TWEED mayor Warren Polglase has been accused of a political stunt and misusing his newly-won position in criticising Hastings Point residents who failed in a court battle to stop the three-storey over-50s residential complex called 'The Point'.
Solicitor for the Hastings Point Progress Association John O'Reilly says Cr Polglase's comments last week claiming the council was right to give approval to the project showed a lack of experience and his warning that the council may pursue protesters for legal costs incurred in the court case was a stunt.
“Cr Polglase does not have the experience to comment on the outcome of the Court of Appeal split decision re: The Point development,” Mr O'Reilly said.
“His comments clearly disclose this.”
Mr O'Reilly said Cr Polglase had obviously not seen parts of the ruling which were “in the community's favour” nor did he understand the wider impact “the error” made by the two judges in rejecting the association's case would have.
“It is interesting that no Tweed Shire planner has been prepared to make similar comments to those espoused by Cr Polglase,” he said..
“The case has nothing to do with the merits of the development. Communities cannot appeal on merit.
“Anyone, even council, can now see and admit how inappropriate The Point is on merit.”
Mr O'Reilly said the lawsuit had been funded by the residents of Hastings Point purely “because of their passion to preserve its unique character and environment”.
“This latest stunt is all about politics to support developers with no substance and silly threats,” he said.
“It is a misuse of the mayoral position.”
Last week Cr Polglase said a decision by the NSW Court of Appeal in favour of The Point, which also awarded costs against the association, proved the council was right in granting approval.
He also appealed to protesters to drop any plans to take the matter to a higher court.
The progress association had taken an earlier decision by the NSW Land and Environment Court last year to the Court of Appeal in a bid to stop the project.