Shellharbour mayor bemused by Kiama MP's hub opposition

Shellharbour City Mayor Marianne Saliba said she was left "gobsmacked" by Kiama MP Gareth Ward's comments opposing Shellharbour City Council's proposed $57 million hub project.

"Gareth Ward's comments were bizarre and were made on a day when he and [Shellharbour MP] Anna Watson were coming to the council for a briefing on the hub," Cr Saliba said.

"He had never expressed his opposition to the project to the council or the general manager in the past."

Last week, Mr Ward "condemned" Ms Watson for using Parliament to "intimidate and bully the community in relation to the Shellharbour City Hub project".

Ms Watson placed a question on notice to the Minister for Local Government asking for "the names of the individuals and community organisations who have written to him or signed a petition in relation to the Shellharbour City Hub project".

Cr Saliba said she made it clear to Mr Ward and Ms Watson that they should not be using the council as a whipping boy for Liberal and Labor state political issues but understood why Ms Watson asked the question.

"Gareth said he was constantly being approached about maintenance issues relating to this council," Cr Saliba said.

"Records show in the past 12 months he has made seven representations to the council - and three of those were about speeding vehicles.

"I don't know how he can call that constant - either he is not properly representing the community or he is not telling the truth."

Mr Ward said Cr Saliba's claims were untrue.

"I have spoken to the Mayor previously about my position on the hub," Mr Ward said.

"When it comes to raising issues, I can take up serious matters directly myself or I can also encourage residents to go directly to the council themselves.

"I have expressed a view on the hub on behalf of constituents, I won't be intimidated and will continue to speak up on issues of concern."


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