Lees rules out council run
THE conservative side of politics is still battling to find candidates for the upcoming Tweed Shire Council election, with National Party stalwart Murray Lees yesterday ruling himself out. Mr Lees, who stood as a senate candidate for the Nationals in last year's federal poll and is chairman of the Tweed Nationals said he would not run because local government was "no place for party politics". But he also lamented the dearth of candidates for the September 13 election, warning it could leave Murwillumbah without council%representation. As Tweed Nationals chairman, Mr Lees said he was concerned at the shortage of conservative candidates "with less than four weeks to go until the close of nominations". "As vice president of the Murwillumbah Business Chamber I am alarmed that no Murwillumbah community leader has joined the race," he said. "With the unelected administrators' arbitrary decision to slash the number of councillors from 11 to seven, Murwillumbah could miss out on being represented in the new council." Mr Lees revealed he had "been encouraged to run because I would tick both those boxes". "However I have had to rule myself out because I believe there is no place for party politics in local government," he said. On the issue of party political involvement Mr Lees warned that Tweed council voters "should be wary of Labor wolves in sheep's clothing". "The ALP brand smells so bad on the Tweed that its candidates won't be running in an official%Labor group," he said. "This is a con job. Everyone knows if Labor stalwarts sneak in, they will be taking their marching orders from Sussex Street rather than Tweed ratepayers."