Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Cost of Defending Decisions; Council Says Court Challenges Expected

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Cost of Defending Decisions; Council Says Court Challenges Expected

Article excerpt

Byline: Aisling Brennan aisling.brennan@tweeddailynews.com.au

COUNCILLORS have hit back at claims they are overspending council's legal budget to defend at least five decisions in the Land and Environment Court.

Following a report in the Tweed Daily News last week about ongoing legal costs, Councillor Chris Cherry sought to explain the current expenditures further.

"The financial costs for the 2016-2017 year were high at $933,000 but certainly not as high as they have been in the past," Cr Cherry said. "When you do a breakdown of the costs for the 2016-17 year, most of those costs relate to legal cases entered into by the previous set of councillors and have nothing to do with the new council."

Cr Cherry said the council had a responsibility to defend its decisions, regardless of when they were made.

"Of the $933,000, around $552,000 was spent by the previous council and $381,000 by the current councillors," she said. "But $155,000 of that $381,000 was spent defending a decision of the previous council and $62,500 was spent obtaining legal advice prior to council making decisions. …

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