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].”