I encourage your readers to lodge a complaint with the Minister of Local Government [[email protected]] and call upon him to intervene in relation to the following issues which have brought the Tweed Shire Council’s integrity into serious question:
(1) By refusing to bring forward a report into the future use and viability of an alternative permanent site for a men’s shed at Lot 3 Centennial Drive, Pottsville, council is in breach of its resolution at the 21 August 2014 council meeting.
(2) In accordance with the Local Government Act, before a licence can be issued on community land, the matter must be put on public exhibition. However, on 15 September, council approved a licence for a men’s shed at Black Rocks without going through this exhibition period.
(3) On 24 August the Office of Local Government (OLG) provided advice that during the period between the cancelled 10 September election and 29 October election, council should ‘avoid making any contentious decisions that would be binding on the incoming council that cannot be deferred’.
An industrial-like men’s shed in the middle of a koala corridor at Black Rocks is a very contentious issue, which has divided the community for over two years.
It is unconscionable that the OLG advice was ignored and the granting of a licence for a men’s shed at Black Rocks was put on the September council agenda.
Crs Barry Longland, Warren Polglase and Carolyn Byrne had the opportunity to diffuse public division and anger by deferring the licence (as proposed by mayor Katie Milne and deputy mayor Gary Bagnall) and voting for a council report into an alternative permanent site. Instead, they have fueled public outcry by voting for a licence and against a council report.
And now we are told nine days after the licence was approved, that the matter has to go on public exhibition, and the public has 28 days to have their say (submissions close 22 October).
All of this while council is in caretaker mode. Council was flooded with letters from objectors to granting the licence prior to the September council meeting. Will council listen to them?
Lyn Dickinson, Pottsville