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Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

Who can you vote for in the Tweed Shire elections this 4 December?

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Tweed Shire Council elects its seven councillors who then select their Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The Mayor has a run of two years and the Deputy Mayor is re-elected every 12 months.

The Tweed Shire is one of Australia’s top three a biodiversity hotspots and the region and its Gondwana Rainforests are recognised by UNESCO stating that ‘The outstanding geological features displayed around shield volcanic craters and the high number of rare and threatened rainforest species are of international significance for science and conservation.’

Yet, as with the entire Northern Rivers region them pressure of development, affordable housing and water security, particularly water mining, are key issues that the local council has to contend with.

‘Thankfully the community has been valuing, and voting for this internationally significant environment a bit more lately. We seem to be finally waking up to what we are doing to our poor planet and our children’s future with Climate Change,’ says former Greens Mayor and councillor Katie Milne who is not recontesting this election.

Instead, you have a wide range of candidate groups to choose from. Over the coming  weeks, The Echo will be outlining the positions of these candidates who are seeking your votes.  Listed first are the Group Candidates followed by the Ungrouped Candidates.

Grouped Candidates

Master Mariner Bill Fenelon is running for the 2021 Tweed Shire elections. Photo supplied

Group A, Independent

William Fenelon, Carolyn Rifello, Rainer Glasker, and Susan Greer

Group B, Independent 

Meredith Dennis, Jennifer Hayes, Edna Gorton, and Annah Piggott-McKeller

Group C, Independent 

Peter Cumming, Bob Wallis , Meg Houghton, and Greg O’Connor

Tweed Shire Mayor, Cr Chris Cherry.

Group D, Independent 

Chris Cherry (current Mayor), Lindy Smith, Julie Boyd, Kristie Trudgett, and Trevor White

Tweed Councillor James Owen.

Group E, Liberal

James Owen (current councillor), Rhiannon Brinsmead, Dudley Horscroft, Freda Wilding

Group F, Independent 

Letitia Kelly, Dolly Tuku-Tuku-Kwarri, Marian Van Gestel, and Lori Scinto

Group G, Independent 

Barry Longland, Dot Holdom, Wendy Shannon, and Michael Doherty

Councillor Warren Polglase. Photo supplied.

Group H, Independent 

Warren Polglase (current conservative councillor), John Weaver, John Murray, and Tony Worrad

Group I, The Greens

Nola Firth, Joanna Gardner, Julianne Sandison, and Patricia Mann

Group J

Matthew Karlos, Robert Awes, Larry Karlos, and Sue Karlos

Tweed Councillor Pryce Allsop.

Group K

Pryce Allsop (current conservative councillor), William Larkin, Colin Brooks, Brent Saddler, and Jeffrey Gosel

Tweed Shire Councillor and Deputy Mayor, Reece Byrnes. Photo supplied.

Group L, Labor

Reece Byrnes (current Deputy Mayor), Russell Logan, Judith Choat, Robert Learmonth, Marie-Antoinette Rogers, and Peter Ruhanen

Group M

Leigh Thomas, Marianne Melnikas, Joshua Szabados, John Thomas, and Rodger Scott

Ungrouped Candidates

James Mckenzie , Eungella, Independent

Nathan Jones, Cudgen, Independent

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  1. Please get each team’s explicit full position on the about-to-be-constructed $14 million Tweed Valley Rail Trail.

    Be sure to differentiate between those who support continuing with the project as it has been designed over the past eight years with the clear majority support of the councillors throughout, as a largely on-formation, highly accessible, almost level rail trail and those who would start the whole process again as an unattractive, inaccessible, unaffordable, unsustainable off-formation track just for the sake of keeping the decrepit rails in place for trains that will never come.

    It is vitally important decision that will either see us late next year with a beautiful, world class, environmentally sensitive tourist attraction that will bring a measure of real prosperity to the towns and villages along it, or a failed project that would financially cripple Tweed Shire Council with millions of dollars already spent or millions of dollars in extra costs, needing to be covered by ratepayers.

    The tenders submitted for construction showed clearly that an off formation trail could not be built within budget. If a new council decided to change right when construction is about to start, several months of detailed design work by the contractor who submitted the successful bid, costing at least many hundreds of thousands of dollars would be torn up. A vastly more expensive trail design process would need to be started from scratch with a very real possibility that the already many years’ old funding agreements could lapse with any further delay.

    Tweed ratepayers need to know who will do the sensible thing and who would ruin us. We know some candidates are utterly committed to keeping the tracks while some candidates have so far chosen not to indicate their position.

  2. I am so happy that none of these candidates are property developers (or close associates of property developers). Other than that, most of the candidate information sheets published by the New South Wales Electoral Commission are pretty basic. A few party members taking a holiday from their affiliation in unnamed groups. Most not providing ‘other information’. Who can blame them – seven positions and fifty-nine candidates.

  3. Please provide detailed information for each group with 6 key points on their position for the region. The public require the information urgently as the election is in 3 weeks.

  4. The AEC has legislated that no how to vote flyers or campaign material are allowed within 100 meters of pre-poll and polling booths this election. This “NEW” legislation has been pushed through under the cover of “Covid” restrictions. It’s only real result will be your letterboxes being crammed with that election material. So please if you are concerned about the Tweed Shire, make an effort to scrutinise who are the real “Independent” candidates not showing their real party affiliations are and who are merely block preference manipulators channeling votes for a more shadowy “Shall we say the usual suspect temporary Independent candidates”?
    Because you will not be able to find out when you go to vote, as all campaign material has been banned at the place of where you vote!

  5. Councillor James Owen – Libs for the Tweed, will take my #1 vote…! He’s great! 💯👍👍👍

    You have got to be kidding if you vote Commo Labor after the way Annastacia Borderfailure is treating us border residents like vermin. You need your head checked if you vote Commo Labor or Greens. We don’t need any Labor influence in Tweed. God no!

    • So Lisa would prefer to vote for the LNP that are selling 4 public schools to developers! Without people like you, there would be no one to vote LNP?


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Entertainment in the Byron shire for the week beginning 1 December, 2021

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