Hartwig fires back at Curran’s criticism
MAYORAL candidate Glen Hartwig has shot down criticism from incumbent mayor Mick Curran over meeting attendance and claims of not supporting business growth, saying there were better ways to make a difference than warming a seat at meetings.
In an online podcast, Gympie Seriously, Mr Curran said some of Mr Hartwig's election claims of transparency and being pro-development did not line up with his record. Mr Curran pointed to a 65 per cent absence rate from Mr Hartwig's time as member of a council road and traffic safety committee (which brings problems to the state's attention).
But Mr Hartwig said there were better ways to be effective other than attending every meeting.
"Anyone can be a hot water bottle and warm a seat," he said yesterday.
"It's about results - that's what matters."
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Mr Curran questioned Mr Hartwig's decision to vote against developments like Corbet's Kybong development in 2016 and the Lower Wonga solar farm in 2017.
"The mayoral candidate who's out there saying our planning department needs to be better - and we as a council need to be more friendly - he voted 'no' to that (solar) proposal."
And without approval at Kybong, Corbet's may have "packed up and left the area".
Mr Hartwig said he was against Corbet's landscape supplies project because it was on prime rural land and backed on to the Garapine education camp.
"Would Gympie High support a transport depot next to them?" he said.
"I'm not against that sort of development, but it needs to be done in the right place."
The vote against SolarQs application was due to "unduly onerous" conditions, he said. This included a water study into a gully that had not been wet "since Noah's ark".
"I was trying to make it easier for the applicants and cut down on red tape … but couldn't get support from the majority of councillors."
Mr Hartwig questioned if these conditions might be the reason the project had failed to start, despite initial plans to break ground in 2018.