Chatter and Chinese whispers the danger of a secretive council

This letter writer wants an inquiry into Gympie Regional Council but does not agree with much of the petition's premise.
This letter writer wants an inquiry into Gympie Regional Council but does not agree with much of the petition's premise. Renee Albrecht

KATHY Walker's letter (Saturday, October 15) once again brings me to comment, albeit reluctantly as I've had my say before.

Her comments on the petition for an inquiry into the Gympie Regional Council can't go unchallenged and once again, although I have signed the petition, I ask the community to think past the small town "localness” which seems to be very much part of Ms Walker's drive for an inquiry.

Once again I ask the community to remember that in the absence of openness, all which they may hear and read may not be actual fact but may be local "fact” based on chatter and "Chinese whispers”.That is the danger of secretive governance and the main reason I signed the petition. 

I do support the call for more open council and for the end of the follies of so much control being given to an unelected CEO.

I do not however agree with much of what "goes around town” or the general accent under which Ms Walker's petition is being promoted.

By chance I happened to be in conversation with a person who operates one of the businesses where the paper petition is available for signing.

Said person, pushing the petition cause, said: "Why should 23 good people lose their jobs because of the CEO?”

I ask, who has deemed these people to be "good”? 

I know, from personal experience, that two of them have been willing liars. I'm not sure who the "23” are as my engagement is limited.

The point is that being "local” does not automatically make a person "good”, nor does it make them the best person for the job.

The same business operator told me (be it fact or fiction) that a newly rebuilt road was "designed in Melbourne”, one of the consultancies Ms Walker says could be done by local staff I guess was the disapproving inference.

The road in question was built very well by local staff and is one of the best bits of roadwork I've seen around here in my 26 years as a resident.

Perhaps that's the case because it was designed in Melbourne?

Once again, being "local” does not automatically mean a person is the best for the job.

I do believe there's reasons for an inquiry into council dealings.

I do believe that we need to find ways for the well paid "heads” within council to be encouraged to live and spend here.

But as we face unprecedented growth and changes I do not accept the premise that those affected by changes within council are either all "good” or best to serve our needs simply because they're "local”, are related to somebody, socialise with somebody, or simply offer comfort to those afraid of inevitable change.

The success of any inquiry which may be initiated can only be undermined if points which need clarity are polluted by emotional rhetoric based on "localness”.

Dave Freeman,

Cedar Pocket.

Gympie Times

Topics:  bob fredman gympie regional council letters letters to the editor

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