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Byron Shire
April 19, 2024

Editorial – Wokie dokey

Latest News

A quiet day in Bruns after arrests and lock-ons

Though no machinery arrived at Wallum this morning, contractors and police were on the development site at Brunswick Heads as well as dozens of Save Wallum protesters. 

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Itching for a Mullum flea market?

A new flea market will launch this Saturday, April 13 from 8am until 2pm at the Mullum Community College campus.

Last Thursday’s Council meeting was an example of when a good idea gets kiboshed because the people proposing the idea are considered crazy conspiracy theorists.

Mayor Michael Lyon proposed supporting a draft bill to establish a Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank. 

But as it turns out, it’s an idea being pushed by Bob Katter’s party and the Australian Citizens Party and the bill apparently also includes a minor pro-mining inclusion.

Cr Lyon’s rejected motion: ‘calls on the Commonwealth Parliament to establish a Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank to provide a people’s bank, fully guaranteed by the Commonwealth, as a dedicated postal savings bank, operating through Australia Post’s corporate and licensed post offices, which will ensure basic banking services – including deposit-taking, small business and personal lending, and access to cash – and be available to all Australians’.

Finally, a truth bomb was let off in the chamber of unbearable self-belief and delusion.

There have been rare times throughout history when governments worked in the interests of most (unlike now). 

The Commonwealth Bank Act 1911 allowed the bank to serve as both a government-owned trading bank and a savings bank, and according to the www.rba.gov.au, ‘was the only bank to be supported by a Commonwealth Government guarantee’. 

But that was when Australia was a young country of poor English convicts. What better way to stimulate the economy than to offer zero-to low-interest loans?   

Anyway back to 2022 in a small room in Mullumbimby: There was no problem in principle with the idea of a Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank, said Labor Cr Asren Pugh, but he had a problem with the Citizens Party, who are supporting the bill. He then accused them and others of being conspiracy theorists and climate deniers.

‘[If adopted] This would mean that we would be a Council that they could name to further their campaign, which is about getting their message out there, across the country. It’s not about delivering on this policy’, he said.

An always enthusiastic Cr Mark Swivel also gushed that the idea was a ‘no brainer’, yet agreed with Cr Pugh that Council’s support will be used for political purposes.

Given all on Council’s plate, Cr Swivel said, it’s ‘not an appropriate use of our limited time here’.

The debate by councillors was a good example of political tribalism, where politicians go to great lengths to explain why they can’t do what is right. 

With this motion, for example, it could have been made clear that the intention of a Postal Savings Bank is supported, and nothing more.   

It’s not often that The Echo agrees with the mayor. 

In fact, this is perhaps the first time ever; we are concerned by the many poor decisions and an aggressive, beligerant leadership style that backs Council staff over the community.

Symbolically saying you support a good idea, regardless of who came up with it, can be done in an instant in the chamber, and then councillors can quickly move on to other things. 

Other things last week included realising that a natural burial location that has been worked upon for years won’t work. How much did that exercise cost ratepayers?  

Another debated item was held in secret – the Mayoral Fund 2022/2023 – Allocation of Funding. 

Why all the secrecy, councillors?

Hans Lovejoy, editor

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  1. “Given all on Council’s plate, Cr Swivel said, it’s ‘not an appropriate use of our limited time here.”

    There is one for the books on Cr Swivel floating ideas but little action during meetings!

    Was Cr Dey mute on this one?

    I totally agree with the establishment of a Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank.

    Also, I don’t care who else supports it.

    The more the merrier.

    • Very well, one would say.

      Especially compared to previous Councils.

      As well as not noticing, you cannot get his name right either!

  2. Secrecy is dangerous to any organisation in particular one that is entrusted with public monies! Secrecy erodes Democratic institutions …the actors further waste Tax payers funds that could be used to aid the vulnerable in society. What use were Scotty from Marketing, Dazza and Gladys in NSW who had power over public financial structures? Time wasting individuals full of self interest. Beware any society/organisation that depends on secret structures if you genuinely believe in Democracy. In the current case we can clearly see Corporate governance influencing Local Government and this model is clearly Authoritarian and totally manipulative of Democratic Structures. It is a law unto itself and attracts delusional aspirants whose self interest over-rides imperative collective needs. Corporate governance depends on algorithms that deny Public Interest/Rights……EXTREMELY dangerous.


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