Crs Dan Stewart and Glen Hartwig in discussion.
Crs Dan Stewart and Glen Hartwig in discussion. Renee Albrecht

Cr Dan Stewart speaks his mind on Gympie council

THERE have been strong words written in the paper and Facebook about the restructure of water and sewerage, and some staff changes.

Some words have been judgemental, for example, stating some councillors have a conscience and the others do not, depending on how they voted.

It is easy to divide the world into black and white, good and bad, right and wrong. However, life is never that simple.

Sure, boys may be generally better at math than girls, but there are lots of girls who do well at math, and many boys who struggle.

In my short time on council I have found that each councillor brings their many strengths and their weaknesses. The same can be said for the CEO and other staff. It is easy to blame all problems on one person or another.

Various people suggested I read various reports and court judgements from Queensland and NSW.

I did so and have discussed them with relevant people.

Those reports made clear to me that while councillors focus on "policy” and staff focus on "operations”, this is not completely black and white. Council operations are about putting policies into effect efficiently.

When it comes to tackling any issue before council I seek to make my decision based on the evidence presented to me in reports, in debate, and in my research and prior knowledge.

To take the matter of water and sewerage further, I deliberately put side any issues of personality and staffing.

The question was: what is the most effective structure to ensure the health of our community through an efficient water and sewerage service?

Like any organisation, even when things are going generally well, there are always possibilities of improvement. The new management structure should streamline reporting back to council and ensure better oversight by council.

I would like to pay tribute to the many council workers and staff who have and will continue to provide the communities of the region with safe water and the efficient disposal of our waste.

Cr Dan Stewart,

East Deep Creek.

Gympie Times


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