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