Max pays tribute to family support

LONG-serving former Tweed mayor and council administrator Max Boyd could not resist a little bit extra controversy in his final official speech yesterday.

"The people aren't always right," Mr Boyd declared to a gathering of official guests during his farewell address at the opening of Kingscliff's new $45million sewage treatment plant.

Mr Boyd, who is retiring after serving 44 years on Tweed Shire Council as councillor, shire president, mayor and finally appointed administrator, was explaining how his council had ignored the wishes of a mass public meeting in the Murwillumbah Civic Centre in the 1980s against plans to introduce wheelie bins.

Despite overwhelming opposition he said "stubbornness kicked in" and the council "went ahead and put them (the wheelie bins) in place".

"If we tried to take them out now they would try to lynch the council," Mr Boyd said.

Mr Boyd was presented with an award for his 44 years service to local government by president of the NSW Shires Association Bruce Miller but he took time to pay tribute to the support of his family and wife Marguerite over those decades.

"For the last 44 years she has pushed me out the door with a nicely ironed shirt and well presented," Mr Boyd said.

"Without her I couldn't have hoped to do what I have done."

Mr Boyd, with fellow administrator and director general of the NSW Local Government Department Garry Payne, opened the new sewerage plant officially known as the Kingscliff Wastewater Treatment Plant and an adjacent environmental education building called the Sustainable Living Centre.

But notably absent from yesterday's official opening was the man whose company had long pushed for relocation of the old Kingscliff sewerage treatment plant and provided the land for the new plant -- director of Gales Holdings Dr Stephen Segal who continues to be engaged in associated legal battles with the council.

Mr Segal who said he was not invited to the ceremony however welcomed the official opening.

His company pushed for the relocation through the 1990s and bought the current site which it finally managed to convince a majority of councillors to accept as a land swap for the old sewerage plant property where it wants to build a major shopping centre.

"The council said it if wasn't built on the old site there would be a moratorium on all new development on the Tweed Coast, referring to Casuarina and Salt, and it would cost local residents $4000 a household," Dr Segal recalled.

"We said the old site was worth a fortune and the land is too good to use for a sewer plant.

"The facts are the sewer plant was eventually relocated, there wasn't a moratorium and the local residents aren't paying an extra $4000 in rates.

"It certainly was the right thing to move the plant. The future of Kingscliff has radically changed because of that."

Gales Holdings continues to be embroiled with the council over future use of the old sewerage plant site and its zoning.

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