History & Documents

This purpose of page is to provide some history and all relevant documents to the public concerning Gales and Tweed Shire Council, in order to keep the public informed.

Some of the issues noted below are expanded upon in separate sections of on this website.

Currently the pale brown attachments can not be downloaded, this will be rectified shortly.

Summary

This page is dedicated to truth and the public interest. Anything inaccurate will be acknowledged and corrected. This site has been created to provide accurate information to the public because official reports and information provided by the Council has so often been misleading, absolutely wrong and Ernst & Young report says, "designed to deceive the reader". Tweed Shire Council has a long consistent history of FREQUENTLY providing false and misleading information to the public on major issues - so much so that nothing said by Council can be taken as factual - it might be true, misleading, or totally false - and without knowing the history and the original source documents it is impossible to know whether any statement by Council is true or false.

Appreciation

Gales wishes to express its appreciation to its Expert Consultants, those members of the community (including over 1,000 who signed the petition to move the Sewer Plant, and 675 who returned the Survey into need for a new District Centre) who are working with Gales to get the best outcome for the Community, and most particularly to Roy Rudman (see attached Submission to House of Representatives Economics Committee by R. D. Brimsmead, July 2002 - Democracy Subverted - Chap 1 The Rudman Case). Roy saved Kingscliff from being ruined by stopping Council building a Turf Farm and enlarging its Sewer Plant in that part of Kingscliff which will become the District Centre for the Tweed Coast.

Tweed Shire Council is meant to be working openly and transparently, planning for the good of the community, providing the community with information and responding to community input. The Administrators (appointed by the State Goverment after the Councillors were dismissed following an Inquiry) have publicly emphasised that "Communication is the Key", yet they state as not relevant the extremely strong community desire for a new District Centre.  In 2005 two Inquiries initiated by the Government of NSW resulted in the Councillors being dismissed, but some may think curiously, in view of the information below, no negative findings against any Council officers.

Gales June 2006 Retail Survey

In June 2006 a Survey and Petition was delivered to every residential mail box by Australia Post. The Survey sought the community's opinion on whether there should be a new District Centre at Chinderah and whether Tweed City expansion should expand. The petition, to Tweed Shire Council Administrators and the Minister for Planning, requests that Council repeals its decision preventing a new District Centre at Chinderah, and that planning commence.

The Survey and Petition has a map showing the strategic location of the Chinderah site in relation to the road network, and also shows a concept plan of the integrated District Centre, designed with abundant parking, easy access, wide tree lined boulevards and an open, light and leafy ambience.  Click here to see the Survey and Petition (800Kb).

Population Growth in the Tweed Shire

Correction: Gales policy is to apologise if it makes any statement which is in error. The Survey and Petition says "Council expects a further 40,000 extra people in the Shire in the next 20 years. All these extra people will have to shop at Tweed Heads and Tweed Heads South for anything more than local supermarket needs."   An open letter from the Administrators on Council's web site states "Conservative population growth projections to 2016 suggest that the Tweed population may increase by an additional 40,000 people." Click here to see the open letter from the Administrators.

Gales stated 40,000 extra people in 20 years, Council's Administrators state 40,000 extra people in 10 years. The current Shire population is around 80,000, so Council expects 50% more shopping in Tweed Heads and Tweed Heads South in 10 years.

TSC Director of Planning: there will "never, ever" be another District Centre in the Tweed Shire

While it is obvious to almost everyone in the Shire that Tweed Heads and Tweed Heads South cannot cope and that a new District Centre is needed at Chinderah, the Administrators resolved that there be no new District Centre and the Director of Planning said that there will "never, ever" be another District Centre in the Tweed Shire. Events may well show that these are as accurate as when then Mayor Boyd (now Administrator Boyd) declared that Chinderah was the ideal site for a Sewer Plant to treat all the Sewage from Fingal to Cabarita, Kingscliff Ratepayers Association supported a Sewer Plant at Chinderah ( a petition of over 1,000 signatures was against it) and the senior Council officers repeatedly brazenly lied and manipulated reports and showed a total lack of vision. Many of the same people are still present at Council and they could be biased and unable to objectively assess the Chinderah site. The result is the whole shire population has to cram into Tweed Heads and Tweed Heads South.  Click here for some newspaper articles at this time include "Mayor rules out shift", and see below for details about the Sewer Plant and Turf Farm, which was a very major issue in the 1999 elections.

