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Byron Shire
June 19, 2021

Tweed councillors behaving badly

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Thank you for last weeks Echonetdaily detailing events surrounding ‘Tweed shire councillors walk out’ during the regular general meeting.

I found myself seated in council chambers in Murwillumbah last Thursday at the special meeting convened because of their walkout stemming from the mayor’s rescission motion, i.e. asking for full disclosure of expense claims before reimbursement.

I was expecting some apology for their poor behaviour or at the very least a handful of  receipts to be thrown into the arena but I was bitterly disappointed.

Four councillors voted against disclosure because, despite being in council for the last 100 years, Cr Polglase and Youngblutt are still not fully cognisant of the rules around their expenditure, and their junior partners  Crs Byrne and Longland also require more instruction.

As the meeting progressed I was surprised at the hostility directed from the three conservative councillors towards our mayor. I believe she acted with poise and decorum albeit a little wordy at times. Or maybe it’s understood that it takes a long time for information to filter through to them.

I think she might be right because both Crs Youngblutt and Polglase told the mayor during the course of the meeting they didn’t understand a word she said.

Their reactions to anything to do with bigger picture politics, such as the ‘Mayors for Peace’ motion; or furthering council’s ethical practices beyond mainstream business and include things like, the environment, waste, fair trade etc, were dismissed out of hand.

Mayor Milne’s motions tumbled like confetti at a funeral!

However there was one small victory for posterity on this day in chambers when Cr Bagnall’s motion to restore parts of Murwillumbah’s Tweed River bank to  it’s former glory was unanimously approved. Merry Xmas.

Trish Mann, Burringbar

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