For many years the corrupt behaviour of our State politicians has been front and centre at the ICAC. Eddie Obeid (ALP) and his motley crew stole over $30m of public money. He’s now doing a second term in jail. The Berejiklian (LNP) government spent millions of public money in the seat of corrupt MP Daryll Macguire to buy votes, and spent another $250m, mostly in LNP seats, to win elections. To add insult to injury the former premier calls this behaviour democracy.
At the same time Northern Rivers’ people have been told that the government couldn’t afford to continue train services to the North Coast on the Casino to Murwillumbah (C-M) line, despite the service returning more money per dollar spent than Sydney trains and delivering people to the centre of Byron Bay. Documents have revealed then Premier Berejiklian spent much more public money on buying votes than what is needed to repair our line for the train services the LNP had promised for many years. Eddie Obeid stole more public money than the cost of running the train service.
Now we have people hoping to be elected to Byron Shire Council who support this shocking behaviour and think it’s okay to spend even more public money destroying the valuable C-M line to replace it with a bike track than what it would it cost to repair the Byron section of line for the Solar Train. In one of the busiest tourist regions in Australia, with train stations in so many towns, an expensive bike track will not provide cost effective public transport accessible to all, or take one single car off our roads. It will condemn us all to increased traffic gridlock, carbon emissions, environmental destruction and rate hikes to pay for more expensive road works and road maintenance. The opportunity of a rail link to the Queensland rail system at Coolangatta will be lost forever.
The state government collects over $2 billion per year in stamp duty from the sale of expensive real estate in this region. We need people on our Council who will demand the State government spend our money providing the services we need, not people who promote the State government’s ridiculous, dodgy plans to destroy our valuable rail line to replace it with a bike track.
If you care about the beautiful place we are fortunate to live in, vote carefully at the Council elections on 4 December. Vote for people who have demonstrated they care about our environment and community. People who have done the hard yards and made a valuable contribution outside Council, (not slick, cashed up blow-ins who don’t listen to locals).
They are: Team B, Cate Coorey, and Team A, Duncan Dey.