Anger over FB block as mayor blames in­ap­pro­pri­ate posts

Warwick Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Elyse Wurm

RES­I­DENTS have been rocked by a de­ci­sion by the South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil to snatch away their abil­ity to post on the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Face­book page.

Com­ments on the coun­cil’s posts re­main en­abled, but since Thurs­day fol­low­ers can no longer post mes­sages to the page or view pre­vi­ous visitor posts.

Res­i­dent and busi­ness owner Nathan Colyer said the coun­cil was “very dif­fi­cult” to com­mu­ni­cate with al­ready and the block had put up a wall be­tween ratepay­ers, busi­ness own­ers and the coun­cil.

“They’re just not lis­ten­ing and so you try and talk to them di­rectly through so­cial me­dia but when they shut that down you won­der what they’re try­ing to hide,” Mr Colyer said.

“It gives more mis­con­cep­tions in re­gards to how they want to deal with us.

“I think it’s (so­cial me­dia) a quick way to com­mu­ni­cate and can be a pos­i­tive tool for them if they re­move that at­ti­tude that peo­ple are there to at­tack them.

“But they’re alien­at­ing them­selves from us even more.”

War­wick res­i­dent Stenna Jack­son said the coun­cil was lim­it­ing what peo­ple could say and many de­ci­sions made by the coun­cil ap­peared to be han­dled be­hind closed doors.

“I think they need to be a bit more trans­par­ent and con­sult with peo­ple and be hon­est, be up­front be­fore de­ci­sions are made,” she said.

South­ern Downs Mayor Tracy Do­bie said in­ap­pro­pri­ate posts was the rea­son for the newly-in­stated con­trol.

“If some­one wishes to email coun­cil that’s fine but plac­ing posts on to the site has been closed off,” Cr Do­bie said.

“Coun­cil does put fac­tual in­for­ma­tion (on the page) and it’s im­por­tant that the in­for­ma­tion is con­trolled.”

Cr Do­bie said res­i­dents could still com­mu­ni­cate with the coun­cil via Face­book mes­sages and email.

“Those means have al­ways been avail­able and I would en­cour­age peo­ple to use those means,” she said.

War­wick Daily News re­quested more in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the re­stric­tions but hadn’t heard back by time of print.

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