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Facebook page still active despite shut down request

A Facebook page critical of council is still running despite a solicitior's request for it to be shut down.
A Facebook page critical of council is still running despite a solicitior's request for it to be shut down. Arthur Gorrie

DISCONTENT continues to exist between some members of a Gympie Facebook page and the Gympie Regional Council, with the Facebook page still operating one week after receiving a solicitor's request to shut down.

The site's operation follows a week in which questions were asked regarding the official nature of the legal action, from both councillors and the public.

At last week's general meeting, Cr Hilary Smerdon made an attempt to raise the subject for discussion.

Mayor Mick Curran told Cr Smerdon he should be well aware of the rights of council six months into the term, intimating the action was taken on behalf of individual council members rather than as a body.

In denying Cr Smerdon's request to discuss the matter in open council, Cr Curran said the council would discuss any concerns in committee.

During the meeting's break, Gympie resident and regular commentator on the Facebook page, Helen White, who observed the meeting from the public gallery along with administrator Kathy Little Walker, told The Gympie Times she felt disillusioned with the meeting.

"It was a waste of time; there was no substance in what they were saying,” she said.

"Hilary Smerdon had the decency to ask about the Facebook letter and the fact it was GRC.

"We're very proud of how he stood up and I was disgusted by how the Mayor replied.”

In the time since the letter was issued to Mrs Walker, membership of the page has grown by about 50%.

Mrs Walker received the request to "cease and desist” following a number of alleged defamatory accusations posted to the site.

When asked "what next” when the page was not shut down by the deadline given in the letter, a council spokeswoman said:

"Unfortunately due to current legal proceedings, council is unable to comment at this time.”

Topics:  controversy council facebook gympie regional council

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