New lamps for Lismore

ENERGY efficient lighting should be installed in Lismore’s suburban streets by late next year, Country Energy regional general manager Richard Wake said.

Addressing Lismore City Council at its monthly meeting on Tuesday night, Mr Wake conceded Country Energy had been ‘dragging the chain’ in rolling out the new efficient globes for Lismore’s 6000 street lights.

“I absolutely accept it has taken a long time, I absolutely accept that Country Energy can be accused of dragging the chain but we really have had to introduce some new technology and we don’t take that lightly,” he said.

“It’s a new product that Lismore City has to wear for some time so we want to make sure we get that right.”

His comments related to a motion to be discussed later at the meeting calling on Country Energy to expedite the roll-out.

Councillor Simon Clough, who proposed the motion, wrote in the council papers that 54 per cent of the council’s carbon emissions came from electricity and negotiations for the new lighting had lasted for years with ‘very little success’.

After the meeting Cr Clough said he was pleased by Mr Wake’s assurances.

“We are now three-and-a-half years ahead of where we were, but it still needs to become a reality,” he said.

In other council news, the ghosts of libertarian philosopher John Stuart Mill and classical economist Alfred Marshall made an appearance as councillors discussed asking for a report on banning smoking in all outdoor public areas.

As reported on Monday the ban, which would include lighting up on the street, is part of a growing push to stop smoking outdoors and follows a similar ban by Richmond Valley Council last month.

Using his right of reply after proposing the motion, Cr Clough remarked it was the most philosophical debate he had seen in council chambers.

“We had references to legal drugs and illegal drugs, and yes it is a legal drug but as Cr (David) Yarnall pointed out it does do harm,” he said.

Perhaps reflecting the level of debate in the community on the issue, one by one councillors rose with the words ‘I didn’t intend to talk on this issue but ...’

After Cr Yarnall spoke of Mills’ Social Contract and others spoke of the Marshall’s theory of the price elasticity of demand, the motion was passed with Crs John Chant, Neil Marks and Peter Graham voting against.

In other news, councillors unanimously voted to spend $10,800 towards turfing Neilson Park field in time for this season’s kick-off after two previous attempts failed.

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