Tweed Shire Conucil Mayor Katie Milne protets outside the site of the new Tweed Valley Hospital at Cudgen.
Tweed Shire Conucil Mayor Katie Milne protets outside the site of the new Tweed Valley Hospital at Cudgen. Scott Powick

Milne's bullying comments scrutinised

TWEED Valley Hospital Community Group members say they are "perplexed” by Tweed Shire Council Mayor Katie Milne's comments about bullying after she encouraged a boycott of local businesses involved in the hospital build.

Last week, Cr Milne released a statement urging the community to band together and stop online bullying which she claimed was a "sickness”.

But group spokesperson and Hospital Community Reference Panel member Penny Hockings said Cr Milne had been a "key antagonist” during the debate over the location of the Tweed Valley Hospital after she was seen leading a protest on the hospital site during the first day of works.

Cr Milne was filmed by protesters calling for a council boycott of businesses working on the hospital, a controversial move which caused outrage among the community and eventually saw the mayor backtrack on her comments.

"The Mayor has been a key antagonist and is in no position to lecture anyone, instead she needs to look at her actions,” Ms Hockings said.

"The actions by our mayor against the hospital have not been forgotten and her outspoken opinion on bullying has only caused further frustration.”

Ms Hockings said the mayor and other councillors in the "Rainbow Four” had been "actively stirring angst in the community” through posts and comments on social media.

"The mayor is out of touch with the community and has forgotten what her role entails,” Ms Hockings said.

"Tweed Shire Council is an important stakeholder in the hospital development and there are processes and mechanisms for the Councillors to raise concerns, ask questions and provide feedback. This is the forum with which the Mayor should be participating.”

Ms Hockings said the group had made a call for unity following the State Election.

"The group does not condone bullying from anyone, community leader or otherwise,” Ms Hockings said.

Cr Milne was contacted for comment.