Hartwig re­sponds to ‘saviour’ let­ter

The Gympie Times - - YOUR SAY -

THANK you Mr Plant for your let­ter.

Thank you for the op­por­tu­nity to re­spond.

Yes I made an er­ror in not declar­ing a per­ceived con­flict.

I am ma­ture enough to ac­cept that some­times we all are hu­man and per­fec­tion is not one of my qual­i­ties.

When you had writ­ten ear­lier at the time the com­plaints were made you made it clear to all, by in­fer­ence, that you were aware of these mat­ters.

That is of great con­cern given the ne­ces­sity of con­fi­den­tial­ity re­quired by law, and at the time it raised the real and le­git­i­mate ques­tion of how did you know? Was it you that called the Gympie Times to in­form them of the com­plaints?

I re­ceived ad­vice of the com­plaints af­ter 5pm on Fri­day and yet you had enough in­for­ma­tion to call the Gympie Times on Mon­day morn­ing, how could this be?

The facts of the mat­ter are sim­ple. I was work­ing for a con­trac­tor to coun­cil. Coun­cil staff were over­see­ing the bridge re­pair work. I was ap­proached by a con­trac­tor to do some sand­blast­ing work.

I ini­tially de­clined the of­fer as I had with all of the Rat­tler work.

Not be­cause I couldn’t use the money but be­cause “I had a real is­sue with tak­ing money from the rate payer on this project”.

What that means is that, morally, I was not sat­is­fied that the process that coun­cil had used to jus­tify such mas­sive ex­pen­di­ture was le­git­i­mate or ap­pro­pri­ate.

I felt, as a busi­ness owner, that the project was so poorly planned and I had seen first-hand deals that I felt were not ac­cept­able from a moral stand­ing and I was not happy to take money from the rate payer for my le­git­i­mate ser­vices.

Time has proven that my be­liefs in this area were well founded.

Af­ter see­ing the im­pact of the road clo­sure on the flow of traf­fic and with the knowl­edge that if I didn’t do the work the road would need to be closed again, caus­ing fur­ther dis­rup­tion to the com­mu­nity, I chose to do a small amount of work.

The tri­bunal ac­knowl­edged that my ac­tions were based around “com­mu­nity in­ter­est”, they ac­knowl­edged that I voted against fur­ther fund­ing for the Rat­tler pro­gram and they ac­knowl­edged that I had turned down many of­fers of work that re­lated specif­i­cally and only to the rat­tler.

The work was com­plete in Jan­uary and at the end of March and April I voted not to sup­port fur­ther blowouts to the Rat­tler by in­creas­ing fund­ing.

At this time I just sim­ply for­got to de­clare this work I had done. It was an er­ror and for that I apol­o­gise.

If con­fronted with this sce­nario in the fu­ture I will not do the work and you and the rest of the com­mu­nity will have to be in­con­ve­nienced for a greater pe­riod. This is not how I like to do things but it is the world that has been cre­ated.

I hope this gives fur­ther clar­ity to the is­sues and I look for­ward to your re­sponse where you in­form the com­mu­nity ex­actly who gave con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to the com­plaints. Glen Hartwig, Gympie Re­gional Coun­cil­lor Di­vi­sion 2 (Abridged)

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