Councillor says he's been threatened after quarry visit
TWEED councillor Gary Bagnall has received threats since gaining access to a council-owned quarry to investigate an environmental issue.
He says the threats were against his person, home and family.
"There's something going on here which is not immediately apparent.
"They are trying to shut us up," Cr Bagnall said.
Cr Bagnall said the response by the council's general manager David Keenan following his visit to Kinnears Quarry near Crystal Creek was completely over the top.
Mr Keenan complained about Cr Bagnall and Cr Katie Milne stepping over a fence to gain access to the quarry and failed to wear appropriate safety clothing such as a hard hats and closed, sturdy shoes
Cr Bagnall said the police were investigating the threats made against him and he would approach the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to address the larger, hidden issues he felt were behind certain parties trying to silence him.
He said the council had asked him to sign a confidentiality agreement covering the quarry issue and the resulting code of conduct complaint.
The council also asked him to keep a record of correspondence regarding the issue between Cr Bagnall and third parties.
"I won't sign a confidentiality agreement.
"Everybody needs to know what's going on here," he said.
Cr Bagnall said he felt that the issue was not about the quarries but about the alleged pollution of the nearby creek.
He said the complaint made against him and Cr Milne was inappropriate and disproportionate.
"We simply stepped over a three-strand barbed wire fence to see if a recently constructed dam complied with health and safety rules under the act.
"Young children often ride down the road and could easily gain access to the site," Cr Bagnall said.
Cr Bagnall said the complaint made by Mr Keenan suggested that he and Cr Milne failed to wear the appropriate clothing necessary to access a construction site.
"The sign at the fence told visitors they should wear hard hats and proper shoes.
"I visited the quarry together with a council officer who told me to step over the fence and only offered me a high visibility vest.
"Both of us then entered the site without proper clothing.
"This is not a construction site and the barbed wire fence is a farm fence and wouldn't keep out anyone or anything apart from animals," Cr Bagnall said.