Tweed man calls for ‘crackpot’ council to be sacked
THE New South Wales family which sells water to national bottling companies is calling on the Tweed Shire Council to be sacked.
Matthew Karlos said the council abused the Land and Environment Court process on Thursday night when councillors voted in a "secret" meeting in the "dead of night" to stop his water extraction business.
"The State Government, which has fully licensed our spring water farm to operate, needs to step in and fire this mob of crackpots," he said.
It is not the first time the Mr Karlos has called for the council to be sacked after they refused an application for him to fly a helicopter to his property and sent him a stop and demolish notice in July.
The motion at the meeting was added late and closed to the public, leading Mr Karlos to claim it was done in secret.
Mr Karlos said he believed the Council would not take action until a decision over the Land and Environment Court matter between his business Eniflat Pty Ltd and Tweed Shire Council was finalised.
"Our legal representatives clearly requested the Council to stand down from decision making while the Judge weighs his decision," he said.
Mr Karlos is appealing the Council's refusal to allow him to use large water trucks to cart water from their Urliup property to businesses such as NuPure, Wet Fix Spring Water and previously Mount Franklin.
The first part of the hearing in March included a site visit in March which attracted protesters including Green Mayor Katie Milne.
On September 12 and 13 was the second part of the hearing.
Exactly a week later councillors voted 4-3 in favour of shutting down his business because of noncompliance issues, of which the Council report does not state.
Cr Milne, Labor Cr Reece Byrnes, independents Cr Ron Cooper and Cr Chris Cherry voted to issue a stop work and demolish notice while Liberal Cr James Owen and independents Cr Warren Polglase and Cr Pryce Allsop voted against it.
"The extreme green alliance's secret majority vote, in the dead of night, to shut us down was made despite the LEC Judge reserving his decision in our appeal against TSC's attempts to disrupt our legal farming operation," Mr Karlos said.
"Cr Milne and her Labor crony Cr Byrnes have abused the process of the court and brought the Council into disrepute.
"If it was good enough to sack a conservative council in 2004, it's good enough to sack this extreme green one.
Cr Warren Polglase said councillors should have waited for the judge's determination before figuring out what the council should do.
"The Karlos family have been put under a lot of pressure and council should have waited for a decision to be made by the judge," he said.
"There is a genuine vengeance from some councillors to shut down every water extraction business in the Tweed Shire and that's what is driving this."
Cr Milne and Cr Byrnes did not respond to the Bulletin's requests for comment.