Cr John Collins speaks out

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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