Tweed Shire Council Mayor Katie Milne has backed a boycott of local businesses working on the new hospital site.
Tweed Shire Council Mayor Katie Milne has backed a boycott of local businesses working on the new hospital site. Scott Powick

Outraged Tweed MP calls on Mayor Milne to resign

TWEED MP Geoff Provest has called on Tweed Shire Council Mayor Katie Milne to resign after she controversially backed a boycott against local businesses working on the new Tweed Valley Hospital site at Cudgen.

During a protest by Team Relocate yesterday, Cr Milne said she backed the boycott and would be preparing a motion for an extraordinary council meeting to blacklist local companies associated with the hospital build.

"I'm sure it won't be supported by all councillors but a majority of councillors have been supportive with the community in protecting State Significant Farmland," she said.

"That's what the community has called on us to do, to help with any efforts to boycott the hospital. There are plans for a blockade (at the site) every day they're working here."

Today, Tweed MP Geoff Provest said Cr Milne had "shown her inability to lead an effective council and therefore should tender her resignation".

"I share the community's outrage over calls from Tweed Shire Mayor Katie Milne to boycott local businesses who are engaged to work on the new Tweed Hospital," Mr Provest said.

"Through the planning processes with NSW Health Infrastructure, I have been working tirelessly to ensure as much work as possible goes to local businesses and contractors to boost our local workforce. These comments from Cr Milne jeopardise those discussions.

"Building the new Tweed Hospital provides an opportunity for local businesses, big and small, to be a part of one of the biggest Government investments in Tweed's history.

"Cr Milne's comments are a direct attack on our local workforce. They are threatening in their nature and show a complete disregard for local businesses.

"The Mayor should not only provide a full apology to the Tweed community, but I believe she has shown her inability to lead an effective council, and therefore should tender her resignation."

Team Relocate has since backflipped on its stance, with leader Hayley Paddon writing in a Facebook post yesterday that the call was "reactionary".

Ms Paddon said, "We don't want to see local tradies or subbies denied work in our community any more than we want to see our local farmers denied the ability to do their jobs also".

Cr Milne has been contacted for comment.



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