Mayor back from sick leave early to debate Hastings DA
MAYOR Katie Milne will come out of extended sick leave early to debate legal action against a Hastings Point development application at an extraordinary Tweed Shire Council meeting later today.
Councillors are scheduled to meet at 3pm to debate a rescission motion put forward by conservative Crs Carolyn Byrne and Warren Polglase over a 2014 decision to defend a refusal for a DA in the NSW Land and Environment Court.
The 2014 decision gave permission for council to engage its solicitors, and suitable consultants, to defend its deemed refusal of a 20-lot subdivision at 40 Creek St, Hastings Point made on November 21, 2013.
Cr Milne, a Greens party member who has fought strongly against the development in the past, is expected to return to the chamber four days early to debate the rescission motion.
Cr Milne has been on extended leave since Easter for medical reasons but has given notice to General Manager Troy Green that she will be attending the extraordinary council meeting this afternoon.
Cr Byrne told the Tweed Daily News council had so far forked out more than $50,000 on the legal action currently before the courts.
“We should be trying to manage the situation to minimise risk to ratepayers and move on from a position of defence to negotiation,” Cr Byrne said.
“It may not be defendable when most of those (developments) are premissable in the area.
“Rather than try to defend the undefendable, we should try to get an outcome that doesn’t end up costing ratepayers more in legal fees.”
Cr Byrne said further community consultation on the development could be considered in court orders for the controversial development, which has previously drawn strong opposition.
With just six councillors remaining in the chamber, Cr Milne’s casting vote will be vital to the outcome of the motion.