Another long night at the Tweed Council chambers
TWEED Shire Council met for about five hours on Thursday night to discuss composting toilets, the Local Environment Plan (LEP) and a pay parking scheme amongst other things.
More than an hour was spent discussing the LEP after Councillor Gary Bagnall tabled an amendment that did not satisfy council staff.
The amendment wanted the council to include the draft Local Environmental Plan Environment Strategy and the Tweed Coast Koala Habitat Study (2011) into the Local Environmental Plan.
Cr Bagnall said the amendment was the result of feedback he received from people who were outraged by the lack of environmental protection in the draft LEP 2012.
"I think this amendment is the voice of the people," Cr Bagnall said.
The draft environmental strategy has never been on public exhibition or adopted as policy.
The amendment worried council officers who were concerned the amendment circumvented procedure and would not stand up to scrutiny.
Mayor Barry Longland offered an alternative where both the draft strategy and the koala study could be considered as "late submissions" to the draft LEP 2012 because the exhibition period ended last week.
Councillor Warren Polglase said he was concerned that any delay to the submission could give the State Government reason to take planning powers away from the council.
"We have to follow due process," Cr Polglase said.
The council has to consider close to 1000 submissions to the draft LEP 2012. Any mayor changed will require another public exhibition.