Tweed councillor Warren Polglase (right) is set to vote against Mayor Katie Milne's (left) to open council's legal advice in relation to the tweed Valley Hospital.
Tweed councillor Warren Polglase (right) is set to vote against Mayor Katie Milne's (left) to open council's legal advice in relation to the tweed Valley Hospital. Scott Powick

Milne's motion set to fail with casting vote from Polglase

A RESCISSION motion stopping the public from being able to view Tweed Shire Council's legal advice seems destined to succeed on Thursday.

The rescission will aim to reverse Mayor Katie Milne's amendment on June 20, to make the legal advice council received to take NSW Health Infrastructure to the state's Ombudsman.

The vote was tied at three apiece, with councillor Warren Polglase not present at the June 20 meeting.

Cr Polglase will have the deciding vote, assuming the six other councillors do not change their position.

The council stalwart told the Tweed Daily News he would be backing the rescission motion when it is voted on at Thursday's council meeting in Murwillumbah.

He said he was a believer in a transparent council, but said he was against the Mayor's original motion because it was "selective”.

"You either release all of the legal advice or you release none,” Cr Polglase said.

"If we want to release the legal advice on lots of things we do I would be for it, but if you want to be selective in one thing and not the other then I am against it.”

The former Tweed mayor said be believed the council should not be able to pick and choose which documents they want to release to the public to suit personal agendas.

He acknowledged there was a large degree of public interest in this case and would be in favour of the public seeing the documents to reveal exactly how much of ratepayer's money was spent, only if the majority of council's legal advice for all matters would be made available.

"This legal advice has cost council tens of thousands of dollars and then they weren't too happy with the advice so then they sent it Ombudsman,” Cr Polglase said.

The legal advice in question was given to council in December last year, when they wanted to seek clarification if NSW Health Infrastructure had taken the appropriate steps before deciding on the Tweed Valley Hospital site at Cudgen Rd.

Councillors Milne, Chris Cherry, Ron Cooper and Reece Byrnes were in favour of the move to seek the advice and ultimately refer the matter to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman declared in May no further investigation was needed.

Cr Byrnes voted against opening up the legal advice to the public in the June 20 meeting, and has since stated he will stand by that decision by voting in favour of Thursday's vote.



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