Previous information circulars and information provided to the Council's Administrators show that Council's current decision is based on a tainted study by Core Economics, Council's consultant, in which Core's original recommendation that there should be a new District Centre at Chinderah "so as not to incur the same problematic expansion issues being faced by Tweed Heads and Tweed South.”  was completely censored out after Council's Director of Strategic Planning provided false and misleading information to Council's consultants Core Economics and Geolink, which were doing a Shire wide Retail Study, and rezoning Study for the Chinderah site. Senior Council officers providing totally false information to the public and Council's consultants, and withholding vital information, is a widespread and longstanding practice at Tweed Shire Council. See below for further details.

May 2006 flyer about false and manipulated Council reports

A 2 page flyer was delivered to every household in the Tweed Shire around 5 May 2006 about false and manipulated Council reports corrupting the planning process in the Tweed Shire, with emphasis on the Administrators blocking a new District Centre that was recommended in all reports that were not manipulated and provided false and misleading information. Mr Noel Hodges said "We will never, ever have another major centre on the Tweed" and that there was already enough floor space "for another 40,000 people".  Click here for article in Gold Coast Bulletin 31 March 2006.  The site at Chinderah is very controversial because previously Council wanted a Sewer Plant expansion there, and distributed a Fact Sheet saying that the best and highest use was arguably rural, and it was of so little value that it was not worth getting valued. Then Mayor Boyd, now one of three Administrators, said that the site was the ideal site for a Sewer plant. The other Administrators may not be familiar with the history of the area, or might have been misinformed by the Council officers, or may have had critical information withheld, as has happened in the past. Nevertheless, they voted not to exhibit the draft retail study which was based on false information to reverse its recommendation for a District Centre at Chinderah.

Can a Wallum Froglet cross Turnock Street?

Please click here for the Judgement delieved on 28 April 2006 (Judgement) as to whether a Species Impact Statement is required. Large numbers of wallum froglets have appeared north of Turnock St following construction of Turnock street by Council without adequate culverts and following alteration of previous natural water flows by developments allowed by Council. The experts agreed that a Species Impact Statement was not required if wallum froglets could cross the road. No known paper has ever suggested that wallum frogs were immobile and could not hop over a road. During the Court proceedings a report was produced that found hundreds of wallum froglets were killed on a road at Lennox Heads - Click here for report by Goldingay and Taylor (this report was acepted for publication) or for a bigger file (1000kb) with pictures showing 2 wallum froglets squashed on the road (3rd last page) and other frogs squashed on the road - Click here. Note: this report is copyright and Goldingay and Taylor should be acknowledged.

Council's frog consultants said that they had never seen a wallum froglet on a road, and wallum froglets could not climb up the embankment. The Court appointed Dr Meyer (recommended by Council's experts and not personally known to Gales consultants) concluded in para 21 "Wallum Froglets could cross over both Turnock Street and Elrond Drive". Despite this, Dr Meyer could not give an opinion on whether one wallum froglet could cross the road and breed in 10 years and that further research would be required.  He suggested that such further research would be to go on to the road on a rainy night and look for froglets and then he would be sure. In para 46 the Judgement had regard to the conflicting evidence of the experts and found that these matters should be further investigated by a Species Impact Statement. To some people it would seem that the paper showing hundreds of wallum froglets killed on a road while Council's experts said that wallum froglets could not cross Turnock St and that they had never seen a wallum froglet on a road would suggest that Council's experts were ignorant of the facts observed in the paper - that wallum froglets do cross roads and get killed in large numbers while doing so. The Court appointed expert, despite being shown the paper, would not confidently state that wallum froglets could cross the road and heavily qualified his statements.

