Hoon rams councillor's car
By JAMIE BROWN firstname.lastname@example.org IT WAS only a matter of chance that Byron Shire Councillor Tom Tabart witnessed what he believes was the deliberate ramming of his car on Monday night.
The controversial Greens councillor, who has backed a variety of contentious issues in the volatile local government area, is certain the incident was retribution for his stance.
Cr Tabart was outside his Brunswick Heads unit, opposite Massey Greene Holiday Park, on the old Pacific Highway. He had just taken his dog out and was walking back up the stairs to his veranda when out of the corner of his eye he saw a car approach from the north.
Before he could mentally process what was happening the vehicle slowed down, veered across solid double lines, over the north-bound lane and deep into the parking lane before ploughing into the front quarter panel of his 1992 Subaru Liberty.
Cr Tabart says the car, a marine blue early model Toyota Corolla with a P-plate, bounced off the driver's side of his Subaru after smashing the quarter panel, taking out the indicator light and bending the front bumper. It then sped from view.
He was not able to see the number plate.
A while later, while Cr Tabart and his family were gathered on the veranda, another car approached from the north, slowly cruised past the damaged Subaru, did a U-turn within view and sped back in the direction it came from well above the speed limit.
The damage sustained will cost at least $1000 if Cr Tabart uses second-hand parts.
Police were called to the scene immediately after.
Yesterday, Cr Tabart was back at work, attending an all-day council meeting at Mullumbimby and driving his damaged car.
But the events of the evening before still rankle.
"The shire has a lot of social problems and is under great pressure from developers," he says.
"Certain people have been affected by decisions made or not made and I've been a part of that decision-making process."
"I'm happy doing 'hand-to-hand' combat in the press, but this sort of thing is going too far."
Cr Tabart believes the culprits are most likely local hoons, P-plate drivers who have 'heard their elders and betters whinging about bloody Tom Tabart and thought it might be a good idea to do something like this'.
Will the controversial councillor change tack? Will he suddenly start voting for development in sensitive coastal heath?