HOT TOPIC: There was a fierce opposition to the new Tweed Valley Hospital being built on the state significant farmland at Cudgen.
HOT TOPIC: There was a fierce opposition to the new Tweed Valley Hospital being built on the state significant farmland at Cudgen.

Public could view council's legal advice on Cudgen Plateau

TWEED residents will be able to view the legal advice council used to justify spending $34,000 questioning the legality of preliminary works at the new Tweed Valley Hospital site, if a rescission motion fails at the next meeting. 

Mayor Katie Milne proposed the legal advice the council had before questioning the methods taken by NSW Health Infrastructure to selected to build the new Tweed Valley Hospital, be made public.

The vote was tied 3-3, and passed due to Cr Milne having the deciding vote as Mayor.

However the documents will not be available to the public yet, after a late rescission motion for the next council meeting was proposed by James Owen, and backed by Pryce Allsop and Reece Byrnes.

Cr Owen said during Thursday's council meeting the council would set a dangerous precedent if it allowed public to view council's legal files.

"There could be a series on unintended consequences and it could come back to bite us," Cr Owen said.

"I think we are mad to do this."

Cr Milne said the issue of the site-selection for the Tweed Valley Hospital porject was a highly contentious issue amongst Tweed residents, and for that reason the files should be available to show why council elected to spend $34,000 taking up their complaint with the NSW Ombudsman.

"We were not acting to just be political, we were acting to protect the wetland which needed that buffer," she said.

The motion put forth by the Mayor also noted the ombudsman review was confined only to "conduct in relation to how Health Infrastructure advice had been obtained".

Cr Milne and Chirs Cherry both expressed their disappointment that the review was conducted through a "narrow scope".

But Cr Owen reiterated a point he made last week he believed the referral was a politically motivated move - a suggestion rejected by both Cr Milne and Cherry.

"I think it was a wild goose chase," Cr Owen said.

"I think it was done ahead of the state election for political reasons."



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