March 2006 flyer about gross irregularities in the planning process at Tweed Shire Council

In March 2006 a 2-page flyer Tweed Coast residents in late March 2006 about gross irregularities in the Planning process at Tweed Shire Council. The flyer provides information about Tweed Shire Council reports being based on false information, manipulation and censoring, principally by Mr Douglas Jardine, Council's Director of Strategic Planning. The information was exposed as a result of a FOI action and Court actions, and would otherwise have remained secret. Mr Jardine was Council's representative on Council's Tweed Futures Committee which was adopted as Council's Strategic Plan and Council's proposed 7 year plan. All these are invalid because of the false information provided by Mr Jardine to Core Economics, which did Council's Retail and Centres Strategy. The Administrators have been made fully aware of Mr Jardine's actions and the results of the Survey, but have resolved to not have a new District Centre, not to allow any community input into this decision which reverses the last several years of Council action to have a new District Centre, and have stated that the survey showing overwhelming support for a new District Centre is not relevant. Click here for extracts from some original documents referred to in the flyer relating to a District Centre and Mr Jardine.

Possible reasons for Council actions to pervert proper planning

Administrator Max Boyd is the only Administrator with local knowledge. In 1999 Max Boyd and all senior Council officers (many of whom are still at Council) promoted a ten fold enlargement of Kingscliff Sewer Plant and a 20 ha Turf farm to treat sewerage effluent and sludge at the very site now identified by every consultant (including Council's 3 consultants) as the only site for a new District Centre for the Tweed Coast. They could well be biased and hostile because their plans for a major Sewer Plant and Turf farm were stopped. In 1999 Mayor Boyd "dismissed the idea of relocating the Kingscliff sewerage plant as not feasible" and said "the present site has been identified as the ideal location". See the newspaper article here quotes are from second page. Then Mayor and now Administrator Boyd was totally wrong on both counts - the sewer plant is being relocated to a far better site after a petition of over 1000 signatures, and his statement and those by many others that "the present site has been identified as the ideal location" was entirely false. These issues are explored in a report by Ernst & Young, which was ignored by Mayor Boyd's Council, which was defeated at the next elections. At that time Mayor Boyd and the Council officers misled the Community with false information, corrupted "Community Consultation", and manipulated reports and studies. Click here for the Ernst & Young Report and here for Council's Fact Sheet, and see here for the buffer zone, which is still present in 2006.  Administrator Boyd and Council officers could very well be biased hostile to Gales for exposing these facts, perhaps subconsciously, but their actions are corrupting proper planning in the Shire.

December 2005 Survey - Overwhelming support for a new District Centre at Chinderah

Overwhelming support for a new District Centre at Chinderah was shown in a postal survey of the Tweed Coast taken in December 2005, from Fingal to Pottsville. The support was 70% at Kingscliff, 80% at Chinderah and Cudgen, and 90% at Pottsville, Casurina and Hastings Point. A very large number of  those who returned the survey included their name and address and also comments. Around 6,500 surveys were posted out and 575 were returned. 77% are in favour of a new District Centre and 68% are in favour of an independent inquiry.

Click here to view the December 2005 Tweed Shirewide Survey. The page numbered 4 shows the breakdown by location, pages 7 to 9 show typical comments with much resentment about being forced to travel to Tweed Heads, and the actual survey form is on the last two pages.

A new District Centre at Chinderah will relieve pressure over Sexton Hill and in Tweed Heads South and Tweed Heads, and provide a more convenient location and choice for all those in the Shire who live south of the Tweed River. It will provide thousands of new jobs. See comments from residents in the Survey Report above.

