched an attempt to investigate the rail corridor. Sorry but, particularly at local government level, I’m going to look at people’s histories and avoid the Greens = good Labor = bad narrative.

  4. Politics is indeed a dirty business and it’s not foreign to the Greens. Look at the way various, I assume dedicated Green followers, target Labor as the bogey man with particularly opportunistic vitriol when any advantage can be gleaned at the local government political level. At the same time the conservatives get a free pass. No one, least of all the Greens, should be surprised by any retaliation.

    The Labor party certainly has its Joel Fitzgibbons factions, but it’s also instructive to see the likes of Joel at odds with most of the caucus and leadership. To imply that Labor does not have a reform agenda in many areas, including climate action, housing and tax reform is part of the successful tactics that sees Labor successfully wedged between the LNP and the Greens, and in danger of being out of office forever. Federally and state level, I suspect this suits the Greens just fine as they see Labor as enemy no 1 – the party with whom they are in the fiercest competition for votes – evidenced by Greens rarely targeting sitting LNP members come election time.

    To ignore the line that Labor has to walk to have any hope of achieving office is naivety to the political realties of the national scene – to deny a difference between the major parties is disingenuous. Major reform can be achieved only from office and, as the great Gough himself said: “Only the impotent are pure”. One only has to look at what the Greens did with their unprecedented mandate in the last Council term, to see an element of that sentiment.

    I seem to recall a pile-on of correspondence to these pages when Labor federally announced it would unsurprisingly not pursue its badly communicated tax reform policies of last election – all very low hanging fruit and very opportune with a local election looming.

    Regardless, I would rather vote locally for people based on their histories.I won’t forget that all the Greens voted for a bypass that decimated the habitat of a critically endangered species. Cate Coorey and Paul Spooner made an attempt to follow up Tamara Smith’s investigations on the rail corridor alternative. There will be no Greens = good, Labor = bad paradigm for me.

  5. Thanks Jenny for your comments but also for your years of service to this community on council (1995-2002). Jenny and the council had the difficult challenge of dealing with the poor decisions and mistakes inherited from the 1991-95 council. In fact we are still living with the impact of some of those decisions today e.g.. subdivisions along the Tallow Creek which many in the community opposed but it was still approved by a pro-development council. Her comments are relevant in terms of the need for experience and the risk it presents. I agree Cate has proven her commitment to the community. I think the important point is that people who have never been on council are presenting themselves for the mayoral role. I leave it to residents to determine what that indicates about the candidates but offer the point that the lack of experience presents a risk for all of us. Decisions made are near impossible to change and we live the outcomes forever. Thanks again Jenny, an inspiration for me and many others. I hope you are well.

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