News

Councillors in hot water over polluted creek at quarry

Katie Milne and Gary Bagnall at the council quarry.
Katie Milne and Gary Bagnall at the council quarry. John Gass

DARK clouds are gathering over the Tweed's council chambers as the council's general manager David Keenan pushes ahead with his code of conduct complaints against councillors Katie Milne and Gary Bagnall.

The councillors landed in hot and possibly polluted water following their alleged unauthorised visit to Kinnears Quarry at Harry's Rd near Crystal Creek.

The councillors responded to complaints from a neighbour to the quarry who alleged the council run facility was oozing pollutants into a creek which runs on his property.

The councillors visited the site and GM Keenan alleges they did so by jumping a fence contrary to council directions.

Mr Keenan then filed an official Code of Conduct complaint against the councillors who now face a grilling by an independent review panel and possible disciplinary actions.

Councillor Bagnal said he sent Mr Keenan an email last Thursday evening telling Mr Keenan he was saddened by the entire affair and offered to make a public apology if the GM would drop his complaint but received no reply.

Councillor Milne said she was still trying to find out what the GM's charges actually were but felt the response was disproportionate to her actions.

"I don't believe it's a valid code of conduct complaint," Cr Milne said.

Councillor Milne said she feared for the ecology of the waterways in the whole area and had tried to get the issue on the agenda of the River Committee but was blocked at various times by past and present senior council officials.

"The state of the waterways is the most revolting I've ever seen.

Councillor Milne said when the neighbours moved in they looked at the quarry and said they had no problems as long as the council complied with regulations.

"Well, they've got a problem now," Cr Milne said.

About six years ago, the creek was six foot deep at places and contained clear running water.

It is hardly deeper than a few inches at the moment and contains a brown muck has turned a once healthy creek into a dead stream.

A Tweed Shire Council spokesperson said operations at the quarry stopped in 2011 as result of court action and since 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency had issued three notices, known as prevention notices, to council to manage acid rock drainage from the quarry.

The council had recently installed a treatment system for the acidic drainage water and creek water quality had shown improvement since the council started to manage the acid runoff.

Councillor Bagnall insisted the creek's condition was unacceptable and said the sediment would continue to ooze from the quarry for the next 100 years and the facility needed to be sealed properly and the creek cleaned up.

Topics:  councillors, pollution, quarry



Man hospitalised after Tweed Heads home invasion

Police.
Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Man suffers serious head injuries after Tweed Heads home invasion

Turtles overpower CHS rivals

Tweed River High's boys and girls' touch sides in action

Twed River High Champions.

Single-day tickets on sale for each date of Falls Festival

LAUNCH: The Avalanches' Robbie Chater and Tony Diblasi were the official DJs at the Byron Bay launch of Falls Festival 2016/17.

Find out when is each artist playing this year in Byron Bay

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: War Dogs tells a fascinating true story

Miles Teller and Jonah Hill in a scene from the movie War Dogs.

DARKLY funny film examines the business side of the war on terror.

Marvel-ous: Thor actors visit sick kids at Lady Cilento

Stars of Thor: Ragnarok dropped in on patients at the hospital

Folk singer looking forward to her Gympie Muster debut

Alternative country folk singer Fanny Lumsden will perform at the Gympie Muster.

FANNY Lumsden to serenade new fans with her country hall-style show.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Angie and Yvie ready to toast The Bachelor on Gogglebox

Angie and Yvie in a scene from the TV series Gogglebox.

ALL the regulars return in TV show about people watching TV.

Morgan Freeman asks: are we alone? Why do humans exist?

Morgan Freeman in Through the Wormhole. Photo: Discovery Science

Question all you thought you knew, on Foxtel.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep