David Norris, Pottsville
The Threatened Species Conservation Society has received information that in early 2014 Tweed Council planning staff and the Pottsville and District Men’s Shed (P&DMS) both agreed that Lot 3 Centennial Drive, Pottsville was the preferred site for their men’s shed.
In a report to council dated 17/7/2014, P&DMS stated that the Black Rocks sports field was the only suitable site available as the Pottsville Preschool was planning extensions on the Lot 3 site. However, once the Preschool extension plans were completed, the remaining section could be available for consideration. Two years later the Preschool plans are complete and the development application is awaiting council approval. It appears there is plenty of room left for a men’s shed.
At the September 15 council meeting, Crs Longland, Polglase and Byrne refused to defer the granting of a licence to P&DMS to build their temporary shed at Black Rocks and refused to bring forward a report to investigate the viability of a permanent site at Lot 3. In not investigating the Lot 3 site, council is in breach of a previous resolution for council officers to continue to look for an alternative permanent site.
It also appears that council is in breach of the Local Government Act by relying on men shedders once established at the Black Rocks sports field to provide ‘an active management and reporting function’ to deter anti-social behaviour. According to the Act, only council employees or councillors can perform a regulatory function.
At the council meeting Cr Longland complained that he ‘had to endure hundreds if not thousands of emails’ about this issue. Doesn’t his job description include listening to the people?
Why aren’t P&DMS jumping at the chance to go to a permanent centrally located site at Lot 3 Centennial Drive, which was their preferred option from the outset? What is driving them to an isolated, controversial, temporary location, with a refusal to fully investigate their preferred option?
What is going on here?