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Byron Shire
July 7, 2022

Councillors deny filmmaker entry to meeting

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Award-winning documentary filmmaker David Bradbury. Photo: www.abc.net.au

Two-time Academy Award-nominated director film-maker, David Bradbury, was refused entry to film Council’s public meeting last Thursday.

Mr Bradbury told The Echo he is collecting footage for an upcoming doco on the recent floods and its aftermath, and is also wanting to document the Shire’s housing stress and homelessness issues.  

He said he is an accredited media freelancer with both ABC News and SBS.

‘In the 33 years I have lived here, I have never been prevented from filming Council proceedings’, however, added that when he asked to film the previous Council, he was not replied to.

‘I think [current mayor] Michael Lyon is a control freak, and attempts to control, like [former Mayor Simon] Richardson, any alternative viewpoints.

‘That is why I fronted up on Thursday with my camera, because last time I jumped through their silly hoops, they just ignored me. This is too critical an issue, which is close to my heart, to let these buggers get away with it this time’.

He says that after waiting an hour for Thursday’s decision, ‘the word back was that my request was put to councillors and rejected’.

Mr Bradbury asked what laws prevent him from filming a public meeting, which is also recorded and made publicly available by Council.

One Cr said yes

It appears only one councillor, Duncan Dey (Greens), was comfortable being filmed.

Cr Dey told The Echo the mayor asked councillors how they felt about being filmed by David at the meeting. 

‘I said I support it, by anybody. I don’t know who made the final call not to have David in, but it wasn’t by resolution of Council’.

Mayor Michael Lyon told The Echo, ‘Filming of Council meetings requires a resolution of Council’.

‘I asked around the room after public access for the thoughts of several councillors and, other than Duncan, no one wanted the filming to occur, so advised that it wouldn’t be proceeding.

‘We got very late notice of this, at 11.30am on the day, David’s chances would have been helped I think by giving more notice to all councillors about the request, rather than at the last minute.

‘Given the meeting is in the conference room rather than chambers, members of the public are currently unable to attend in person, other than if addressing Council during public access’.

Mr Bradbury told The Echo he contacted a Council staff member the day before the meeting ‘by phone and email asking permission’, which is at odds with Cr Lyon’s statement.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. More very concerning signs of the bad direction this once-community minded Council is heading in…

    What are you afraid of Michael ?

  2. Indeed whether through David or not, serious lessons need to be learnt, with large scale events wholesale disposal of unsorted household contents becomes a very inefficient approach, most notably in Lismore, where walls, contents, sharps and organic were all abandoned in giant roadside piles, presumably assuming it would all magically disappear over the border !

  3. He is only Two-time Academy Award-nominated, I think they are holding out for Oliver Stone. Have you seen his doco “Ukraine on fire” made in 2016? Explains why Russia had to intervene.

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