Freedom of Information case win for Gales - release of the Core Economics Reports

As a result of a Freedom of Information action, Council has been forced to release its Retail Studies that it previously withheld. This shows that false information was provided by Council to Council's own consultants about the location for a new District Centre for the Tweed Coast.  The evidence suggests a conspiracy over a number of years to pervert proper retail planning for the Tweed Coast. This is the first time in 30 years that Council has been required to release documents as a result of a FOI action.

Core Economics has been doing retail studies for Council for a new District Centre for the Tweed Coast since 2003.
In October 2003 Core Economics presented a report to Council that found that the only site that was apparent for a new District Centre was at Chinderah - Click here for an extract from the Core Economics 2003 report.


The above study was kept secret by the Council officers. It was not provided to Geolink which at that very time was doing Council's rezoning study for the very same area. Around October 2003 Geolink recommended that the site be zoned Trade & Commerce. Council officers told Geolink that a retail study for the site would not be ready for quite some time, despite actually having Core's retail study recommending the same site for a District Centre. Subsequently Geolink changed its recommendation for Trade & Commerce to Industrial after a spurious and curious submission from Council's engineering department.

After receiving the October 2003 Core report, a Council officer (presumably Mr Jardine, Director Strategic Planning) informed Core that 15 hectares was developable at the site because of flood constraints. This information is false. In fact over 50-70 hectares is available and 50% can be used for buildings and the remaining 50% can be filled to road level and used for uses such as roads and parking areas.
Mr Jardine did not inform Core that over 41 hectares of extra land was available for the district centre. Click here to see an extract of transcript of Mr Jardine.  The full transcript is here (484Kb).

As a result of the false information provided to Core by Council, Core modified its retail report and presented reports to Council in November 2003 and January 2004, the main difference being that Core no longer said that Chinderah was the only site, but now a centre would have to be split between Chinderah and some other site.
Further studies have been undertaken by Core for Council, and Core has made presentations to Council and the new Council Administrators based on the false information that 15 ha is developable whereas in fact more like 50 ha is developable.

As a result of cross examination on 29 April 2005, the fact that Mr Jardine had provided the false information to Core came into the public domain. This was certainly known to Mr Jardine and Council's solicitor and legal representatives. Despite this there is no evidence that Core was informed by Mr Jardine or anyone else at Council of the correct facts - that 50 hectares is developable at Chinderah, not 15 hectares as Core had been falsely told by Council in October or November 2003.  This means that all of Core's studies, reports and presentations to Council since October 2003 are based on false information provided to Core by Council, and Council has not informed Core of the correct facts although they have been in the public domain since 29 April 2005.

Click here for extracts from Council report, DCP52, Core Reports October 2003 and November 2003, Transcript of Mr Jardine, Judgement of Freedom of Information from Adminsitratoive Decisions Tribunal.

Gales win in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

On 29 July 2005 the Administrative Appeals Tribunal rejected every single one of Council's arguments for withholding documents relating to Council Retail Studies and requires Council to release them to Gales. The Judgement finds Retail studies were not "drafts" as claimed by Council.  Gales Holdings Pty Limited v Tweed Shire Council [2005] NSWADT 168. Click here for extract from the Judgement.  The full judgement is here.

The Shire wide retail study by Core Economics had already been read out in Court in separate action in the Land & Environment Court in May 2005.

