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Byron Shire
March 26, 2023

Swivel flop-flop

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Janelle Saffin holds the seat of Lismore

Janelle Saffin is in the lead for the seat of Lismore after yesterday's state election. Although preroll and postal votes are yet to be counted, it’s hard to imagine Saffin’s position changing.

Other News

Free Julian Assange rally in Lismore

Supporters of Julian Assange gathered outside Lismore Baths on Saturday, the 20th Anniversary of the Iraq war, to add their voice to those who would see the journalist free.

 Uki Refugee Project and Mt St Pat’s join forces for refugees

The Mount Saint Patrick College in Murwillumbah held an assembly of 850 students, teaching staff and members of the Uki Refugee Project to officially open their new sports house called Romero House – in honour of Saint Romero.

Harmony Week – Global Beats

On Saturday 25 March 2023, Byron Multicultural will celebrate Harmony Week 2023 with Global Beats Byron Bay – World Music Lantern Parade; a stellar lineup of music, dance and rhythms.

Election 2023: Crystal ball gazing and hot tips

In a tight election, with many predicting a hung parliament, all eyes are on Sydney seats to see if any Teals can wrest seats from Liberals – and can Labor regain an inner Sydney seat from the Greens?

Brunswick Heads off-ramp blocked at Gulgan Road by rolled B-double – driver dies at scene

Live Traffic reports that the M1 Pacific Motorway at Gulgan Road off-ramp at Brunswick Heads has been blocked since 6.10am this morning by a crash involving a B-Double where there has been a person trapped.

Seat of Lismore has 1,000 new constituents after Electoral Commission redistribution

There are about 1,000 new constituents in the Byron Shire hinterland who at this Saturday’s election come into the Electorate of Lismore because of a NSW Electoral Commission redistribution.

Not sure what Cr Swivel is doing. But while he appears to be providing support for both sides of the community/business coin, his support for either of just those options does constrain the process to a limited coin toss of either 90 or 180 days, when the State Government Planning Panel has the authority to shut down the game entirely (the EP&A Act gives the State Government Planning Panel the authority to ‘request the minister to determine that the matter not proceed’, i.e. the panel can recommend that the entire short-term rental legislation be revoked and that tourist accommodation planning be handed back to councils). Is his intent to give the impression that he publicly supports restrictions, but at least, at the very worst, designed to get something for the short-term rental industry, to position himself for the next 2024 Council elections?

I note that Swivel’s Habitat Estate office is around the corner from the Habitat Estate office of A Perfect Stay holiday letting agency (who are also closely aligned with the holiday letting peak agency body Australian Short Term Rental Association). Councillors are cautioned on privately meeting with ‘developers’, [but Swivels’ letter to the minister supporting STRA was attached to A Perfect Stay’s CEO’s letter to the minister].

Politics is an interesting beast – when on Council I sent one email to two ‘warring’ parties (Council’s GM and a community group) stating ‘it was unfortunate intransigence was in the way of a resolution’, I received back agreement and a thank you from each party. But the very core of our political system is knowing what politicians stand for, and Cr Swivel’s (and Cr Hunter’s) present positions on short-term holiday letting do not supply that.

John Lazarus, Byron Bay

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  1. Has it not occurred to you that he is trying to work with both to find the best outcome. Mark is a breath of fresh air in the highly polarised politics of today.

  2. John after your noisy fight against the Railway Park revitalisation project and then your noisy fight against the Butler St Bypass it would appear you have a fixated person personality ?
    Your blinkered approach on so many subjects without a give and take approach has brought irreversible damage for BEC – Byron Environment Centre .
    I watched the BEC meetings with members sitting in a circle facing each other with their backs facing towards the community members . A sort of closed circle group with voices just bouncing within the circle and not actually listening to the voices coming from outside .
    BEC was a closed shop that would not do bargaining.
    John it is time for you and the other very small membership of BEC to listen to a much wider demographic of Byron Shire .
    FYI – I hate holiday letting in residential areas so bargaining with the State Government rather than shouting out NO first up will give an outcome with Byron Council input .

    We had a NO, NO, NO mayor many years ago and look what has happened with West Byron because of it .
    My wife was Senior Environmental Officer at BSC from 2008 to 2014 and had to deal with the NO personalities back then that caused irreparable damage .

  3. No, it looks more like he is surreptitiously undermining both sides.
    Remember his duplicity would have remained unknown had it not been for an FOI request

  4. I don’t see why a councillor or elected member can’t provide multiple positions on one issue; how can a member possibly be democratic if they have to choose sides all the time on every single issue, they are just representing the different people and views in the community which is fair enough….isn’t that the antidote for bias and corruption? Sick of seeing politicians just jump on one band wagon for political gain and not really serve the community.

    • Trouble is, when it comes to that all important vote it has to be a ‘for” or “against”. No opportunities for “maybes”. Before then though there are opportunities for councillors to move amendments or offer their own NOMs.

        • Yes Mick, but you were speaking more broadly: “ how can a member possibly be democratic if they have to choose sides all the time on every single issue..”

          I was just suggesting that they don’t have to choose sides – they can present and argue for for a middle line in the chamber – but administration demands that a decision has to be arrived at.


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