Cabarita meets the candidates
IN THE race up to the Tweed Shire Council elections on September 8, candidates are on the campaign trail.
A "meet the candidates" night at Cabarita on Monday night saw a packed room at the Cabarita Sports Club when residents heard 13 candidates pitch their stance and answer questions.
Key issues included the Lot 490 project at Kingscliff that could see a resort constructed between the beach and Cudgen Creek.
Other matters of concern to residents were a proposed caravan park at Cabarita Beach, the declining numbers of koalas and the impact of a proposed development at Kings Forest on them, coal seam gas mining in the Tweed and road maintenance.
Cr Longland said he fundamentally opposed the mining of coal seam gas in the Tweed shire and saw "no need for yet another caravan park" at Cabarita Beach.
"The mining of coal seam gas is not compatible to the future of Tweed Shire under any circumstances," he said.
Cr Longland said he stood by his record to date as a mayor and councillor.
"I'm proud of what I have achieved so far and I value the tweed greatly.
He said protecting the Tweed Shire's uniqueness was a major priority, as well as ensuring a vibrant economy.
He said it was "time to put the pause button on rates."
"And we don't want the state government dictating what our rates should be," he said.
Cr Katie Milne, leading the Greens camp said the Greens often got a "bad rap for being anti business."
"Most of us run businesses or are involved in a business," she said.
"We embrace the concept of a thriving economy and also the wishes of our community.
"We have all the ingredients for a thriving economy with integrity in the Tweed."
Cr Milne said results of community surveys were "heartening."
"The Tweed community places the environment at the top of the list and that is very inspiring."
She said a more progressive council was needed to tackle the climate change.
"There is a real sense of urgency," she said.
"But we need to be smart and tread lightly."
Cr Warren Polglase focused on the state of Tweed roads and job creation.
"We need to create opportunities for people to come to Tweed Shire," he said.
"But it's a challenge."
When asked about the proposed Kings Forest development, the dwindling koala population on its doorstep and a lack of dog control, Cr Polglase said the biggest concern was wild dogs.
"Most people control their dogs and I think they should have the opportunity to own them," he said.
Independent candidate Eddie Roberts said Tweed Shire should drop the "boom or bust" mentality.
"We have it all here and we need to look after it," he said.
"We need long term solutions."
This includes the use of clean technology and a huge move to look after the shire's young people, according to Mr Roberts.
"We need to give them something to do," he said.
Murwillumbah residents will get the chance to meet the candidates on Saturday, August 18 at the Autumn Club next to the library.