As­so­ci­a­tions ex­press op­pos­ing views about coun­cil­lors walk­ing out


THE jury is still out on the un­prece­dented walk-out by Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil­lors Dave Clark, Peter Ra­m­age and Andrew Will­cox from last week’s or­di­nary meet­ing in Bowen.

Whit­sun­day Re­gional Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion (WRRA) pres­i­dent Ross Newell says his as­so­ci­a­tion recog­nises the frus­tra­tion “and in­dig­na­tion that these Coun­cil­lors have been [sub­jected] to and the com­plete lack of [re­spect] they have been af­forded by Mayor Whit­ney in the way this Coun­cil has been man­aged”.

“We fully sup­port their ac­tions and com­mend them on their com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing we are rep­re­sented by a Coun­cil that has in­tegrity and ac­count­abil­ity,” he said.

On the other side of the fence, Whit­sun­day Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion se­cre- tary Tony Moscato says his as­so­ci­a­tion has an en­tirely dif­fer­ent view.

“When the three north­ern Coun­cil­lors, Ra­m­age, Clark and Will­cox, walked out of last Wed­nes­day’s coun­cil meet­ing they were, to put it sim­ply, con­tin­u­ing to pur­sue an on­go­ing agenda,” he said.

“That agenda is to mis­lead the com­mu­nity in or­der to bring about the de­lib­er­ate desta­bil­i­sa­tion of the cur­rent Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil.”

Mr Moscato ac­cused the WRRA of re­lent­lessly throw­ing un­founded ac­cu­sa­tions of fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment and in­com­pe­tence at the mayor, her coun­cil and her staff.

He said the WRRA’s tac­tics and mo­tives were quite clear.

“They clearly be­lieve that if they are able to man­u­fac­ture a sit­u­a­tion of chaos within the cur­rent coun­cil or drive it in- to ad­min­is­tra­tion, then Coun­cil will not have the where­withal to ad­dress ques­tions of fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment still lin­ger­ing from the for­mer Brunker/Fin­lay coun­cil,” he said.

“All this de­lib­er­ate dis­rup­tion is, of course, hav­ing a neg­a­tive ef­fect on the ef­fi­cient run­ning of the Whit­sun­day re­gion and is sad­dling the ratepay­ers with ex­tra and un­nec­es­sary ex­pense.” Mr Newell dis­agrees. “If the com­mu­nity at large has had any doubts as to the dys­func­tion­al­ity of this coun­cil, then clearly this should con­vince them,” he said.

“We would urge all res­i­dents within the re­gion to sign the pe­ti­tion which is cur­rently be­ing cir­cu­lated so we may present same to the Min­is­ter [for lo­cal govern­ment].”

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