Leave my family alone: Gympie mayor slams creepy photo claim
"Appalling" is how Gympie Mayor Glen Hartwig has labelled a Facebook boast by a person claiming to have 100 photos of his car parked outside his partner's home on the Sunshine Coast.
The post, made by someone identifying themselves as Richard Cronium, appeared on a Facebook page on March 8, following a question about which councillors lived in the Gympie region.
Mr Cronium said he knew of one councillor who did not live here, and had not since 2019.
"I have about 100 photos of their car parked there sent to me by one of their old work colleagues," the post said.
The account is one of several that have been heavily critical of Mr Hartwig and the new Gympie Regional Council, particularly on the council's own Facebook page.
The Gympie Times has tried to contact Mr Cronium through Facebook to confirm the photos exist.
Talitha Passey, Mr Hartwig's partner, said she felt the comment was "incredibly intrusive".
"For them to take 100 photos, how many times have they actually gone there to check if Glen's car is there?" she said.
Ms Pssey and Mr Hartwig confirmed that while the Mayor did travel to and spend time at her home, he lives in the region and has done so since 1998.
Mr Hartwig said if it was true it raised serious concerns, and he feared similar actions could be taken by other people.
"All women, whether that be your sister, mum, daughter or friend, have the right to feel safe, especially in their own homes," Mr Hartwig said.
He said he was "appalled" that, if the claims were true, someone was "using my partner to intimidate or harass for their own personal gain".
"Our community, myself included, will not accept this kind of behaviour.
"It is cowardly and appalling."
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It was also doing no favours to the region's reputation, Mr Hartwig said.
"This is not the type of conduct I associate with Gympie residents," he said.
"This is the type of conduct of people that I'd rather (they) leave town, because they do not represent the wonderful, caring, giving human beings that make up this region."
"Scrutinise me but follow the example I have set and leave family members alone."
Editor's note: This story has been edited to reflect the fact Mayor Glen hartwig has been living in the region since 1998.