Radio silence from Mayor after volunteer demands apology
THE last sitting president of the Gold Rush Committee has demanded an apology from Mayor Mick Curran after he called the festival "dead in the water” before council took over.
In a scathing letter sent to The Gympie Times Jan Collins slammed Cr Curran's claims that the parade folded.
"His words that the Gold Rush Parade was dead in the water with the previous Gold Rush Committee folding are just untrue and disturbing,” she said.
"Mayor Curran should question the facts council staff has been peddling.
"His Insights from the Mayors Desk sounded like a total whinge, perhaps it's time to listen to the people who put him there and realise it's his role to represent the people.”
Mrs Collins said the mayor had "trashed” the past efforts of the committee, who had expended extensive effort on the event despite many "barriers” the council kept putting in their way.
"During my seven years council denied us use of Nelson Reserve for two years in a row without any consultation,” she said.
"For another two years, they booked out the Civic Centre for functions that had nothing to do with Gold Rush and denied us total use of the car park.
"Just when we thought we were making headway, council introduced the Rush Festival, which we became part of.”
Mrs Collins said the bare fact of the changeover was that the festival could "not compete with the council and what they thought the community wanted”.
"The mayor's comments are an insult to me, my committee and the members of Gold Rush,” she said.
"He owes us an apology.
"Maybe he just misspoke.”
Mrs Collins' call for an apology was met with radio silence from the council chambers.
Contacted for a response, a council spokeswoman said Cr Curran and the council would not be commenting on the matter.
Mrs Collins' letter is the latest development in a controversial week for the council.
It began last Thursday with the announcement that, after talking with Mary St traders, this year's parade would bypass Mary St.
The backlash came fast from the community and Mary St traders, who said they were outraged and that they had told the council they did not want it moved from Mary St.