From the edi­tor's desk

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

THERE is cer­tainly a lot of in­ter­est in what is hap­pen­ing at Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil.

Yes­ter­day, 100 people at­tended the coun­cil meet­ing in Proser­pine. Coun­cil had an­nounced at the end of last week that the meet­ing would be moved to the Proser­pine En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre be­cause a large crowd was ex­pected – and that only 100 people would be al­lowed in. They all had to sign in.

The pre­vi­ous meet­ing in Bowen had to be moved from the Coun­cil cham­bers to the PCYC to ac­com­mo­date an even larger crowd.

At yes­ter­day’s meet­ing, there were se­cu­rity guards in place. Emo­tions are ob­vi­ously run­ning high. There will be a by-elec­tion in com­ing weeks as one coun­cil­lor has al­ready re­signed. Cr Kevin Collins cited “in­tegrity” is­sues and quit mid-way through the cur­rent term.

He was hop­ing that for­mer mayor Mario Demar­tini would con­test the elec­tion un­op­posed but that hasn’t hap­pened.

Al­ready, four people have put up their hands to run for Di­vi­sion 2.

Who­ever you sup­port and what­ever the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion of the Coun­cil, it was men­tioned in this col­umn last week that there had been per­sonal at­tacks.

These at­tacks are not just at the cur­rent mayor and coun­cil­lors but also at people who sup­port or don’t sup­port them.

As men­tioned last week, pas­sion is great but to see people so emo­tional that they are per­son­ally at­tack­ing each other is a sad state of af­fairs in the Lo­cal Govern­ment arena.

It’s two years un­til the next Coun­cil elec­tion and that will be a long two years for the coun­cil and the pub­lic if this chaos continues.

It would also be sad if tal­ented and skilled people who may have been think­ing about con­test­ing the next elec­tion de­cided against it be­cause of the cur­rent chaos but that is cer­tainly pos­si­ble.

Leanne Aber­nethy

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