By Luis Feliu
A bid by Tweed mayor Katie Milne calling on the federal and state governments to stop clearing and earthworks for the controversial instrument landing system at Gold Coast Airport was shot down last night.
At an extraordinary Tweed Shire Council meeting, the mayor’s move was thwarted when conservative councillors, backed by Labor’s Cr Reece Byrnes, succeeded in their rescission motion (Crs Milne, Chris Cherry and Ron Cooper against).
The Greens mayor had sought the urgent meeting earlier this week to back her move to write to the ministers responsible calling for the stop work plus an inquiry into the contentious project.
But the four opposing councillors (Crs Byrne, Warren Polglase, Pryce Allsop and James Owen) failed to turn up at the scheduled meeting, citing work commitments, and the meeting was adjourned to last night due to a lack of a quorum.
The rescission motion was later lodged by Cr Polglase, which was narrowly voted through last night, with a further recommendation that Cr Milne’s mayoral minute on the issue be ‘received and noted’ and for Gold Coast Airport managers to address council on the issue.
Cr Milne’s failed motion was for council to write to federal transport minister Darren Chester and NSW environment minister Gabrielle Upton ‘to express council’s serious concerns regarding the clearing and earthworks associated with the Instrument Landing System at the Gold Coast Airport on the NSW Crown Reserve, over and above the footprint for the stated siting of the localiser antennae from Runway 14 and calling for an immediate halt to the works and a full inquiry into the processes of the matter’.
It also requested ‘a response to be provided as a matter of urgency due to the significant environmental impacts currently occurring from the works on Endangered Ecological Communities, the drainage channel and the wetland areas that are to the whole ecosystem functioning of the Cobaki Broadwater and Class 1 Fishery habitat’.
Cr Milne has been a longtime supporter of the Tweed Heads and District Ratepayers Association opposed to the airport works on crown land due to their impacts.
But the latest works have rung alarm bells as they are much more extensive than originally proposed.