Former Byron deputy mayor selling Big Scrub property
FORMER Byron Shire deputy mayor Patrick Morrisey is heading back to the Big Smoke to be closer to family after 25 years in Byron Shire.
The eco-warrior, who will move to Sydney once his property at Goonengerry is sold, spent just one term as a councillor but is fondly remembered for his environmental achievements between 2008 and 2011.
After being motivated to run for council to oppose a proposal to put a horse riding trail through his property that contains a significant portion of Big Scrub, Mr Morrisey spent the next four years "bringing science back into environmental issues" at the council.
"Putting the science back into environmental matters was one of my biggest achievements," Mr Morrisey said.
Mr Morrisey said this approach was not always as practical in reality as in theory.
The former councillor listed some of his other memorable achievements as engaging a permanent feral dog and fox trapper and re-opening the Suffolk Park Caravan Park to the public to combat homelessness and provide affordable housing in Byron Shire.
Mr Morrisey had "mixed emotions" about moving back to Sydney, but said at least he would still be "by the coast".
"It's been a really difficult decision and I'm still wondering whether I'm doing the right thing."
Mr Morrisey is selling his Big Scrub property that is home to threatened species of flora and fauna, including the south-eastern long-eared bat and the Australian masked owl that are both classed as vulnerable under the Threatened Species Conservation Act.
He has lived on the property for the past 25 years.
In that time he built a house, got married in the front yard and did a significant amount of bush regeneration.