July 2005 - Court hearing on ecology issues around Turnock Street

13-15 July  2005. Court hearing on ecology issues around Turnock St.  Gales investigations show that entire area was previously totally cleared for grazing, that Council actions have altered the ecology, caused an unnatural explosion of Wallum Froglet, caused extinction of a population of Mitchell's Rainforest Snails (Council's ecologist agrees with this), have destroyed their main natural habitat, and are putting survival of the remainder at grave risk of extinction. Council and Council's consultants have refused to meet with Gales to discuss these issues (e.g. see here) Council and former Mayor Polglase reneged on agreement for Gales withdrawing its previous Woolworths proposal. Gales withdrew the previous DA purely because during the Court case Council's consultant,  Mr Peter Parker, said he heard "hundreds of calls" of the Wallum Sedge Frog. These had never been recorded previously and have never been recorded or found subsequently despite repeated expensive targeted searches. The habitat is unsuitable and a common frog which sounds very similar was NOT recorded by Mr Parker, but was subsequently found and trapped by Gales. It seems that the current case resolves significantly about a population of critically endangered snails that Council has caused to become extinct and has placed in danger of becoming extinct, the Wallum Sedge frog that no-one except Council's consultant Mr Parker has ever heard, and the Wallum froglet that now exists in huge unnatural numbers because of negligent actions by Council regarding alteration of natural drainage flows. Despite this Council continues to spend huge amounts on defending its position and refuses to discuss these matters with Gales.

Gales has grave concerns about the Consultants that Council uses

See Gales submission about Ecology to Council March 2005 - click here.  It seems that Council prefers to use consultants who hear hundreds of calls of endangered frogs which no-one else can confirm, and who record  a forest worthy of preservation exists when Council had previously cleared it completely. Either that, or it suppresses the reports of Consultants when it does not say what Council wants - see immediately following about the Retail Study that Council suppressed.  These result in enormous costs to Council and ratepayers if Council's false assertions are tested in Court - which Gales has been forced into doing because all Gales submissions are totally ignored by Council and it will not discuss matters that vitally affect Gales interests - and those of the residents of the Shire - with Gales.  To see how Council operated as exposed by an insider see Democracy Subverted. Chaper 2 "The Tagget Case" has some eerie similarities with what has happened to Gales around Turnock St., but Gales will not sell 130 acres of its land to Council for $1 as apparently poor Mr Tagget was forced to do.

May 2005 Council's Retail Study made available by Gales re. Tweed Coast Centre

On 17 May 2005 Gales settled the purchase of almost 20Ha of land from Council. As a result, a site of over 60Ha has been consolidated by Gales. This site has been recognised as the site of the new District Centre for the Tweed Coast by Councils consultants (Core Economics and Patrick Partners) and Gales consultants (JHD, Dimasi, Ingham Planning, Rigby Consulting). Council had previously wanted to use the site for a Turf Farm and expanded Sewer Plant and in a Fact Sheet said the highest and best use of the site was arguably rural. Gales by Court Injunction prevented Council from using the site as a Turf Farm.   

Council's own Retail Study by Core Economics recommended the site for the new District Centre and Council  withheld the results of its Retail Study and said that it had not been completed. Council does not want a District Centre on the best site for a District Centre. This is perverting proper development of the Shire and contributing to traffic and parking problems at Tweed Heads and extra traffic on the Highway.

May 2005  -  Council's Shire Wide detailed Retail Study by Core Economics read out during Court proceedings

Council probably spent more in legal fees (Senior Barrister, Junior Barrister, Lawyer from Murwillumbah, Council's Director Strategic Planning in Sydney for Court proceedings for over one week) trying to suppress its Retail Study than what the study cost in the first place.

Click here for extracts from Core's Study identifies that Tweed Coast Centre should be at the Chinderah site, and details Turnock St at Kingscliff for Retail expansion.  Council officers wanted a District Centre on that site, but now (2005) claim the area needs further extensive ecological studies. The ecology has changed because of Council diverting and blocking and changing natural flows. Further legal actions are in progress and Gales estimates that these could increase Councils legal costs in actions with Gales to over $1 million. To this must be added costs of consultants, officers' time and possible damages, amounting to possibly several tens of millions of dollars. On a number of occasions Council has resolved not to negotiate with Gales, most recently on 18 March 2005. Click here to see Council resolution and vote.

Council's whole Retail Study . Council claimed that it was incomplete and deficient and would confuse investors. It was not made public nor provided to Council's other consultants or to Councillors.  Gales is making Council's detailed Shire Wide Retail Study available to the public. The whole Study is almost 100 pages and is 2.6Mb - if you want to download it then click here.

