Stalwart seeking fifth term on council
SEASONED political warhorse Warren Polglase looks set to be elected for a fifth consecutive term as he makes a strong run for the finish line at next week's Tweed Shire Council poll.
Cr Polglase, who was first elected to the council in 1991 and secured the majority of the primary vote at the 2012 poll, is expected to be comfortably returned on October 29.
A retired rice farmer and grandfather of four who moved to the Tweed some 27 years ago, Cr Polglase said he was as committed as ever to serving the electorate.
"I find it interesting, I find it challenging and I believe I am in a position where I can do it. I believe in delivering outcomes for those people who need opportunities,” Cr Polglase said.
"I have always been a promoter of small business; small business must be enabled to generate growth and employ people, so the wealth will get put back into the community.”
Cr Polglase said the last two council terms had been "stagnant” for the Tweed and more was needed to boost economic activity in the area.
"Back in 1999 when I was mayor for four years, we had a (population) growth rate then of 3% and now it is just on 1%,” he said.
"It tells you that the council is not working to deliver outcomes that are delivering opportunities.
"We're rather stagnant here with small business. I'd be supporting we freeze all small business contributions for two years. We need to look outside our normal square of the building and construction industry where a lot of people are employed and look at other opportunities in the Tweed.”
Cr Polglase said the Tweed should better utilise its "lazy assets” particularly the Murwillumbah airstrip which he said would be ideal for an expanding light aircraft industry and possibly a port for new drone technology.
Other "lazy assets” included the Tweed Regional Art Gallery, the Tweed Museum and facilities like Jack Evans Boat Harbour, all of which posed great potential for generating more wealth, he said. Despite running as an independent, Cr Polglase is a well-known National and does not shy away from the fact.
"I am quite happy to run as an independent but I vote National Party,” he said.
"I don't hide it but I am not beholden to a political party.”