Deputy mayor of Tweed Shire Council, Chris Cherry.
Deputy mayor of Tweed Shire Council, Chris Cherry. Scott Powick

Cherry defends proposal to open legal advice to public

DEFENDING the integrity of a council decision in the face of criticism is the reason councillor Chris Cherry believes the public should be able to view their legal advice.

A motion to allow residents to view the advice the Tweed Shire Council received which then led to their referral of Health Infrastructure to the NSW Ombudsman, passed at last Thursday's meeting.

The documents are not available yet as a rescission motion was foreshadowed for the next meeting by Cr James Owen.

Cr Cherry, who along with Ron Cooper and Mayor Katie Milne supported the motion said it was a matter of defending the council from the misinformation being presented by other councillors.

She said she was happy to receive the NSW Ombudsman's decision to dismiss their complaint and not take it further, but when the suggestion was made the referral was commissioned for the wrong reasons she chose to vote in favour of opening up their legal advice to the public.

"When it was getting thrown around in the council chamber as a criticism of council and not a worthwhile process, I thought it should be opened up to the public," Cr Cherry said.

The deputy mayor said when council elected to go to the Ombudsman with their complaint, she believed it was important to make sure Health Infrastructure had followed the right process when selecting the Cudgen Rd site for the new Tweed Valley Hospital Project.

"There was a lot of community interest into whether it was right or it was legal so I think they deserve to know why we went to the Ombudsman," she said.