November 2004 - Public Meeting Notice re. Development on the Tweed Coast

For Saturday 27 November  2004 5-7pm - Public Meeting Notice - at Kingscliff Community Centre.
In relation to Development on the Tweed Coast - To consider the implications of Council's adopting Tweed Futures as its Strategic Plan.  Gales distributed an Information Circular to Coast residents - see outer pages (500Kb) and detailed inner pages (800Kb).  Many people at the meeting did not have the circular and it appears that the circular was not distributed, despite Gales paying for its distribution. In 2005 the non-distribution of a flyer was confirmed by private investigators.

November 2004 - Inquiry into Tweed Shire Council announced

11 November 2004 - Inquiry into Tweed Shire Council by Minister for Local Government Hon. Tony Kelly, who said "This follows press reports and community concern about the manner in which a number of Council planning decisions were made."

October 2004 - Gales commences proceedings in Land & Environment Court regarding the rezoning of the former sewer site

28 October 2004 - Gales Holdings commenced proceedings in the Land & Environment Court of NSW seeking that the Court declare the rezoning to Industrial is invalid (see Press Release). Gales believes that the making of the Local Environment Plan as processed by the Council and then the Minister miscarried and is unlawful. The area has been identified as the location for a District Centre in Council's Centres Study and by Gales consultants, and Council's consultant recommended that it be zone for Trade and Commerce.

October 2004 - SMH article "Developers' cash funded poll win"

20 October 2004 - "Developers' cash funded poll win" in Sydney Morning Herald page 5. This article details large cash donations by many of the big developers in the region to political candidates  and mentions the potential for conflict of interest. Gales did not make any political contribution and all Gales development proposals have been blocked by Council. During the local government elections Gales did not make political contributions but instead paid for and circulated a brochure informing the public of the planning chaos at the Council.

October 2004 - New Woolworths based shopping centre DA submitted to Council

October 2004new Woolworths based shopping centre with Retail shops and Commercial offices above - Development Application submitted to Council. Although Council wanted a District Centre up to 20,000m2 with Cinemas, Plaza, Bus Interchange etc on the site, based on past experience Gales expects Council to try to delay the approval by "concerns" about habitat, groundwater, noise and whatever else it can dream up.

October 2004 - Gales and Council discuss new direct road access from Tweed Coast Road to Kingscliff

October 2004 - Gales in discussions with Council about new direct road access from Tweed Coast Road to Kingscliff via Turnock St. Gales proposes to contribute the land. The current access into Kingscliff is very roundabout and unsatisfactory. In a draft DCP9 version 2 Council proposed a route running right next to houses in Noble Estate and Kingfisher circuit. Council previously sold the Quiggan St reserve, which would have allowed direct access into Kingscliff, but now has dozens of houses on it as the southern part of Noble Estate.

March 2004 - 4 page Information Newsletter distributed to Tweed Coast residents

6 March 2004 - A 4 page Information Newsletter (500Kb) was distributed to all households in the Tweed Shire.   On page 3 it records the planning chaos at Tweed Shire that has been going on for many years. It is well worth reading and has maps and deals with the location of the new District Centre for the Tweed Coast. See how the biggest decisions in a Shire are (mis)handled. It is hard to believe that it is mere incompetence as it is so consistent, and when submissions detail gross errors they are ignored, or are "rationalised away" as the predetermined decision is steamrolled through, contrary to all common sense.

March 2004 - Council votes to zone for STP to "Industrial"

3 March 2004 –  Council votes to zone its land at Chinderah to Industrial (this is yellow on the photo below), mainly because it said there was great time pressure and Industrial was the "safest" thing to do. This was more important than town planning considerations, in the view of Council and its Consultant. [ on 28/10/2004 Gales commenced action in the Land and Environment Court in relation to this rezoning.]

