Recently a whistleblower from inside a restricted local Facebook group called Advocates for Advancement (AfA) leaked, in the first instance, to CCO approximately 120 pages of screenshot dumps from this Facebook site. The dumps were as recent as last Sunday27 November and went back to the middle of this year.
Another AfA whistleblower had also previously supplied more screenshot dumps that go back to prior to Xmas 2020.
By the Editor
As of last Sunday AfA claimed 179 members but an analysis of the screenshots tells one no more than 35 ever engaged much.
The rest remain largely silent. Some in the documents we have read have said “delete me from this group.”
Of the 35 roughly ten are current more ‘senior-ish’ council employees, or are related to senior council employees, in our estimate. Some of whom were contributing and commenting up until last Sunday.
The AfA site is virulently anti the Together We’ll Fix It Team and also other CCS/Yarilla Place opponents
Oh, and one last thing. Apparently if you are against Yarrila Place as proposed with Council Offices you *must* be a National Party lackey aligned to Andrew Fraser or Gurmesh.
Which is hilarious given who we know opposes it and why. We accept that proponents may be bi-partisan – look at the alignment between Cr’s Cecato (National Party) and Adendorf with the Coffs Harbour Greens, Labour For Coffs Harbour and Cr Townley on the issue. All of whom, by the way, recent AfA comments show they have thrown support behind.
Cr Townley is also an occasional, not particularly provocative, commentator on some of the AfA screen dumps we have seen.
Yet AfA have absolutely no concept of how bipartisan and deeply felt the opposition to the current CCS/Yarrila project and actions by the current council is.
They seemed wedded to a pre-fixed view of their opponents that had little or no connection with the reality of the breadth and depth of community opposition that that we are aware of.
Maybe that’s what being in a ‘hermetically sealed bubble’ can do to one?
Next to no discussion was given to the damage done to democracy by endless casting votes from the AfA posts I saw. Apparently the ends justified the means.
Strangely, given the political leanings of those on AfA, no criticism of the airport fire sale was proffered on the documents we were given .
This is in spite of many of the AfA commentators, judging by their comments, being aligned politically to parties that oppose privatisation!
Nor was their any argument with the fact that in this instance the Mayor’s casting vote was an open and shut breach of the democratic provisions pertaining to Denison’s Rule when the status quo should have been maintained once a 4-4 vote was reached. See; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaker_Denison%27s_rule
Again the impression is that the AfA proponents were happy with the ends justifying the means.
You may ask; ‘Why does this matter?’
Many of the founders/administrators of AfA are well known commentators on this site and in wider local social media where they were often controversially strident from the start in both their methods and views. They were given the chance to have their say.
AfA as a site was in many ways the opposite. Secretive and at times problematically worrying in some of the things they considered doing ‘behind closed doors,’ no alternative arguments from others was allowed, let alone encouraged.
Now that is perfectly legal. No argument there.
But when they are happy to use more open networks, quite often actually trolled other sites under ‘sock puppet names themselves, as the screenshots we have show, but then also deny that privilege to others, and when those employed by the ratepayer are somewhat deeply involved too, it then becomes a matter of public interest in our view.
CCO has often in the past offered some of the better known AfA members the opportunity to publish a full article outlining their views and arguments, with little editing unless for grammar or legal issues. Invariably they always declined.
However, we can now do just that. Today and tomorrow we are going to publish some of their monologues for your consideration.
Other recent posts of interest
We understand that the AfA Facebook site disappeared from view yesterday soon after the first screenshots leaked were published.
*We understand David Hargreaves is related to a Senior Manager at the CHCC.