Tweed mayor Kevin Skinner wants no part of Byron Shire. Byron mayor Jan Barham has raised the prospect of a merger.
Tweed mayor Kevin Skinner wants no part of Byron Shire. Byron mayor Jan Barham has raised the prospect of a merger.

No place for Byron in Tweed

TWEED is better off without parts of Byron Shire being added to the council area, Tweed mayor Kevin Skinner said.

Cr Skinner yesterday declared the Tweed would not be interested in taking over parts of Byron Shire, such as Ocean Shores or Brunswick Heads, because the shire was already “big enough” and self-contained.

His comments should come as good news to a number of Byron residents, whose Greens Party mayor Jan Barham claimed a NSW Coalition government would sack Byron council and amalgamate it with another council.

Ms Barham, who is running as a Greens Party candidate for the upper house and has been warning against the chance that the Coalition might control both houses of Parliament, said Byron was a small shire with financial difficulties, but wanted to stand alone.

“There are a lot of concerns within the community at the moment with a possible changing government,” she said this week.

“People are saying that the council will be sacked, that we’ll be forced to amalgamate.”

The most likely options for a merger are Ballina Shire to Byron’s south, the Tweed to the north or parts of Byron shire to both council areas.

However Coalition candidates, including sitting Ballina MP Don Page, have promised no councils would be forced to amalgamate if they win power tomorrow.

“I wouldn’t think Tweed Shire would want any part of Byron,” Cr Skinner said.

“Our own water supply and infrastructure is all contained within our current area.

“We would be much happier to stand separate and stand alone as we are. I believe we are big enough.”

Cr Skinner added he could “not see a Coalition government” forcing any amalgamation.

Three years ago Kyogle Shire councillor Peter Lewis pushed the idea of Northern Rivers councils being dissolved and replaced with a super council from the Clarence Valley to the border.



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