This land is the best site for the Tweed Coast’s new District Centre. The Sewer Treatment Plant (STP) on this land is slated for removal, to be replaced by a new bigger plant to service the new development down the coast. New development urgently needs the STP to be enlarged. Council must decide what to zone the land so the STP can be moved. Council’s major retail and flooding investigations are not complete. One might ask why?


Crucial Council Documents

See Crucial Council Documents for the need for a new District Centre and a Retail Study. For a few years Council said it was crucial , but in July 2004 Council decided that it may not be required "for a decade or two", in its Tweed Futures 2004-2024, which it adopted as its Strategic Plan.

Council has been planning the enlargement of the Sewer Plant for 10 years. It resolved to move the Sewer Treatment Plant (STP) 4 years ago. The Council is meant to plan for such things. What has been going on?

Gales Expert Consultants

The Gales team includes nationally recognised Consultants and those with great local knowledge covering a very wide range of disciplines.

Their conclusions often conflict radically with Tweed Shire Council and its consultants and advisors. See Ernst & Young report.   In relation to a District Centre for the Tweed Coast, Gales Consultants are uniform in concludingthat the Chinderah site is ideal.

Ingham Planning - Urban Planning. They prepared "Report on Shopping Centre Design" for The Shopping Centre Council of Australia. See Cover and page 1.

Ingham Planning has also done a Report on Strategic Planning for West Kingscliff and Gales Land.

Allen Jack Cottier - Architects. They were recently named winner of the Maroochydore Civic Square Design Competition (350Kb). Oculus Landscape Architects collaborated in this winning Design, and they are Gales Landscape Architects in the Woolworths Supermarket for Turnock St.

Dimasi Strategic Research - Retail Analysis. Formed in 2002, Dimasi is the D in JHD. Profile of Dimasi Retail Analysis.

JHD Advisors previously did Retail Analysis for Gales, which confirmed Chinderah as the best site for a District Centre and Kingscliff as needing a Spermarket, but they restructured and have now become Urbis JHD.

Ernst & Young. They did a critical analysis of 4 major Council documents (Ernst & Young Report) in relation to Council's proposed Sewer Plant enlargement and found most of what Council had said was extremely defective, and even "designed to deceive the reader".

Many consultants contribute vital and expert services but are more "behind the scenes". Gales very much appreciates their valuable work, which is consistently showing the gross defects in Council planning, and enabling Gales to present best outcomes for the community.

David and Goliath – how Roy Rudman saved Kingscliff

Roy’s crushing experiences over what should have been happy years are condensed into a few pages.

The Rudman Case: This is a chapter in a submission to the Australian House of Representatives titled DEMOCRACY SUBVERTED by Councillor Robert Brinsmead, Tweed Shire Council.
This gives us an insider's view of what Councils do.  Councillor Brinsmead has been Deputy Mayor.
The Rudman chapter is here.
The whole submission is available in Democracy Subverted (352Kb).
It is well written, fascinating, and very sad how ordinary honest people are crushed by the system. 

Community Consultation and the Sewer Plant

Here is a circular from SACK - Sewage Action Committee Kingscliff.
Nothing said by Council can be believed.
And what it doesn't say can be as important as what it does say.

You would think there would be pretty strong feelings about enlarging a Sewer Treatment Plant tenfold, creating a 20ha "Turf Farm" to treat Sewage output, and shipping in 1000 tons of sludge per year from other Sewer Plants. But Council’s $60,000 (ratepayer paid) Community Consultation reported 3 complaints, making $20,000 paid per complaint found. This smells as much as the Sewer Plant. 

Council's Community Consultation never even in a single pamphlet showed the huge Sewer Buffer Zone that covers half of Kingscliff, that cost Roy Rudman so much, that stopped development then and still does to this day. The Buffer Zone will go when the new Sewer Plant opens far away. Ernst & Young has a few comments about the Community Consultation (see following).

When information was provided to the community, a petition registered over 1,000 signatures.

