‘Disgraceful’: Gympie councillors’ outfits cause a stir
A sign of changing times or blatant disrespect for the role?
For a number of people Gympie councillors Dan Stewart and Bruce Devereaux were showing the latter by their decision to attend the meeting donning collarless T-shirts instead of button-down ones at Wednesday morning's ordinary meeting.
The councillors' wardrobe choice caught not only the eye of several people watching the live streamed meeting, but their ire too.
Colleen Pearce was the first to take aim at the duo's choice on the council's Facebook page, questioning when it became accepted practice and calling it "a disgrace".
Another user posting under the name Richard Cronium, who earlier this month claimed to be in possession of about 100 photos of Mayor Glen Hartwig's car parked outside his partner's private Sunshine Coast residence, agreed, saying "we are on the downhill slope now".
Former Division 1 councillor Mark McDonald also criticised the pair's decision as "unbelievable".
"Standards are in a race to the bottom," Mr McDonald said.
For other viewers the T-shirt saga was a storm in a teacup.
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Kris Janke Tipler did not think "wearing a T-shirt will affect how they work" and Joanne Clark said what the councillors wore "was the least of my concerns".
It was a sentiment shared by the councillors in question
"I think the substance (of what I do) is more important than what I wear," Mr Stewart said after the meeting of his choice of attire, a maroon shirt celebrating the diversity of people..
"I hope I serve my community well whether I wear formal clothes or not."
Mr Devereaux, who started the meeting in an Iron Man shirt and switched to a Star Wars one during the break (and after the first criticisms were raised) said he understood the issue but "people that are concerned about (what we are wearing) over what we're doing are missing what we're here for".
"Shirts and ties are very old school," Mr Devereaux said, adding that during his time with Bank of Queensland he company changed its attire from the traditional business clothes to collared T-shirts.
"You shouldn't be judged on what you wear," he said.