12.1 C
Byron Shire
June 16, 2024

Editorial: Too busy conforming

Latest News

Self-defence explained

For those still confused, killing 38,000 unarmed civilians, a third of which were children, would not be self-defence, (however...

Other News

Byron Bay Pickleball offers an open day

Players of all skill levels and  ages have the opportunity to experience the world’s fastest growing racquet sport, pickleball.

Mullet fishers destroy dunes and native plants at Gawandii Beach, Shaws Bay

Locals and Tuckombil Landcare have expressed concerns over damage to the dunes at Gawandii Beach at Shaws Bay by fisher people who are accessing the beach for the mullet harvesting season. 

Greenhouse emissions increase by 40 per cent

The Global Nitrous Oxide (N₂O) Budget, released today, reveals anthropogenic (human-induced) N₂O emissions have increased by 40 per cent in the past four decades, with the period between 2020-2022 showing an accelerated rate of growth. 

Cynical Swivel

I was utterly horrified to hear Cr Mark Swivel touting a ‘community land trust for conservation’ concept as his...

Indonesian street food at the Mullum Farmers Market

Rini and Ewan – should they ever find the time – don’t need to add new items to their regular menu.

New Australian Marbles Champion

After a five-year hiatus the battle for the title of Australian Marbles Champion again took place as part of the Old & Gold Festival held in Brunswick Heads last Saturday.

As a nation, we are a fairly compliant lot. The Rum Rebellion in 1808 was probably an exception; it was the first time that Australian military force was used to overthrow a government.

Then there was the 1851 Eureka Rebellion, where gold miners revolted against the British.

Former Labor PM Bob Hawke got a bit cheeky later on in 1983, when he said everyone should have the day off when we won the America’s Cup.

There’s a lot of conformity going on these days. And that’s disappointing, because all the great advances in the world occur when we don’t do what we are supposed to. 

Musician Frank Zappa once said, ‘Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible’.

The wrong people are being persecuted

With that in mind, there are questions about the integrity of federal Labor around its persecution of whistleblowers. 

One is former tax office employee, Richard Boyle, who faces life behind bars for speaking his truth around his former employer’s unethical behaviour. 

The ABC reported this week, ‘In March, the former Australian Tax Office employee lost his bid to be declared immune from prosecution on 24 offences stemming from his decision to go public on what he claims were unethical tactics used by his former employer to collect debts’.

ABC business editor Ian Verrender writes, ‘Ironically, Mr Boyle’s Federal Court decision came just weeks after Peter Collins, the former senior tax partner at Big Four accounting giant PwC, was barred from practising by the Tax Practitioners Board’.

Collins is accused of sharing confidential tax information in the organisation about a federal government initiative to clamp down on multinational tax avoidance. 

As a result, Tom Seymour, chief executive officer of PwC, was forced to step down last week.

So given this revelation, will Labor sack PwC as a consultant? 

PwC holds very, very lucrative government contracts, after all. 

It’s the ethical thing to do. 

It could repair the reputational damage and send a message that integrity matters for everyone.

Another whistleblower who is under government persecution is Australian army lawyer, David McBride. He gave the ABC evidence of war crimes committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

Julian Assange still in a UK jail

And perhaps the bravest journalist of all time, Julian Assange, is still in a UK jail, and so far, the Labor government appears not that interested in his plight.

While politicians might say they value journalism and that whistle-blowers should be protected, the actions don’t add up 

There is one species that appears  protected from dubious ethical actions – it’s career bureaucrats, such as Kathryn Campbell.

She was Secretary of the Department of Human Services and implicated in the Robodebt disaster, which resulted in deaths. 

Instead of being held to account or sacked, she was rewarded by Labor with a $900,000 a year job to help orchestrate the obscene AUKUS deal, according to www.theguardian.com.

Hans Lovejoy, editor

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. The whistleblowers you mention Hans were prosecuted under the previous government and they are now in the hands of the courts. Last I heard we still valued the separation of powers in this country.

    Julian Assange – on what do you base your statement that they “appear not that interested in his plight”. What sources tell you this and that statements about “megaphone diplomacy” are a ruse.

    I’m happy to call Assange a whistle blower but I’ve always thought “journalist” was a bit of a stretch. I didn’t think dumping documents without analysis or commentary quite made the grade, but then strange standards seem to pass as journalism these days.

    Break contracts with a firm because of the actions of one employee who is being dealt with?

    “ There’s a lot of conformity going on these days …” yeah what exactly did you have in mind? “

    And that’s disappointing, because all the great advances in the world occur when we don’t do what we are supposed to.” ALL – big statement. And sometimes disasters happen when we don’t do what we are supposed to” this statement is so generalised and platitudinous as to be meaningless.

    By all means keep authority accountable and “shame the devil” Hans but pump for a hint of balance in the Echo’s political editorial stance.

  2. Wow love joy stay up to date about the current government and Assange. Maybe more care in checking out what’s happening in that area would help.

  3. Its those career bureaucrats and politicians who are responsible for the looming health crisis. Unaccounted death from a vaccine with severe side effects, ordered by the government for its people. In Germany alone there are 85 000 excess deaths, the number in the US even higher. In Australia the Government does its best to suppress the numbers by the bureau of statistics. Excess deaths is at record high of 13% or 18.671 deaths with no explanation given. Mass murder on a gigantic scale.

  4. I neither conform nor consent, and the sheeple attack us for it. During the panicdemic, I had one get physical with me. That’s what this country has become.

  5. If the Government allows a development on a known floodplain and some people drown as a result who goes to jail?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Following certain developments over the last couple of weeks, it is starkly obvious that those at the ICC in the Hague believe that ‘c’...

Youth suicide?

ABC News reporting on youth suicide in remote communities at an alarming rate? The Elders are using Aussie Rules to keep youth occupied and...

Affordable housing

I’m wondering how long before the temporary emergency disaster relief housing project on Prince Street, Mullumbimby becomes permanent, or has that happened already? Don’t...

Housing waiting lists jump over 100 per cent for Northern Rivers

Crisis response needed from NSW state government as listings for priority housing increase over 100 per cent in multiple Northern Rivers regions.