Hos­pi­tal splits com­mu­nity

Mayor’s stance ‘rid­dled with holes’, says coun­cil­lor

The Northern Star - - NEWS -

TWEED Shire coun­cil­lor Pryce All­sop has crit­i­cised Mayor Katie Milne over plans to “black­mail” busi­nesses in­volved in the Tweed Val­ley Hos­pi­tal build, say­ing she needs to stop “di­vid­ing our com­mu­nity over and over”.

Cr Milne con­tro­ver­sially agreed to back a mo­tion to black­list lo­cal con­trac­tors and busi­nesses in­volved in the hos­pi­tal build dur­ing a protest against the site on Mon­day.

But she later back­tracked af­ter protesters re­tracted their call for the boy­cott.

How­ever, Cr Milne has not backed down on the idea and said in a state­ment this week the boy­cott would have helped pre­vent “even worse eco­nomic and so­cial im­pacts” from the hos­pi­tal.

Cr All­sop said in a Face­book post that he dis­agreed with “black­mail­ing busi­nesses to boy­cott con­struc­tion” and the coun­cil could be “legally chal­lenged through any open ten­der pro­cesses”.

“It could mean that on oc­ca­sions we would be un­able to ac­cept any ten­ders, com­pa­nies would be asked to pro­vide a dis­close on their part in the hos­pi­tal’s works or in­put into the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of con­struc­tion or the sup­ply of prod­ucts to the hos­pi­tal,” he said.

“If this was some­how over­looked or a new com­pany was formed to evade the dis­clo­sure, again an­other con­sid­er­able is­sue. We would pos­si­bly see a sit­u­a­tion not un­like in­sider trad­ing whereas a com­pany might find they are the only busi­ness el­i­gi­ble for ten­der­ing, then plac­ing ten­ders well above the com­pet­i­tive price.

“It is ridicu­lous. The in­tent of the mayor’s scheme is rid­dled with holes. Not sure if the mayor un­der­stands that di­vid­ing our com­mu­nity over and over isn’t healthy par­tic­u­larly over ex­tended pe­ri­ods, things can be­come nasty, we see this time and time again.

“I would love to see our mayor be­ing the type of per­son that shares the in­for­ma­tion that is shared with her.”

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