Previous bulletins

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February 16, 2015


November 18, 2014


September 22, 2014


August 3, 2014


June 5, 2014


April 7, 2014


January 28, 2014


December 11, 2013


October 4, 2013


August, 2013


July, 2013


May, 2013


March, 2013

A Thought…..

Life in the Kitchen    

Wow, what a learning curve I’ve been on! The sheer breadth of issues and interactions that present themselves is one of the features of the job that I am enjoying. The last Council meeting alone was a testament to the diversity of issues and momentous opportunities to create change: supporting marriage equality, progressing park and ride for this Summer, a Byron bypass, rejecting KFC, considering the Bangalow Weir, supporting the community in keeping alive the vision for Bilinudgel sportsfields, and groundbreakingly innovative LEP actions in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate.
Though some say  ‘that’s not important, you should be working on this other thing instead”, it presumes that only one issue is being tackled at a time. I can assure you all, my feminine side of multitasking is certainly getting a work out!
Seeing some of those reality cooking shows makes me think my role is similar to a chef. There are so many issues bubbling away at once- some stew slowly, some are quickly tossed on high heat and then finished, some need a lot of stirring and some can be attended to when the timer says it is ready. Just like the importance of ‘plating up’, how the finished product is presented is also vital. I love the heat of the Council kitchen and love being in it; maybe I should direct staff to make me a chef style mayoral hat!
Regards, Simon



Marriage Equality

Council speaks loud and proud
On Thursday, Council supported publicly declaring its support for marriage equality. Part of notes that accompanied the resolution was as follows: Locally, it is vital that when a section of our community is discriminated against, we speak out on their behalf. On behalf of the adult members of our community who simply want to have their loving union recognised, respected and validated, this Notice of Motion speaks loud and proud. On behalf of our younger community members who may be isolated, the victim of homophobia or sitting in their room suffocated by feelings of fear, mental pain, confusion and ostracism, this Notice of Motion speaks loud and proud. On behalf of the overwhelming portion of our community who refuse to accept discrimination, marginalisation, segregation and inequality in any form, this Notice of motion speaks loud and proud. To continue to read the notes and the successful resolution, click here . You can also view media, and updates.

Managing Holiday Letting

From intransigency to acceptance
Recently, after the most recent Holiday Let proceeding brought success without a precedent producing judgment, Council resolved to pause further legal proceedings against an oft complained against holiday let property in order to talk with HLO and other accommodation agents- though unfortunately, community representatives were not invited. Though I would have preferred to continue with the legal proceedings, I support the need to create dialogue and try and transform intransigency into acceptance that we have a problem and it needs overt and deliberate management, not wishful, voluntary self management.  Over the next few weeks we will sit down and talk, I fervently hope both accommodation providers and Councillors make the most of the opportunity to agree on what we want the holiday let industry to look like, accept the current realities, develop and propose options and solutions and finally, agree on a timeline to make it happen.



New Library Opens
The People’s Building
Saturday morning Family Fun Day was an overwhelming success with approximately 2,000 people of all ages visiting the library to enjoy our local performers, story tellers and all the services the new library has to offer the community and its visitors. In the first nine days of opening the Byron Bay library staff were kept busy with 8,126 visitors: 7,920 loans: 4,053 returns: 221 new members added: and 223 existing members have reactivated their membership.
The doors of the new Library are open for everyone and I urge all residents to drop into the new library and take a look. It truly is a remarkable building.  From the foyer which features the donated artwork by award winning Australian environmental artist John Dahlsen to the rooms filled with books, children’s play area and study rooms.  This is a place for everyone. The Byron Bay Library was built at a construction cost of $3.75 million (exc gst) and also features a community room available for meetings and to display and celebrate the talent of artists and craftspeople within the Shire. Construction on the new Library commenced in September 2011 and was completed in January 2013.  To read more, click here.

