Councillors ordered to attempt mediation over AVO dispute

THE Tweed's deputy mayor Gary Bagnall and councillor Carolyn Byrne will take part in mediation over allegations of intimidation. 

The councillors faced Tweed Heads Local Court on Tuesday morning, after Cr Byrne made a private application for an apprehended violence order against Cr Bagnall.

Cr Byrne alleged that shortly after September's mayoral elections, Cr Bagnall swore at her, called her a "cow" and intimidated her.

Their legal representatives couldn't decide on the conditions of an AVO. 

Cr Byrne's lawyer, Charles O'Brien, said she had suffered "severe anxiety" since the alleged incident.

He claimed the defence and the media had described the situation as "a storm in a teacup".

"It's about violence in the workplace and violence against women," Mr O'Brien said.

"This behaviour has been going on for quite some time.

"My client is very concerned about Mr Bagnall's intimidation and behaviour."

Mr O'Brien said he understood police had gathered 10 witness statements relating to the incident.

He said DNA from what appeared to be spittle found on Cr Byrne's car was being analysed, to establish whether it belonged to Cr Bagnall.

Cr Bagnall's lawyer, Russell Baxter, argued there was "no evidence of (Bagnall) destroying property".

It is understood this comment was in relation to Cr Bagnall allegedly spitting on Cr Byrne's car. 

Magistrate Michael Dakin ordered the councillors attempt mediation.

The matter will return to court in November if it is not resolved at mediation.



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