Cr John Collins speaks out
THE normally quiet Division 3 councillor, John Collins, made an impassioned plea at last week’s Whitsunday Regional Council meeting, for residents to let councillors get on with their jobs.
Mr Collins’ address was prompted by a letter of no confidence in Council by the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland and an SMS sent to Bowen media by Whitsunday Regional Residents Association (WRRA) member John Barnes.
The SMS questioned the ethics of Council’s CEO in signing off on the purchase of two Massey Ferguson tractors in late 2012 from mayor Jennifer Whitney’s family business.
Mr Collins responded by quoting the old adage that “rumours are created by haters, spread by fools and accepted by idiots”.
He said the purchase of these tractors was signed off not by the current CEO, who hadn’t yet started in the role, but by a previous administrator or director of infrastructure.
He asked “how long do we have to keep putting up with this garbage?”
“This constant bagging of council and staff is beyond a joke.
“What the hell is going on? It all started with one man questioning the financials. It moved on to the levy. It moved on to the cost of water rates, then they wanted administration. It’s just developed into pure hatred,” he said.
Mr Collins said no matter what this council did, “in the eyes of this minority, which it is, it’ll never be right”.
His advice for those unhappy with the status quo was to “put your money where your mouth is, [and] have a crack at running in the next election yourself”.
“But in the meantime this is the umpire’s decision. Pick your bat up, get the hell out of here and let us get on with our job”.
For John Barnes’ response, see letters to the editor, page 8.