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Byron Shire
March 22, 2023

Is it racism?

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The ugly tentacles of what I’d call racism have slithered into our region, brought to you by the new right wing councillor factions of Ballina and Lismore Councils.

The previous Lismore Council handed back the ownership title of the culturally significant Sleeping Lizard site to the local mob, the Wijabul Wiabul people. But with a ‘Nyaa Nyaa fooled you’ the new right wing Lismore Councillors want to take it back. This faction wouldn’t attempt to extinguish any other newly established ownership title. They wouldn’t even attempt to extinguish a lease that Council had granted, (though perhaps only if the lease was to white people).

This Lismore right wing faction have coagulated with the new Ballina Council right wing faction, led by the new Mayor of Ballina Council, Sharon Cadwallader. Cadwallader is geeing up her new right wing Ballina/ Lismore Councillor factions, to also give another ‘Nyaa Nyaa fooled you’ to the Wijabul Wiabul people, with a campaign to get Rous County Council (RCC) to bulldoze and destroy 25 Aboriginal graves of the ancestors of the same Wijabul Wiabul people for a new dam, which RCC, and the NSW Productivity Commission, have already decided to reject.

Cawallader couldn’t find enough merit in her past Councillor performance to raise for her re-election campaign, so cynically plumbed the depths of exploiting community division by creating a political boogeyman of ‘toilet to tap’. Was her past performance so vapid that she had to frighten the population to vote for her, as their saviour from her faction’s hyped up ‘fate worse than death’ of – shock! horror! – potentially using recycled water?

While Lismore and Ballina Councils slip towards racism, fortunately Byron Council moved to get the NSW Local Government Association members on board with reconciliation, by all Councils engaging in the Uluru Statement proposals (a document, and proposed process from the First Nations people of an occupied continent, that has the capacity to go down in history in the same manner as Nelson Mandela’s breakthrough in South Africa). Unfortunately we don’t need Specsavers to see the hypocrisy of these racist proposals by the Ballina and Lismore factions.

John Lazarus, Byron Bay

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  1. So your definition of “racism” is to not automatically give people what they want based on their race.
    In my day that was called “equality”, but whatever, bring it on.


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