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Byron Shire
April 13, 2021

Tweed Mayor says DAs at all time high

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There is just over a year until the next Tweed Council elections and conservative councillors have been warming up to the task of discrediting the current majority of Green, Labor and independent councillors who have been at the tiller.

Councillors Warren Polglase (National), Pryce Allsop (independent) and James Owen (Liberal) have been running a campaign to undermine community confidence in what they refer to as the ‘Rainbow Four’: Mayor Katie Milne (Green), Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry (independent), Reece Byrnes (Labor) and Ron Cooper (independent) who have generally worked together towards a stable and pro-environment stance.

Mayor Katie Milne has defended both the staff and the majority of councillors saying that the ongoing attacks from councillors Owen, Allsop and Polglase claiming that councillors aren’t listening to the people of Tweed is aimed at laying the groundwork for next year’s election.

‘The minority councillors should be ashamed of themselves for denigrating this Council and our staff that are busting their guts for this community,’ said Mayor Milne.

‘There needs to be reality checks on the claims being made by these councillors. It is ridiculous to suggest developers are steering clear of Tweed because they are being treated like “predators”’ as claimed in the Tweed Daily News. 

‘Development applications (DAs) are at all time highs and developers are snapping up land at enormous prices, but instead of talking up the Tweed and promoting business confidence it seems Cr Owen’s political ambition for the Council election is more important to him than the best interests of the Tweed.’

Mayor Milne also addressed accusations that staff morale was low and that council was spending irresponsibly on court cases saying that she has ‘never been advised that staff morale is low as claimed but I do know that staff feel insulted and offended by such accusations.

‘Cr Owen is actually guilty of the very type of politics he accuses the majority councillors of.

‘He complains that he is regularly outvoted but he has never once reached out to negotiate with me. If you look at his track record you will see that he has never attempted to initiate a single policy in Council.

‘The community rejected this sort of toxic politics when they voted out 5 of the 7 councillors at the last Council election.’ 

Court cases

Court cases can be a significant cost to local councils when cashed up developers are able to challenge council decisions they aren’t happy with. However, Mayor Milne says the Tweed Council has been responsible with their choices in both approving and refusing applications. 

‘There were nine courts cases last financial year. Three cases were lost from councillor-initiated refusals, three were lost following staff-recommended refusals, and three were lost by developers,’ explained Mayor Milne.

‘All in all it cost $297,000 for the cases resulting solely from the four community-based councillors. That equates to around $3 per resident or about 0.1 per cent of Council’s budget.’

Milne highlighted that it’s not just refusals that cost Council but that developments can also be a significant cost to council.

‘Cr Polglase and Allsop’s irresponsible support for the 19m commercial water extraction trucks at Urliup would have cost Council millions of dollars in required road upgrades and never ending road repair bills, and risked numerous lives on this entirely inappropriate road,’ she said.

‘An easy way not to lose any court cases would be to approve everything and forget about defending our community and environment, like the Polglase run Council that was sacked in 2005.

‘That sort of politics has already delivered Tweed the highest number of threatened species in Australia and left our iconic koalas on the brink of extinction.

‘Those sore loser minority Councillors fail to respect that it was the will of the people that elected this Council to protect our Shire from their Gold Coast style trumped up election aspirations.

‘I absolutely welcome low impact, sustainable and creative developments. Tweed needs to be a centre of excellence, not a hot bed for mates dodgy developments.’


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6 COMMENTS

  1. This negative article is against Tweed Council when the people of Tweed Shire are not the complainers and whingers. The people are quiet. The Council’s enemies are banging the drum in complaining and making the noise and the din.
    This article is written in the tone that Tweed Council in defending itself is a bad thing. Council is defending and in defence mode for the people of Tweed in being progressive for the people of Tweed, working for the people of Tweed protecting them against bad planning and bad development. That is unique and has been unheard of in this place as the Tweed is a place of ignorance. Councils of the past and politicians even got rid of their university and sent it to the Airport so more Queenslanders can be educated.
    Council in working for the people is indeed a good thing. It failed in one aspect of that in the political siting of the new Tweed Hospital that was put in its position one red agricultural soil by a political party for political means. When the new Tweed Hospital and associated buildings around it go up it will be shown what development predators have done to the good planning by Tweed Council in that high-rise will begin to takeover and change the Tweed into a jungle of concrete and steel. This present Tweed Council is working for excellence and not for the proliferation of mediocrity. The minority councillors do not know the meaning of ‘quality’ so how can they work towards such an entity as they do not comprehend what quality is?

  2. The three stooges: Allsop, Polglase and Owen. They always vote for Gold Style development and water mining for the plastic water bottle industry. They’ve shown to be morally bankrupt time and time again. Polglase was sacked from council in 2005 for being a pawn of developers. Allsop’s a fool who boasts never having gone to school. Owen’s a blow-in and an Alan Jones sycophant. These stooges need to go!

  3. It really is up to the media to fact check any misleading allegations that are made by letter writers, councillors or politicians, We need facts from our elected leaders, not misrepresentations and contrived outright lies, prefabrications and distortions.
    The media is not there simply to repeat lies and misrepresentaions for politicians, especially at elections. But sadly it appears that seems to be the only thing some “Opinion writers” working for the MSM do.
    We must never have a repeat of the lies repeated by the MSM, that happened at the last Federal election.
    We should also know whom is funding the councillors campaigns prior to the elections.
    What will be Owe’n or Owned by whom after the election.
    As we all know some newspapers and other media have far higher standards than many others in this country and it has been to the detriment of our democracy and free and fair elections.
    The candidates must run on their policies, “If they have any” not their contrived misrepresentations of their opponents!

  4. Thanks for printing the truth Echonet, and thanks Katie for explaining the facts around recent Council decisions. It seems that some councillors are on a mission to return to the bad old days when Council was run by developers and had to be sacked.
    Some spout misinformation in the hope that if it is repeated often enough people will eventually believe it. Katie is right on the money when she says we don’t want this type of toxic politics in our council. We want honest men and women who have the sustainable future of the Tweed as their major aim, and work towards this goal in a supportive and collegiate manner.

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