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Bruce Clarke to Lead Team of Progressive Independents to Contest 2021 Council Election

Byron Shire Action Group today announced that a diverse team of Progressive Independents, under the leadership of Bruce Clarke, will contest the upcoming 2021 Council election to provide bold, clear and highly experienced leadership to ensure a better future for all residents.

Mayoral candidate Bruce is a lawyer, local government specialist and environmental strategist with high-level management expertise. He and his diverse team are focused on providing actionable solutions to the current and future challenges faced by the Shire.

“As a team of strong, like-minded Independents, we believe in putting the people of Byron Shire ahead of allegiance to any political party. We know that with better governance, a focus on the real issues faced by the community, and smart leadership, we will see Byron Shire maintain its heritage, character and values while adapting to future demands. Everyone deserves better from local government,” Bruce said.

“As a community we are faced with major issues which have compelled us to stand and deliver real, effective solutions. These include:

  • Renewable and resilient infrastructure - coastal management, forest conservation, roads including pothole rectification works, green power generation, efficient drainage, and building towards a zero emissions target
  • Long-term and secure accommodation – to meet the challenges of mental health issues and financial stress facing people living here
  • Cross-Shire public transport - provide regular and accessible public transport across the entire Shire
  • Genuine community consultation - listen to the residents and initiate transparent, respectful and comprehensive consultations from the outset
  • Balance tourism with liveability - forge stronger working relationships with both Federal and State Governments to gain appropriate funding
  • Careers for youth, not just jobs - support the creation of smart and future focused work opportunities
  • Increasing support for our arts community.”

Bruce will be joined on the ticket by journalist/diplomat/communications specialist Julie Meldrum; cafe owner and Brunswick Chamber of Commerce committee member, Gary Deller; and Ocean Shores resident and Byron Bay small business owner, Janine Khosid.

Julie said that the need for stronger working relationships with Federal and State Governments will assist Byron Shire in meeting the increasing costs to ratepayers associated with massive tourism. “We need to alleviate the financial burden of being the second most popular holiday destination in Australia by supporting appropriate infrastructure as well as the residents who play a pivotal role in making our Shire so attractive.”

Gary stated: “Bureaucratic red tape, underscored by slow decision making, has led to grief for many small businesses across the Shire. With a more collaborative and solutions-based approach, ratepayers, business owners and Council can work together to attain sensible, faster and more seamless outcomes through rigorous policies and processes.”

Janine said her frequent interactions with Byron Shire residents had shown a shared view that they have been feeling neglected and would love to be supported more by local government. “I live in Ocean Shores, adjacent to Billinudgel, The Pocket and Mullumbimby, which makes up a significant area of the Byron Shire. This raises the question - why do we always seem to be the last on the list when it comes to rectifying our drainage issues, much needed road maintenance, and our lack of public transport within this area?”

In the lead up to the Council election on 4 September, 2021, specifics about key action  items and policy papers will be released that will act as a blueprint for a reinvigorated and reunited Byron Shire.

Bruce and the Byron Shire Action Group will be holding a series of “meet the candidates” events throughout the Shire, with the first being held from 4pm - 6pm this Saturday, 3 July, 2021 at Happy Dolphin Cafe, 8 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads. Everyone is welcome, pending Covid-19 restrictions.

For more details, please visit or contact:

Susan Camilleri
Project Officer
M:0459 815 141