Schools Celebrate
New buildings, new leaders
It was great visiting some of the Shire’s schools recently. The Shearwater Steiner School had the official opening of their new building- a fantastic performing arts and gathering hall. The walls are straw bale and the acoustics are awesome. Also, it was great to visit Upper Main Arm Primary School, to officiate at their SRC induction ceremony.  The Minister of Communication kept the show on a strict focus and the Minister’s of Social Justice look set to bring everyone together for the year ahead. At times, the Minister of Sport looked like he wanted to get outside for a kick, only kidding, though all the kids were great to be around and I was stoked to a part of a great morning within such beautiful grounds.   For images of Shearwater’s new building, click here…….
Community under pressure

At last count, the Shire had 10 landslips. These are severely disrupting the lives of many. The landslip in Upper Cooper’s Creek is particularly challenging and the residents above the slip have had their resilience and patience truly tested. Easy answers and solutions are thin on the ground. The next stage of obtaining more geotech information started last with borehole drilling by a smaller light weight rig. This drilling is expected to take 1.5 to 2 weeks and is very dependant upon weather for safety reasons. After the completion of the drilling the geotech will assess the new information to complete their investigation into the causes of the landslip, what temporary access can be provided and under what requirement and then finally start looking at options for permanent restoration. All of this is expected to take some time to do efficiently and properly. Council has set up an email bulletin to keep community members in touch with developments and some great initiatives to invigorate the community are about to roll out. A Wellbeing Task Group will facilitate providing bulky tools and equipment, training up bus drivers and getting a café and general store up and going. So far all the focus has been on the road and its status. However, we need to consider the community and the ways to empower them and get some normality back into their lives.  For more images of the Landslip from both the air and ground, click here.
Next time:
A look at the Economics of Happiness conference, my reasons for not voting in the KFC debate and other Happenings……
First, we need to acknowledge the sober realities. Thus far, only Metgasco has indicated a retreat from the CSG operations in the area. The company holding licenses in this Shire has not followed suite. Also, the decision by Metgasco should be seen within an election context. With both old parties all of a sudden scrambling for kudos and electoral support for being anti-CSG, and with a State government shifting uncomfortably and tightening legislation, Metgasco has seen shareholder panic set in. By withdrawing from the process now, they can settle shareholders nerves, wait until the Federal election is done and dusted, and try again in 2014.  Of course, the gods may be kind and they could also go under! Though we need to stay vigilant and resolute, we should also enjoy the great moments when they come- when victories come knocking, they should be welcomed, toasted, celebrated, then bottled to provide sustenance when times seem a touch more bleak. Well done everyone involved thus far!
Meet the Locals

Art Park is a brilliant addition to the creative fabric of the Shire. Part gallery, part book, art  and clothes shop and part artist in residence, Art Park is wholly sweet! Paul McNeil and Craig Rochfort love art and opened the park gates to all their clever friends. Soon after, talented filmmakers, artists and writers started pouring in, attracted by the flowers, trees and grass. These people went on to shape the Art Park, and eventually they all ended up living there. Inspired by the surroundings, art was made, films were played and words were sayed. Enjoy. Click on the image to learn more….


Business and Community Groups

Positive Change for Marine Life was founded on the principles of creating long-term profitable change in regards to marine conservation issues worldwide.
Through implementing eco-tourism ventures, creating education centres, re-training and undertaking research across their campaigns they hope to shift industry practice as well as consumer preferences to effectively minimise and reverse the impact that we are collectively having on the oceans.  Click on the image to learn more….


Coming Up

Harmony Day                                                       Brunswick Heads Kites and Bikes      
Bluesfest                                                               Youth   Film Screening


Where in the Shire?
Each edition of the bulletin will test even the localist local. I will give a big thumbs up to the first person who can tell me where this image was snapped?





February, 2013

1 Response to Previous bulletins

  1. Pingback: Blog 23 | Mayor Simon Richardson

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