Minister to address Council
QUEENSLAND’s Local Government Minister David Crisafulli has confirmed he will travel to Bowen to meet with all Whitsunday Regional Councillors as soon as practically possible.
“I intend to get up there in the next couple of weeks,” he said, after a meeting with the three northern councillors, Dave Clark, Peter Ramage and Andrew Willcox, in Brisbane this week.
Cr’s Clark, Ramage and Willcox flew to Brisbane to meet with the Minister on Tuesday after their shock exit from last week’s Council meeting in Bowen.
While he could not speak on the record due to Council’s media policy, Cr Clark did say there were several issues he and his colleagues urgently needed to discuss.
He also described the fact that mayor Jennifer Whitney delegated to Cr Jan Clifford to chair the meeting in her absence, as “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
Minister Crisafulli has been tightlipped since Tuesday’s meeting although prior to this he was fairly vocal on where he stood, likening the situation to a “rock show” in a radio interview conducted last week.
Mr Crisafulli also criticised the mayor for her decision to delegate to a councillor rather than the deputy mayor, saying she got this “dead wrong” ( Whitsunday Times, March 27).
Cr Whitney returned from annual leave this week and said she believed she had acted in accordance with the Local Government Act.
She also said she was “very disappointed” by the Councillors’ actions last week.
“It’s been a very hard road, with the majority or half the Council working in one direction and the other half of Council pulling it apart with being ill-informed,” she said.
Despite this, Cr Whitney still believes the situation is retrievable.
“And I believe that’s what the Minister will be telling each and every one of us, not just the three councillors – that we need to work collectively as a team to deliver outcomes that are beneficial to the community,” she said.
“By working against one another, we’re not going to achieve anything.”
Minister for Local Government David Crisafulli.
Councillor Andrew Willcox.
Councillor Peter Ramage.
Councillor Dave Clark.