Keeping it REAL in the Byron Shire

REAL: A part of the group’s logo.
REAL: A part of the group’s logo.

A NEW force has emerged in local politics in the Byron Shire.

The group, Community Independents, is a response to the current state of local government, according to its spokesman and Community Centre GM Paul Spooner.

"People would like to have an alternative to the present choice, which is between the Greens and the conservatives in the council seats," Mr Spooner said.

The group's logo sports the word REAL - responsible, ethical, accountable leadership.

The reason the group was announcing its presence early, Mr Spooner said, was to enable a "discussion so we can be representative of the community's views".

He said such a conversation with people was an important first step, and the group has set up a Facebook page to begin the exchange. Some themes had already emerged, Mr Spooner said, including the need to fix the roads and more support for local business.

Traffic was a big issue for those people who had commented on the shire's needs, as well as calls to keep development in Byron low-scale and environmentally friendly.

A bed tax had been proposed, and Mr Spooner said the Community Independents would certainly be examining that as one way of channelling dollars back into the community.

"Edinburgh has recently imposed one, as a way of remaining sustainable through all the large festivals it has," he said.

The group would look at fresh processes in the way council conducts its business, "to initiate greater partnership in the shire". Its approach would be based on new-look strategies around community values, cultural activities, the environment and the economy.

Community Independents is not classified as a party, as that would require it to have been registered 12 months before the council election in September.

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