SKINNY DIP SCAN­DAL

Cas­sowary Coast Coun­cil pair stood down over cheeky swim

The Weekend Post - - Front Page - DANIEL BATE­MAN AND ELIS­A­BETH CHAM­PION

A SE­NIOR ex­ec­u­tive of a Far North­ern coun­cil is in hot wa­ter after al­legedly tak­ing a fe­male co­worker for a skinny dip on re­stricted coun­cil prop­erty dur­ing work hours.

Cas­sowary Coast Re­gional Coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive man­ager, Bill Davis (right), has been sus­pended after an in­ci­dent took place at the coun­cil’s Bul­gun Creek in­take near Tully on Mon­day.

The Cairns Post un­der­stands a fe­male em­ployee, who ac­com­pa­nied Mr Davis for the af­ter­noon swim­ming ses­sion, has also been stood down after the duo were wit­nessed putting their clothes back on after their dip in a re­stricted area by two coun­cil em­ploy­ees at the site.

The Bul­gun Creek in­take sup­plies wa­ter for the towns of Fel­uga, South Mis­sion Beach and Won­gal­ing Beach.

The area is off-lim­its to unau­tho­rised peo­ple to pro­tect the com­mu­ni­ties’ wa­ter sup­ply.

The coun­cil yes­ter­day would only con­firm that two of its of­fi­cers had been stood down

The coun­cil said the em­ploy­ees had been stood down in ac­cor­dance with pro­vi­sions of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act.

“Pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, it is there­fore in­ap­pro­pri­ate for coun­cil to com­ment at this time as to the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing this de­ci­sion,” a coun­cil spokesman said.

A source said coun­cil staff were be­mused by the in­ci­dent, ques­tion­ing why the pair had de­cided to go swim­ming in a re­stricted area, let alone dur­ing work time.

An email sent to staff by chief ex­ec­u­tive James Gott on Thurs­day, states that he “re­ceived in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing two of­fi­cers of coun­cil” which he de­cided re­quired in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“To pro­tect all staff mem­bers con­cerned with that in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and in the in­ter­ests of pro­ce­dural fair­ness and nat­u­ral jus­tice and to en­sure that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is in no way com­pro­mised, it is im­por­tant that no gos­sip oc­curs,” Mr Gott wrote.

Mr Davis was con­tro­ver­sially ap­pointed to the po­si­tion of ex­ec­u­tive man­ager after be­ing orig­i­nally hired as a con­sul­tant to the coun­cil last year.

In July, the Cairns Post re­ported that he had rec­om­mended cre­at­ing the role and then helped write the po­si­tion de­scrip­tion. It has not been sug­gested that Mr Davis was not qual­i­fied for the po­si­tion.

Mr Davis did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment yes­ter­day.

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