Photo of Gympie Regional Council The Round-up June 2019.
Photo of Gympie Regional Council The Round-up June 2019. Scott Kovacevic

Newsletter or PR play? Councillors snub GRC brochure

FOUR of Gympie's councillors have chosen to have their say about the council's direct delivery Round-up brochure in a unique way: by saying nothing at all.

Crs Glen Hartwig, Dan Stewart, Hilary Smerdon and Bob Fredman are all noticeably light on comment in the "councillor updates" spread in the middle of the June edition, with nothing more than their names, portfolios and contact details on offer. Each councillor separately denied it was a team silent protest.

However, Cr Stewart was concerned about the brochure's direction and residents could read his views online or contact him.

 

Photo of Gympie Regional Council The Round-up June 2019.
Photo of Gympie Regional Council The Round-up June 2019. Scott Kovacevic

"The Round-up has gone far beyond being an informative newsletter to being a PR exercise," he said.

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"A four page information leaflet with minimal photos going out with rates notices or by other means would be cheaper and just as effective."

Cr Fredman, who has been critical of the brochure's cost in the past, said the ratepayer-funded brochure "should not be used for promotion by councillors".

"There are other opportunities like Facebook or The Gympie Times for councillors to say how busy they are," he said.

 

Gympie councilor Dan Stewart.
Gympie councilor Dan Stewart. Renee Albrecht

Cr Fredman was "pleased that some (councillors) appear by their actions to agree", and that "there was no collusion".

Cr Hartwig said he would "rather see the money spent on The Round-up ... be used to maintain and grade rural roads," and Cr Smerdon said he is unlikely to continue to comment in the brochure as he has in the past.

"I usually put my two bob's worth in ... but over the years its grown in size and cost, and we keep getting told about tightening our budgets."

A council spokeswoman said all councillors had been given the chance to give an update on their division or portfolio.

"Although some councillors did supply content, some councillors declined the request," she said.

Gympie Times


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