Council claims support for plan

By PETER CATON

MANY ordinary Tweed residents are supportive of the Tweed Shire's proposed Seven Year Plan which includes rates hikes, council's Genevieve Slattery said.

However Ms Slattery, executive assistant to the council administrators, has conceded the administrators might have to water the plan down.

Ms Slattery's comments follow criticism of council from businesses, residents' groups and farmers over proposed rate rises which would fund the spending plan.

"We may have to go for a watered-down seven year plan or we may have to sharpen it up into a two to three year plan," she said.

But according to Ms Slattery any decision will depend on community response.

"I think a lot of ordinary residents are supportive of the seven year plan," she said.

"That's what the consultation phase is all about."

This week farmers added their voice of concern to fears of businesses and residents groups that possible rate rises of 9.6 per cent a year will compound over the seven year period.

The farmers have queried the need to spend a million dollars upgrading the Murwillumbah cattle saleyards.

Meanwhile conservationists and Tweed Coast residents have questioned council over the need for a million-dollar rock wall along the beachfront at Kingscliff.

Ms Slattery said the concern over major projects was the type of feedback council had been looking for.

"The point of the process is to find out what the community wants," she said.

Chief administrator Garry Payne said criticism from the community over the plan was to be expected.

Mr Payne said it was obvious nobody liked to pay increased rates.

But he said that plans and studies drawn up by the previous council could either be "used as bookends" or as a way to pay for those plans which the community felt should go ahead.



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