Mayor's scathing smackdown against Owen
TWEED mayor Katie Milne has slammed councillor James Owen for creating "division and disunity" following his comments criticising the council's "Labor/Green block".
Speaking to the Tweed Daily News, Cr Milne said she did not want the council to revert back to the dark days of 2005 when the council was sacked.
She believed councillor James Owen was more focused on his own agenda as he aggressively campaigns ahead of next year's election.
Cr Owen has recently declared he wants to "Take Back Tweed", and has enlisted the support of high-profile media personality Alan Jones.
However the Tweed Mayor accused Cr Owen of putting his personal ambitions ahead of the needs of Tweed residents.
"Councillor Owen is actually guilty of the very type of politics he accuses the majority of councillors of," Cr Milne said.
"He complains that he is regularly out-voted but he has never once reached out to negotiate with me.
"If you look at his track record you will see that he has never attempted to initiate a single policy in council.
"We need councillors that are willing to put the Tweed first, not take Tweed back to the old days of the Polglase-run sacked council of 2005."
Divisions amongst the councillors is nothing new, but has become more vocal in recent months.
Reece Byrnes labelled Cr Owen as "arrogant and out of touch" this week.
Despite this, Cr Milne declared this council had been productive and united before she again Cr Owen of being fixated on his own agenda.
"This Council has been one of the most harmonious councils in the history of Tweed, so it's unfortunate Cr Owen now seems intent on creating division and disunity," she said.
"While Tweed undoubtedly has many challenges the fantastic news is that our unemployment figures are at all time lows of 4.3 percent and for the first time perhaps ever, better than national rates.
"Instead of talking up the Tweed and promoting business confidence, it seems Cr Owen's political ambition for the council election is more important to him than the best interests of the Tweed.
"The community rejected this sort of toxic politics when they voted out 5 of the 7 Councillors at the last Council election."
The council will next sit in Council Chambers tomorrow, when the 2019 budget is announced.