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Byron Shire
April 17, 2024

Councillors AWOL

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Last week I gave a presentation to Tweed Shire council at community access but two councillors were not present – Cr Polglase (who didn’t show up at all) and Cr van Lieshout (who was 15 minutes late).

I think it is absolutely appalling that councillors can’t be at community access on time or just not show for no reason stated to the mayor. I understand that sometimes councillors get sick but this appeared not to be the case.

This is the one opportunity every month councillors have to listen to the public. They are paid to do so. We are not paid to make presentations and it takes many hours to prepare. My presentation took around eight hours to put together and that is not unusual for a PowerPoint presentation and speech. It’s not asking too much for all councillors to be present to hear what I had to say. As it was most of them were reading something else and appeared not even to be listening half the time.

I wrote to the general manager but received no reply. It makes us wonder how serious they are about serving or representing the community. We spend hours writing submissions on various development applications – I wonder do they even read them?

One good example was the Community Working Group (CWG) a year or so ago, whose task was to present recommendations for a sustainable water supply for Tweed. Their advice was totally ignored by Tweed Shire Council. None of that group were paid to spend countless months of their precious time – and for what?

At January’s community access Cr Youngblutt walked out because I was slotted in at the end when there was a cancellation. Mayor Longland explained to him that I was on the waiting list but Cr Youngblutt walked out just the same. Surely this kind of errant behaviour by councillors is not permitted in council’s Code of Conduct?

We in the community are very tired of this sloppy behaviour on the part of certain councillors, in addition to their rudeness to us – and each other. Bring on the elections and let us throw out this useless bunch (with one exception – Cr Katie Milne).

Menkit Prince, Uki


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