Tweed Shire Councillor Phil Youngblutt has told local media this week he will not re-contest his position at this year’s council elections.
Youngblutt, now in his 70s, said that council had been ‘revitalised’ during his time in office.
He is generally part of a pro-development voting group but surprisingly voted against longtime ally Warren Polglase at the last mayoral elections, helping instead to install current mayor Barry Longland.
Youngblutt says Longland had made a promise to vote in support of the controversial Byrill Creek dam project when it was soon after the mayoral elections, which he subsequently went back on.
Longland denies the claims, saying he had only ever agreed to re-examine the issue after an ongoing state government review of the previous government’s investigation had been finalised.
As the government didn’t find anything amiss with the existing position, Longland says he had no qualms about using his deciding vote to block the project.