Councillor Dey seems to be the only elected councillor with the intestinal fortitude to ask Byron Shire Council (BSC) directors or middle management for an explanation.
Councillor Dey’s request for an urgency motion in relation to the fill placed at The Pocket seems to make complete sense seeing as the EPA is investigating and this could result in BSC being fined. Why would Lyon, Swivel, Hunter, and Westheimer vote against Councillor Dey’s request? Do they not want to know the facts or are they concerned about upsetting staff?
It is fairly commonly known that anything stockpiled near a waterway, or in this case on the Marshalls Creek Floodplain, should be bunded. The staff involved are paid quite well and should have been aware of this.
Do the directors employed by BSC actually know what is happening on the ground? I think not!
What happened with this incident, which has left BSC open to being fined by the EPA, reminds me of a situation when I was a member of the Water, Waste and Sewer Advisory Committee in 2018. I found myself in possession of some date and time-stamped photos of Brunswick Valley Waste Water Treatment Plant in a state of overflow – sewage overflowing the structural confines of the plant.
I asked to talk to the director who sat on the committee, and I produced the pictures and asked if he was aware of this. The director said ‘No’ and asked me where this was.
The final outcome was the director said he would not expect to know about this because he was ‘here; he signified by placing his hand above his head. I was perplexed by this and asked ‘so you would not expect anyone in Water and Recycling to make you aware of this?’ I received no response.
The fact the four councillors voted to squash Councillor Dey’s request for an urgency motion just supports senior management being dissociated with what is actually going on at ground level. Not very clear and transparent of the four councillors concerned.