New faces likely for council
NO matter how the voting goes on September 8, the residents of Byron Shire will be looking at a new council once the dust has settled on September 9.
Only three of the current councillors are lining up for another go.
The current mayor, Jan Barham, her most high-profile rival, Ross Tucker, along with Tom Tabart, Richard Staples, Patrick Morrisey and Tony Heeson are all out of contention for this election. Cr Tucker reckons you'd have to go back to 1995 to see a comparable shift in the make-up of the council.
In those days, Byron had 10 councillors instead of the nine it has now. Cr Tucker says there might have been one more stepping down then. Either way, the end result was only three councillors from the previous term made it through.
This time around, the three councillors who want to stay on - Diane Woods, Basil Cameron and Simon Richardson - are all putting their hands up for the mayor's gig, pitting themselves against Suffolk Park resident and Lismore District Family Daycare Association boss Sol Ibrahim, the Hayters Hill man who wants to amalgamate Byron out of existence, Jack Sugarman and Byron Bay resident Morgan, who we're guessing would have to be the only druid standing in the NSW Local Government elections. Neither Morgan nor Mr Sugarman has nominated for general council positions.
And while Byron voters might not have the same names on their ballot papers as previous elections, there are still a few familiar faces, ranging from well-known politicians to business people, and the heads of lobby groups and non-profit community organisations.
Perhaps more importantly, the candidates come from a full spread of the Byron Shire, from the main population centres of Byron Bay, Bangalow, Mullumbimby, Bruns- wick Heads and Ocean Shores to hinterland areas such as Federal, Coorabell, Myocum, and Main Arm.
The field promises an exciting new council filled with people already working to better their communities. .
Voting in the Local Government elections on September 8 is compulsory.
Anyone on the electoral roll who fails to vote risks a $55 fine.
Absentee voting is not available for the local government elections; so you must present to your local polling booth to register a vote or do a pre-poll or postal vote before polling day.