“A Real Abuse of Power”

March 20, 2011 by Henry Benjamin
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A Marrickville councillor has slammed mayor Fiona Byrne for using the Council web site to explain why Israel should be boycotted.



Cr Victor Macri

Independent councillor Vic Macri told J-Wire that he pushing for an extraordinary general meeting of council to have the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions page on the web site removed immediately.


This is what Mayor Byrne has authorised:




Councillor Macri told J-Wire that he had complained to the Council’s General Manager. “It went up on on the web site on Thursday afternoon. Why would you put this out there the week of a State election? I am going to be pushing to have it taken off the web site. I think It is a breach of the code of conduct. The mayor has said publicly she will take the BDS issue as part of her policy to State Government. She’s running a State campaign with  a local Council’s money.  The ratepayers don’t want to be part of this. They don’t want to be part of a boycott of Israel. The vast majority think that Council has overstepped its mark.”

Councillor Macri has a hairdressing shop on Marrickville Rd and told J-Wire he talks to locals all day. “The local Vietnamese population is perplexed by the BDS issue. They can’t understand why council is going into Israeli politics. They feel they were elected to look after Marrickville.”

He added that he was not is a position to deal with this alone and said a meeting would be necessary but did mention that the Labor Party had sent a letter of complaint.

Speaking of next week’s State election, Councillor Macri said that he hoped sitting member Carmel Tebbut “would rise to the challenge”  He added:  “She has done a great job for our local community.”

Cuncillor Macri said the issue is really about grabbing a handful of votes. The majority of people do not want the BDS.   “The General Manager is trying to politicise the staff on this matter. He has refused to tell me the cost to Council saying that they don’t record the costs. The Mayor has compromised Council by emailing the BDS message to 2000 constituents. It is a real abuse of power.”

The next Council meeting is not scheduled until the third Tuesday of April.


5 Responses to ““A Real Abuse of Power””
  1. Rita says:

    Good on you, councillor Vic Macri!

    I understand there is only ONE other councillor who has voted against this anti-semitic racisim and blatant (illegal?) vote-catching exercise and so deserves our respect.


    Send that woman to Iran with a one-way ticket – I would not mind my taxes paying for such an action.

    “Marrickville Council” has acquired quite a bad reputation. Do not trust them with your rates, they obviously use them for personal political ambitions.

  2. TJF says:

    On point 5 – “Why isn’t council boycotting other nations?”

    I have written to the ten councilors who supported the BDS on a number of occasions, asking that they consider a similar boycott against Iran, in light of its appalling human rights record and failure to comply with UN resolutions, and with particular urgency given the alarming ramp up of executions of dissidents. I have also suggested that they develop some objective criteria and processes when considering boycotts as I have quite a long list of other countries to follow Iran. I pointed out that it would be more difficult to perceive their action as purely anti-Semitic, if they did so.

    I had no response from any of them. And yes I am a (somewhat ashamed) Marrickville resident. They seem prepared to listen their citizen’s international concerns, so long as they aren’t Jewish, or perhaps opposed to an Islamic regime. What other logical conclusion can be drawn?

  3. Lynne Newington says:

    I’m quite sure Ms Byrne would have the full support of auxillary Bishop Patrick Power.
    Anyone care to clarify it.

  4. Daniel says:

    But Mark, isn’t the BDS part of NSW Green’s state policy platform? Presumably Fiona would vote for such a motion if one of here colleagues were to raise it in a similar way that she has at Marrickville Council, where – despite not having raised it – she has been a highly vocal supporter of it.

    There’s one very simple way to convince us of her intentions: put forward a motion at Council to rescind the boycott.

  5. markriboldi says:

    Councillor Macri is mistaken. Fiona has never said she would take the BDS into state parliament. In fact, she has said the opposite.


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