Councillor Glen Hartwig.
Councillor Glen Hartwig. Renee Albrecht

Hartwig questions need for sewerage restructure


IF I am not mistaken Mr (Wayne) Plant referred to assistance from the Katter Party regarding the individual he was referring to.

I am the only councillor who has declared both publicly in The Gympie Times and on my council declaration my connection with the Katter Party.

I thought Mr Plant's reference to this made it quite clear who he was referring to. Other councillors also made the same connection.

I feel the greatest issue here is the attack on the individual whether it be me, or someone else, as Mr Plant would suggest it is.

I would hope that we could discuss issues without attempting to assassinate the character of someone in the hope that issues they raise will be disregarded.

It is important that all people be given the opportunity to express matters that concern them, that I believe is part of the democratic process.

I do not believe that attacking an individual's character to belittle or silence them is an appropriate course of action that assists in openness and honesty.

If we all thought and believed the same things the world would never progress and be quite boring.

It's new ideas and thoughts that have moved our society forward. Stifling discussion because the topic doesn't suit us hampers our town's growth. This is an issue of importance for the ratepayer.

As a councillor I have responsibilities. Councillors and staff do a bit of a dance together. Both have a role to play in shaping the direction that council takes and both are responsible for making sure each party is performing within the law and appropriately.

Councillors are in essence there to represent the ratepayer but also ensure they question staff and hold them to account. I have read where people rate experience in local government highly with regard to effectiveness.

I rate moral and ethical fibre as far greater. Experience got us where we are. A simple principle like natural justice should not be something that has to be fought for, it should be a natural part of the process that council operates under.  

In an age of marketing it would appear that all the spin in the world has far less weight than integrity.

Issues should be discussed. I have concerns regarding the diminished reserves, council's spending program and particularly the matters surrounding the water and sewerage restructure.

The business plan of water and sewerage gave me greater insight into the challenges that we will face than the reported consultant's report. Given Gympie's good performance in this arena I wonder why a restructure was needed.

How can people make an informed decision without both sides of the argument? Councillors are not there to just agree with staff, they are there to pass judgement on issues given all the detail. That is my belief. Without all the detail any decision I believe is premature.

Glen Hartwig,

Gympie Regional Councillor Division 2.

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