SPECIAL REPORT: 'Let us build at Black Rocks site'
FOR three years, the Pottsville and District Men's Shed has lobbied for a permanent home at Black Rocks sports field.
But the group's plans have been stopped in their tracks by Tweed Shire Council's failure to sign off on the lease of Black Rocks sports field.
Following a lengthy council process, which included the approval of a development application and construction licence under the previous council, the current council is deciding whether it wants to issue the lease agreement to the Men's Shed.
Pottsville Men's Shed president Michael Ryan said Mayor Katie Milne's decision to defer council's decision prior to the 2016 local government election, instead calling for help from Tweed MP Geoff Provest, was strategic.
"All the business and everything had been done within that council period with those councillors and they knew the history and the background of it all,” Mr Ryan said.
"They were the best councillors to make a decision.”
Mr Ryan said he could not understand why the new council had decided it might not have the authority to grant a licence.
"They sent it to State Government on the premise that it's a State Government responsibility to find a place for the Men's Shed,” he said.
"It's contradictory because the Tweed Men's Shed is on council community land, on a sports field - the Murwillumbah Shed is in the old water works building.”
Mr Ryan said the men - who currently meet every week in a demountable building at Pottsville Beach Primary School - were fed up with waiting. He said their fears were growing with the possibility the shed may have to relocate from their current site by July due to possible building plans at the school.
Mr Ryan said while the argument about koala conservation was important, there was significant evidence their activity at Black Rocks wouldn't impact on the koalas.
"The environment is important to all of our members, they all live here,” he said.