You wouldn’t read about it
At the last meeting of the Tweed Shire Council, a motion to receive advice (free) from the State Library of NSW on future management options for the Richmond-Tweed Regional Library was inexplicably lost 4:3. That is, four ill-informed councillors deliberately chose NOT to receive free advice from the State Library, preferring to remain in complete ignorance. All three other constituent councils have chosen to take advantage of the State Library’s unbiased, timely and accurate advice. Both Lismore and Byron councils made this decision unanimously. Only poor old bumbling Tweed wishes to remain in the dark. Tweed Shire is in dire need of this information – the councillors have received inaccurate and misleading advice from council staff on this matter. Only last month, a senior council director advised a meeting of Kingscliff ratepayers that ‘a county council would almost certainly not be favoured by the state government’.
This statement was directly at odds with the facts, as the minister for local government himself has stated unequivocally that the Library Act was changed precisely so that regional libraries could be established as county councils. The Regional Library could also be established as an organisation similar to NOROC; it could become a corporation; or could even establish as a charitable trust (according to legal advice received by the RTRL committee). All of these options, and more, are on the table, but four Tweed councillors just don’t want to be bothered with facts.
Approximately 50 per cent of Tweed residents are library members – they care about the library service even if councillors don’t. These four councillors would do well to remember that it is their responsibility to make wise, informed decisions on behalf of ratepayers: ignorance may well be bliss but it is not a sensible option for councillors.
Martin Field, Kingscliff