Big Rob nominated for Australia Day awards
LISMORE mayor Isaac Smith could soon be be shaking Big Rob's hand, despite having an interim AVO against him.
Mr Rob has been nominated for two awards in Lismore City Council's Australia Day celebrations to take place at the council chambers on the morning of January 26.
Mr Rob was nominated for the Citizen of the Year, and Services in Community (Individual) categories. Under the rules anyone can be nominated for an Australia Day award and only one nomination is required for an invitation.
Traditionally, all nominees shake the hand of the mayor and receive a certificate.
Mr Rob told The Northern Star he was "definitely" showing up to the event, but was concerned about whether he might face arrest for breaching the interim AVO protecting Cr Smith.
But the mayor said he was confident Mr Rob was safe from arrest.
"(Mr Rob)... is still allowed to undertake civic participation," he said.
"He's certainly been at council meetings, he's spoken to me at council meetings and as long as he isn't being threatening, he can do those things.
"He's welcome to attend as all nominees are, and it will be a great day for everyone."
Cr Smith noted that this year certificates were sent in the mail and only winners would shake the mayor's hand.
"Will he win? We'll have to find out on the day," he said.
"If he's lucky enough to win an award, then I would be very happy to shake his hand."
The interim AVO was granted following an application by Cr Smith on March 10 last year. In his statement tendered to the court, Cr Smith said he had been subject to "repeated and consistent harassment from the defendant".
Under the ruling, Mr Rob must not approach Cr Smith, go within 200m of his home, and must remove all references to his family members and place of residence from the internet. Under mandatory orders he must also not threaten, intimidate or stalk Cr Smith.
Police alleged Mr Rob then breached the interim AVO when he posted Cr Smith's mobile phone number on Facebook in April last year shortly after the Lismore floods.
The number was publicly available on the council's website at the time but has since been changed to a 1300 number.
A hearing date over the breach AVO charge, a criminal allegation, is scheduled to go ahead on February 16 in Byron Bay Local Court.
A court hearing over the AVO itself, which Mr Rob said he was "vigorously fighting", will proceed only after the criminal allegation has been dealt with.
Mr Rob is also challenging in the High Court the bail conditions imposed over his alleged breach of the AVO. The conditions prevent him from mentioning Isaac Smith's name online, which he said compromised his "constitutional right of freedom of political communication".