TWEED Shire Council needs to get back to basics and focus on traditional areas of services such as roads, according to former mayor Warren Polglase.
Standing for re-election to the council on September 8, Councillor Polglase said he wanted a cut to council expenditure of between 3% and 5% with the money saved to be put into roads and road maintenance. "In every business today you make decisions to protect and maintain your core assets," he said.
Cr Polglase called for minimal rate rises over the next few years, meaning cuts to spending were needed.
"Council's got to get back to core values and core business," he said.
Greens councillor Katie Milne said: "There is a $300 million shortfall in the future road network largely due to the major new developments and population increases. Developers should be made to fully pay for their own roads but Cr Polglase has refused my motion to even look at this option," Cr Milne said.
"Cr Polglase's 'small government' approach is short-sighted and ignores the potential of local government.
"Cr Polglase has repeatedly proposed cutting the environment budget throughout this term despite Tweed Shire having the highest rate of threatened species in Australia."
Labor candidate Michael Armstrong said ratepayers should get services and value for money for their annual rates.
"It has been under the watch of the current councillors, including Mr Polglase, that we have seen millions of dollars of locals' rates wasted," Mr Armstrong said.
"Rather than threatening cuts like those of his fellow Liberal National Party governments in Queensland and NSW, Mr Polglase would serve locals better by explaining why he wants to slug each and every Tweed household with at least a $2000 bill to build an unnecessary dam at Byrrill Creek."