March 2003 - Information Newsletter distributed about the history of Council's "Retail Study"

The New District Centre for the Tweed Coast - see this document (481Kb).
The final decision on where the District Centre should be has still not been made, even though it has been obvious for years where the best place is. Why has Council tried so hard to avoid the best place?

This information newsletter was circulated to all households in the Tweed Shire around 6 March 2003. It provides information about the history of the “Retail Study”.
It is 4 pages of small type with some pictures, but well worth reading.
The site of a new Retail Centre is pretty important for a community. See how it has been handled.

The Ernst & Young Report 
 
Ernst & Young report - This is an investigation by Ernst & Young into Council planning for the Kingscliff Sewer Plant Augmentation and recorded:
   "Claims that were false and a misrepresentation of the facts"
   "False and misleading conclusions"
   "Erroneous conclusions drawn from misleading facts and false and misleading estimates"
   "Gross errors"
   "Lack of due professional standards"
   "Omission of a material item (value of a 32ha site) in all documents being “not an oversight but could in fact be interpreted as a considered and deliberate action to mislead the reader
   "Commercial imprudence"
   "Cost estimates materially misstated"
   "Misdirected conclusion based on inadequate costings"
   "Unsubstantiated statements"
   "Misleading statements"
   "The decision that the STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) should be augmented at the existing site cannot be concluded from the figures and documents pesented"
   “In relation to major issues the report’s references are contradicted by references within the EIS, and references are made to non-existent responses".
 

Ernst & Young examined 4 official reports in relation to Sewage Plant augmentation prepared by:
   Director of Engineering Services,  Sinclair Knight Metz, Community Consultation by the Phillips Group and
   Strategy Review by NSW Department of Public Works, North Coast Region

The Ernst & Young report was supplied to the General Manager and all Councillors and further distributed.
It was a major election issue and was headlines in the local newspapers.
Did heads roll? Were People sacked or called to account? Were the findings considered?
The response by Council was... more or less nothing!!!  Maybe everyone knew that it was par for the course.
And so all the problems and deficiencies for the community continue unchanged.

So were people a bit more careful after the report?

After release of the Ernst & Young report the Council's Director of Development services reported  in relation to the location of Kingscliff Sewer Plant:
“A detailed analysis of potential sites was undertaken as part of a Value Management Study completed in August 1994”
The Value Management Study actually says:
“The study group agreed that a final recommendation could not be made without the benefit of a comprehensive cost-benefit appraisal” and
“The Study Group concluded that three principal options should be the subject of more detailed cost benefit appraisal as the basis for community consultation”

So Council went on as usual. Since all the EXTREME FAULTS documented in the Ernst & Young report in 1999, nothing changed at all.

Now as then, nothing the Council says or does can be considered true. It could be true or completely untrue - there is no way to tell - nothing can be believed.

Council's 'Fact Sheet' on the Sewer Plant 


 For Council's Fact Sheet, please click here.

Sewer Plant became very controversial when the community was given info (not by Council).

Tweed Shire Council distributed a "Fact Sheet" (at ratepayers expense) "to ensure that the rest of the Tweed has accurate information". In typical Council style, it is full of manipulations and misinformation. You would think that the value of the land would be high because it was so close to town. But Council thought it was worth so little value that it was not even worth getting valued. Council's fact Sheet states  "The highest and best use of this land is arguably for rural activities".Council refused Gales request to fund an alternative point of view - that the site was an extremely valuable Council and community asset.

This same site is now recognised by almost everyone, even in Councils own Centres Study and Core Economics Report, as the site for the Tweed Coast's new District Centre.  Thank goodness that Council was stopped from expanding the Sewer Plant tenfold (By Roy Rudman in the Land & Environment Court, and by a petition of more than 1000 signatures and the election of a new Council) and developing its Turf Farm (but Court Injunction).

This shows that official Council documents state the opposite to the facts -  click here.

 

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