Joan van Lieshout
Joan van Lieshout

Trio move to stop panel short list

A ROW over who should be appointed to a new, powerful planning panel has forced Tweed councillors back to the drawing board after three moved to axe a shortlist of names.

Warren Polglase, Phil Youngblutt and deputy mayor Barry Longland have teamed up in an unusual alliance to lodge a rescission motion against a decision on Tuesday which short-listed five out of 11 candidates.

No interviews will now take place of the short-listed candidates and 11 names are back for consideration at a last-minute meeting on June 30.

The State Government, which is appointing three of the five members of the panel, has given the Council until then to choose its two members. The panel is to take over the Council's planning powers for major projects such as big shopping complexes, high-rises and housing estates.

A Council spokesperson said the rescission motion meant interviews planned with short- listed candidates just before the special meeting were cancelled.

He said the rescission motion, which needs four votes in a Council meeting to succeed, would first have to be dealt with at the special meeting.

But Cr Longland said he had hoped the move meant interviews would be held with all 11candidates.

“We need to talk to all the applicants so that councillors can form a judgment,” Cr Longland said.

“A process will have to be found to do that.”

Cr Polglase said councillors should simply “critique each candidate and put aside personal opinions.”

The 11 candidates are anti- Tyalgum dam campaigner Peter Bennett, former council general manager Dr John Griffin, engineer Steven Grimes, barrister Robert Quirk, Bond University lecturer Dr Ned Wales, former Greens councillor Henry James, former council planners Douglas Jardine and Don McAllister, Pottsville Business Association president Tania Murdock, Murwil- lumbah resident Lisa Townsend and Uki environmentalist Ronald Wolff.



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