Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase.
Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase. Alina Rylko

Do we need more Tweed councillors?

SHOULD we have two more councillors, bringing the total number to nine?

That's the question Tweed residents will get to vote on in a $50,000 referendum next year to be held in conjunction with the council poll in September.

Tweed Shire Councillors have resolved for the community to decide by referendum if an increase in the number of councillors from seven to nine is needed.

Councillor Warren Polglase put the motion up.

"We have around 95,000 people and there needs to be input from groups that have a different philosophies to myself and what others have. We need need more diverse opinions," he said.

"There are plenty of NSW councils that have plenty more councillors and many less people than what we have.

"(The referendum) will cost about $50,000 but I think it will be a good investment to get a community reaction on what they want."

Candidates likely to stand at this poll include Micheal McNamara of Lock the Gate as an independent, Reece Byrnes for Labor, and Tweed Heads Pony Club president Lindy Smith for the Greens.

"I have made no decision but have had a number of approaches," Ms Smith said.

"Having been a long-term advocate for proper due process, a strong supporter for independence, a voice for the community and that the Tweed Shire does not return to the dark old days of being bought by vested interests, on that note I will have some involvement."

Labor will conduct a pre-selection to determine their candidates before they announce them.

"I look forward to working with our dedicated members to ensure we have a strong Labor presence on the Tweed Shire Council," Mr Byrnes said.

Mr McNamara said he would make an announcement closer to elections.

Tweed ratepayers will vote in the referendum in the September 2016 election. The change will take affect in the following by-election in 2020.



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