Coun­cil meet­ing

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

LAST Wed­nes­day’s Coun­cil Meet­ing saw vi­cious, ill in­formed, abuse un­leashed, largely but not ex­clu­sively, at Mayor Whit­ney by a dis­turbingly large num­ber of the 300 or so at­ten­dees most, ap­par­ently, from Bowen.

I com­mend Cr John Collins for ask­ing why the people of Bowen weren’t com­plain­ing about the pre­vi­ous coun­cil’s over­spend­ing while they were get­ting new streetscap­ing and beach parks. Clearly, these con­trib­uted to Coun­cil’s un­sus­tain­able debt lev­els, re­sult­ing in bur­den­some rates rises across the re­gion.

He added that the in­creases in Bowen were also to align Bo- wen’s rat­ing sys­tem with the higher rates his­tor­i­cally paid at the re­gion’s south­ern end.

Given the ac­cu­sa­tions of in­com­pe­tence, it was a shame not more than a hand­ful of these people stayed to hear that in 2009 then Coun­cil­lors Whit­ney and Clif­ford with a group of cit­i­zens met with State Govern­ment in Townsville to ex­press con­cerns about coun­cil’s spend­ing.

The state’s re­sponse was there was no case to an­swer.

Re­cent state in­ves­ti­ga­tions now in­di­cate these con­cerns were well founded and that $10.8mil­lion of NDRRA fund­ing was mis­used.

Given coun­cil­lors Whit­ney and Clif­ford made their con­cerns re­gard­ing this known to the state govern­ment at the time, this coun­cil will now not ac­cept li­a­bil­ity for this.

This also con­firms that Ms Whit­ney and Clif­ford did try to make the Brunker Coun­cil more ac­count­able.

Any­one who chose to be in­formed at the time would know, they were voted down when they tried to cau­tion re­straint and re­spon­si­ble spend­ing; and bul­lied and abused, for it then and very sadly, now.

It’s com­mend­able that in spite of Wed­nes­day’s lynch mob men­tal­ity, Mayor Whit­ney, Coun­cil­lors and staff re­mained pro­fes­sional and cour­te­ous. We should also ap­pre­ci­ate Coun­cil will­ing­ness to move the meet­ing to the PCYC, at short no­tice to in­clude the mob. Would Mr Brunker have done so given the cir­cum­stances?

Hope­fully some in­volved were sim­i­larly dis­turbed by what oc­curred. It was an ap­palling dis­play, one that the per­pe­tra­tors, if they have any de­cency, should be ashamed of whip­ping up. Kerry McCourt AIR­LIE BEACH

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