Originally published 17Nov2009
Chuck Woolworths outta Court
I"ve been away on residential study and returned to find that we (MCAN and Byron Shire Council and their solicitors) still haven"t been supplied with the final onsite management plan from Woolworths. The Commissioner of the Court at the Ballina Land & Environment Court (on 29 Sept) stipulated that Woolworths "make sure all the detail is fulfilled by 14 days before the hearing date and that a joint report be completed in 3 weeks". Because Woolworths didn"t have their final management plan ready for the court hearing on 29 Sept, the hearing date was postponed more than 6 weeks and set for tomorrow, 18, 19 & 20 Nov. To this day, Woolworths have still not got their final management plan ready, and the hearing has again been put off for another day and a half - now this Thurs 19th at 11.30 am. Therefore the allotted three days for the hearing has now been halved. The experts will be getting together tomorrow, probably to do the joint report" that the Commissioner asked for to be completed by 3 weeks, ie 20th October; which obviously couldn"t be done at that time without Woolworths final management plan.
LAST MINUTE ASSESSMENT:
The upshot of this non-compliance of the legal requirement (if the Commissioner asked for it and Woolworths Counsel agreed, it looks like a legal requirement) is that our legal team and consultants have possibly only ONE DAY, in the constrained circumstances of the Sydney Court, to check out Woolworths onsite management plan. As you know, Woolworths onsite has been amended at least 5 times, has stretched over 2 years while they attempt to come up with an acceptable plan, and this whole process is costing ratepayers upwards of $100,000. Is it fair that this important assessment, the culmination of two years slog and massive community involvement, is now to be squeezed into one day? Is this a manipulation of due process? Are we being done over yet again?
THROW IT OUT OF COURT!!
We think it"s only fair to the Byron Shire ratepayers that this case is NOT heard in these circumstances. We are entitled to due process. We believe it is fair to STOP the proceedings as Woolworths are not complying with the time framework instigated by the Commissioner. Our legal counsel, solicitors and experts deserve the aforesaid 14 days to view the proposal and adequate time to consider its ramifications.
WOOLWORTHS WAIT FOR NEW STP:
Since Woolworths have not come up with a management plan within the stipulated timeframe, it is reasonable to expect them to wait for the new Mullumbimby sewage treatment plant to come online and for the current building moratorium to be lifted. They have had their chance at preferential treatment and they have blown it. Now they should wait like everyone else.
have already been accrued by Woolworths legal challenge to our councillors perfectly reasonable refusal of their shonky plans. We ratepayers paid for the legal team to fly up from Sydney, accommodation as well as top wages. Why should we go on paying for Woolworths to dither and mess us around?
CONTACT BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL:
If you consider this process is unfair please contact Graeme Faulkner, GM at http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Contact
and you might contact BSC solicitor shannon.mckelvey(at)@byron.nsw.gov.au as well as councillors.
Councillors details are:
Just remove the (at) which I put there to stop automatic spam.
ABC NORTH COAST RADIO NEWS:
Bruce McKenzie interviewed me by phone today and is hoping to interview BSC solicitor Shannon McKelvey when she returns his call. The interview may be on 6.30, 7.30 & 8.30 am ABC news or the afternoon bulletin. Look on ABC north coast website for written news item.
have a letter to the Directors of Woolworths on their website just a few clicks will get you into the boardroom of those that control half of Australia"s grocery retailing. http://www.magicalmullum.com/
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED (GE) FOOD LABELLING
if you want to know if the food you are buying has GM ingredients, please google True Food Network for addresses and info for Fed Gov Review of Food labelling Laws. Submissions need only be short, and final date is this Friday 20 November.
Small town Romsey in Victoria won Court of Appeal case and a five year fight to ban the town"s only pub from having 30 pokie machines. The community revolted and won, saying that the decision should offer hope to other small communities fighting big business. I wonder if they were Woolies pokies? Full story http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2009/s2740818.htm
NORTH COAST CLIMATE ACTION GROUP
next meeting Wed 18 Nov 6pm - 7.30pm at the climate office, Santos Mullum.
QUOTE: ON LIVING DEMOCRACY
by Frances Moore Lappe, from "Getting a Grip" 2007.
WHAT IS IT? Living Democracy is a set of system-qualities that shape daily life. Its values of inclusion, fairness and mutual accountability infuse not only political life but economic and cultural life as well. Living Democracy is always evolving; it"s never finished.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Citizens use their voices and values to shape public choices. They set rules to keep wealth continually circulating and to keep its influence out of politics. They decide what is a market commodity and what is a right of citizenship because it is essential to life. Moving beyond a one-rule economy (highest return to existing wealth), "values boundaries" guide the market, from environmental protections to anti-trust laws; and citizens" conscious shopping choices foster healthy communities.
WHO GETS INVOVED? All citizens have public lives. As buyers, savers, investors, voters, advocates, students, employers, workers and members of social benefit organisations, our actions create the quality of our communities and the wider world.
WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR EFFECTIVENESS?
Democracy is a learned art. As we practice its arts active listening, creative conflict, negotiation, mediation, mentoring and other relational skills we reap the joy of effectiveness.
WHAT MOTIVATES PEOPLE TO ENGAGE?
We humans know our own well-being depends on healthy communities and that only in public engagement can we fulfil our need to connect with others in common purpose, to make a difference, to express our values and to fully respect ourselves. Engagement is part of the good life.