MIN­IS­TER SENDS CLEAR MES­SAGE TO COUN­CIL

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Sharon Small­wood

“GET on with it. You don’t have to be best friends, you don’t have to play in the sand pit to­gether, but you do have to gov­ern for the re­gion.”

This was the mes­sage Lo­cal Govern­ment Min­is­ter David Crisa­fulli de­liv­ered to all of Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil dur­ing a visit to Bowen on Tues­day.

Mr Crisa­fulli promised he would come to the re­gion af­ter deputy mayor Andrew Will­cox and coun­cil­lors Dave Clark and Peter Ra­m­age trav­elled to Bris­bane to meet with him last week.

The three coun­cil­lors all walked out of the pre­vi­ous or­di­nary Coun­cil meet­ing af­ter it was chaired by Cr Jan Clif­ford in the mayor’s ab­sence, in­stead of the deputy mayor.

Af­ter giv­ing them an ear in Bris­bane, Mr Crisa­fulli de­scribed the dis­cus­sion at Tues­day’s Bowen meet­ing as “ro­bust”.

“Some feath­ers flew and some fur went miss­ing but it needed to hap­pen,” he said.

“We’ve seen what’s gone on and it’s been a cir­cus – it’s been a soap opera [and] no-one wants to see that any­more.”

Dur­ing the meet­ing, Mr Crisa­fulli de­liv­ered some “tough love” say­ing both sides had been at fault. He said he didn’t be­lieve that people needed to storm out of a meet­ing to gain ac­cess to the govern­ment, but he also stood firm on his opin­ion that the mayor’s del­e­ga­tion was wrong.

Mr Crisa­fulli said he left Coun­cil with some strate­gies, tools and ad­vice and he did not be­lieve the ap- point­ment of an ad­min­is­tra­tor was nec­es­sary.

“I don’t ex­pect them all to sit around the ta­ble, hold hands, drink herbal tea and pray for bet­ter times. I want them to chal­lenge each other and I want them to be en­gag­ing in ro­bust de­bate but I want them to act like grown-ups,” he said.

“I don’t want to come back in a few months and have to do it all over again. This is it. This is the one roll of the dice. This is the op­por­tu­nity for this group of elected of­fi­cials to gov­ern for the re­gion and to sell a vi­sion.”

Mayor Jennifer Whit­ney said this was a good meet­ing where some “hard truths” were told.

Deputy mayor Andrew Will­cox also agreed “we need to put our per­sonal dif­fer­ences aside”.

Coun­cil’s or­di­nary meet­ing yes­ter­day, was civilised and cor­dial. Cr Whit­ney told the me­dia, Coun­cil would con­tinue to work on “ac­tively de­liv­er­ing the mar­riage”.

HELP­FUL AD­VICE: Lo­cal Govern­ment Min­is­ter David Crisa­fulli speak­ing with Deputy Mayor Andrew Will­cox in Bowen on Tues­day.

UNITED FRONT: Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil­lors Peter Ra­m­age, Dave Clark, Andrew Will­cox, John Collins (back) and Jan Clif­ford (front right) with Bur­dekin MP Rose­mary Menk­ins (front left) and Whit­sun­day MP Ja­son Costi­gan (back right), and mayor Jennifer Whit­ney and Lo­cal Govern­ment Min­is­ter David Crisa­fulli. The min­is­ter came to Bowen to meet with all of Coun­cil on Tues­day and was sup­ported by the lo­cal MP's.

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