AGAINST: Councillor Reece Byrnes says he is still against council revealing its legal advice to the public.
AGAINST: Councillor Reece Byrnes says he is still against council revealing its legal advice to the public. Scott Davis

Byrne's reveals who he will back in legal advice motion

A RESCISSION motion to overturn the decision to allow the public to look at Tweed Shire Council's legal advice will be supported by Councillor Reece Byrnes.

Cr Byrnes, who voted against the original motion, told the Tweed Daily News he was still in favour of rescinding the decision made to allow the community to examine the legal advice council received before lodging its complain about NSW Health Infrastructure to the NSW Ombudsman.

"I will still be in support of it which is only on the basis of the advice we were given," he said.

"I can understand why some members of the community might want to see it.

"This advice is confidential in nature and I don't want to compromise what we may do in the future."

If next week's rescission motion fails, the community would be able to access the legal advice by going to the council office in Murwillumbah.

The motion to reveal the legal advice, which was moved by Mayor Katie Milne on June 20, came in retaliation to claims made in the council chambers that referring NSW Health Infrastructure to the Ombudsman was a politically motivated move.

The Ombudsman declared there was no investigation required into how NSW Health Infrastructure decided to selected the land on Cudgen Rd at the site for the new Tweed Valley Hospital.

The vote to release the legal advice was tied at three, with the Mayor ultimately getting the deciding vote.

But Cr Owen proposed a late rescission motion and said if council allowed the public to view its legal files, it would be setting a dangerous precedent.

"There could be a series of unintended consequences and it could come back to bite us," he said.

"I think we are mad to do this."

Cr Warren Polglase was not at the meeting, but is expected to be at the meeting next Thursday, July 4.

If he is at the meeting, Cr Polglase's vote will likely decide the issue.



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