In whose interest?
I am very concerned about the behaviour of councillor Warren Polglase, in the role he played in landing councillor Milne in court, charged with defamation against Bob Ell.
One thing the court case has proved very clearly is where councillor Polglase’s loyalties really lay, when it came to his mayoral role in Tweed Shire Council. He was elected to support the people of Tweed Shire, not Bob Ell and his high-density mini-city projects. Councillor Polglase says he did nothing wrong in passing on councillor Milne’s email, without her permission, to developer Bob Ell. An ethical person realising their colleague could get into trouble for saying certain things would have taken her aside and suggested she change it. But not councillor ‘I did nothing wrong’ Polglase. He rats on her instead, to get her into trouble. Irrespective of different politics councillor Milne is Polglase’s colleague and, by doing what he did, he not only acted shamelessly, he betrayed every elector in Tweed Shire by showing his true colours.
It is now quite obvious that councillor Polglase had and has a conflict of interest between his role as a shire representative of the people and his underhand support of Leda’s very questionable major projects in Kings Forest and Cobaki Lakes.
Chris Degenhardt (Tweed Shire resident)
Do the majority of Ballina Shire Councillors merely pay ‘lip service’ to the value of community consultation, open and transparent government and accountability?
It appears that only councillor Jeff Johnson is interested in the contribution that the inclusion of local community representatives can make.
Recently, the proposal of a Lennox Head Consultative Committee was rejected by the councillors in a 9–1 vote, despite the interest of numerous local organisations. All of these groups of people feel sufficiently motivated to nominate local representatives who will give their time to participate in a committee which seeks to review the strategic planning in Lennox Head. Surely, this is grassroots democracy in action!
Why do the other elected councillors fear the input of the local people when they want their views to be considered, and the council to represent their interests?
An example of a decision which affects the residents of Lennox Head is the recent resolution for the proposed Cumbalum rezoning of rural land to be placed on public exhibition. The funding and delivery of the infrastructure required for this proposed rezoning have not been agreed to.
How do the councillors imagine that the people of Lennox Head will respond when they find out that a new housing development at the top of Ross Lane has no planning or funding strategy in place to cope with the additional infrastructure required. (The proposal if approved will see the population of Lennox Head more than double.)
Ratepayers may be faced with paying a significant bill for a housing estate that the shire, and in particular Lennox Head, doesn’t want or need.
Again, councillor Jeff Johnson was in the minority who voted against this and raised the community’s concerns.
Ballina councillors, the community put you there to represent us.
Your actions, or lack of them will be remembered.
Julie McVeigh Lennox Head