Coun­cil­lor to be in­ves­ti­gated

Whitsunday Times - - SPECIAL REPORT – WHITSUNDAY REGIONAL COUNCIL IN CH -

THE man be­hind the record num­bers in at­ten­dance at last week’s Coun­cil meet­ing, may well face ret­ri­bu­tion for in­cit­ing the crowd.

Cr Dave Clark asked the com­mu­nity to rally at a meet­ing of the Whit­sun­day Re­gional Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion last Wed­nes­day night where the fu­ture of the Bowen Coun­cil cham­bers and its staff were dis­cussed.

Dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing, which was moved to the Bowen PCYC due to the size of the crowd, Cr Clark de­nied ever say­ing that the Bowen Coun­cil cham­bers were go­ing to close.

“What I said at the meet­ing the other night was we weren’t go­ing to close the Bowen of­fice, I said we were go­ing to turn it into a cus­tomer ser­vice cen­tre,” he said.

While mayor Jennifer Whit­ney, Cr Jan Clif­ford and Coun­cil’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Scott Wa­ters faced con­sid­er­able hos­til­ity from the crowd, Cr’s Clark, Will­cox and Ra­m­age were ap­plauded when they spoke.

At one point in the meet­ing it was Cr Clark who called the crowd to or­der so that mat­ters could progress.

Though some might ar­gue that Cr Clark was sim­ply rep­re­sent­ing the people of his di­vi­sion, Cr Whit­ney be­lieves this is not the case.

“Per­son­ally, I be­lieve that Dave Clark has not re­sponded in the in­ter­ests of his com­mu­nity be­cause there was nowhere in the re­port or its rec­om­men­da­tions that this Coun­cil was go­ing to close the of­fice or sack the staff,” she said. “I per­son­ally be­lieve he’s whipped up this frenzy and put Coun­cil in a very vul­ner­a­ble sit­u­a­tion [and] for some­one to do that is mis­con­duct un­der the Lo- cal Govern­ment Act and our code of con­duct and the mat­ter has been re­ferred to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties.”

IN­TER­VEN­ING: At one point dur­ing last Wed­nes­day's Coun­cil meet­ing, Cr Dave Clark (cen­tre) called the crowd to or­der when they would not lis­ten to mayor Jennifer Whit­ney or CEO Scott Wa­ters.

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