Bureaucracy takes sizzle from Australia Day barbecue.
Bureaucracy takes sizzle from Australia Day barbecue.

Red tape is un-Australian

THE Grinch may have stolen Christmas, but bureaucracy has taken over Australia Day.

Each year for the past 10 years, a sign advertising Australia Day festivities in Bexhill has been placed beside Bangalow Road, but this time Bexhill Hall committee member Greg Johnston was informed by council that the sign had to go.

“It was right beside the bus shed. We’ve put it in the same place for 10 years, but council took it down,” he said. “But they were nice, they put it back down near the hall.”

Mr Johnston wasn’t given an exact reason for the sudden removal of the sign, but was told the ‘sign wasn’t supposed to be there’.

Lismore City Councilurban works engineer Dean Baldwin confirmed a council worker was instructed to remove the sign.

“Council was acting under instruction from the RTA to remove all advertising material from state-controlled roads and road reserves,” he said.

Mr Baldwin said Bangalow Road was a state-controlled road, but that ‘these signs can be erected on private property’.

State Member for Lismore, Thomas George, has condemned the act as ‘un-Australian’.

“Our governmentsencourage people to get involved in Australia Day, and for a government department to then not allow the community to promote what’s happening is disappointing to say the least,” he said.

“Australia Day is about getting together to appreciate what we’ve got.”

However, Mr Johnston plans to ‘nail the sign to the school fence’ so people know they can celebrate the day with a sausage sizzle, flag raising and game of cricket.



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