Byron Shire Councillor says Green Politics Means More Potholes

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BYRON SHIRE Councillor Alan Hunter says the past week has seen a change in pace for Council, and one that has not gained anything useful.

Cr Hunter says General Manager Ken Gainger’s resignation says a lot about Council when the person who drove Council from a prime target for amalgamation to being rated as Fit for the Future by NSW Treasury, has resigned.

”This is the same GM who was instructed to push hard, to take risks, to push the boundary and deliver benefits to the community like we haven’t seen for many years.”

Cr Hunter says the GM took a strong leadership role in the Byron Bay Town Master Plan to the point he was making thing happen according to that plan.

”Unfortunately he was fed a furphy, claims Cr Hunter. ”Apparently we didn’t mean what we said.”

”We said, “push the envelope and get things done, but wait, not that fast!”

”Of course he had no choice but to resign.”

Another issue Cr Hunter has with Council is the vote by councillors not to contract or engage in services contractors that don’t publicly withdraw from any contracts with Adani and the Carmichael mine.

”The motion passed last week went on further to prevent Byron Council awarding any future contracts to any company involved with Adani or the construction of the Carmichael mine until they renounce any involvement with Adani or the mine,” Cr Hunter says.

What does this mean?

Council staff, under the guidance of the GM, have been looking for innovative ways to lower costs.

”One way to save money was for Byron Shire Council to join Kyogle, Lismore and Richmond Valley councils to leverage our purchasing power by calling for joint tenders for products and services in our road projects.

”The buying power of the four councils working together would have saved hundereds of thousands of dollars.”

”The decision to cancel contracts with anyone dealing with Adani isolates us from this combined buying power.

”We will be at least $50,000 worse off in our $40 million road spend this financial year.

”These contracts are mostly offered and accepted on a 10-year basis, so the $50,000 annual difference could well blow out to $500,000 especially if we have to break a contract or we can’t secure the next cheapest quote.

”This was a very dumb decision! We can only conclude this Council has a distinct dislike for any prudent financial management and instead is prepared to use our money to further a political cause.

”It is difficult to see how the decision to boycott the companies supplying products and services to Adani will make one bit of difference, particularly if those companies are employing local people!

”We might want to think more about our vote in council elections next time because voting Green now means voting for more pot holes and raises serious questions about supporting paid parking for raising revenue, just to be wasted with political decisions like this.”

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3 comments on “Byron Shire Councillor says Green Politics Means More Potholes

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Penny on December 6, 2017 4:31 pm

There needs to be a balance. And people should be mindful of their impact on the environment, ie use of power and driving when they could walk, not to mention the over use of plastic ags.
There are lots of measures that an individual can take instead of the big issues that they know little about.

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Sol Ibrahim on December 6, 2017 10:48 am

Why stop with Adani? Why not all Coal Mines in Australia.. the obvious silliness of this question reveals the shallow thinking behind the latest Council use of our rates for purely political purposes.
For every contractor that pulls out, another will take its place, ultimately from overseas, costing Australian jobs.
The best way to kill off Coal mining is for each one of us switch to renewables.
As dumb as the Adani mine is, it’s output is a drop in the ocean of worldwide coal consumption.
I say YES to attempts at stopping the mine operating to protect the local environment! But punishing local contractors achieves nothing!
While paid parking is being forced on communities such as Bangalow by the Greens Councillors, with no regard for the consequences on small business, they are blowing our rates on their political survival, and pandering to tiny interest groups such as the BEC.
The forced public humiliation of our hard working GM over a little hut in a derelict Park shows where the priorities of this Mayor and his cohort are… gaze fixed squarely on the next election!

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Barry Wallace on December 6, 2017 10:19 am

Well said by our independent councillor. Councils should not get involved in politics, simply fix our roads and manage the Shire & spend our money prudently. Not much to ask..
Council GM’s are put under a lot of pressure to work within budgets, being faced with a budget blow out of up to half a million bucks simply because a group of people wanted to feel good and fuzzy without considering the consequences is enough for anyone to resign..

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