The page which posted a violent sketch and shocking posts about the council’s decision to repeal environmental laws has defended them.
The page which posted a violent sketch and shocking posts about the council’s decision to repeal environmental laws has defended them.

‘They show who runs Gympie’: FB page defends shock posts

SHOCKING images and words posted on a Facebook page apparently run by former Gympie councillor Daryl Dodt have been defended as 'satirical' and necessary to highlight criticism of those in power.

A post made early this morning on the Gympie Region's Future: Temporarily On Hold page defended the posts, and the subsequent fallout, as the end justifying the means, and blamed 'cancel culture' for those purporting to be offended.

It is not known exactly who wrote the post

"If politically satirical cartoons are gonna cause such uproar, at least it will draw attention to who is actually at the helm of our region (and I don't mean the Mayor and councillors).

The page is apparently run by ex-councillor and Gympie GP Daryl Dodt.
The page is apparently run by ex-councillor and Gympie GP Daryl Dodt.

These posts criticised Mayor Glen Hartwig and councillors who would vote in support of removing two controversial environmental laws as being anti-environment and anti-koala.

The laws were repealed at Wednesday's meeting by a 6-2 vote.

The Gympie Times has chosen not to reproduce the comments or the image in full.

A message left with Dr Dodt's clinic yesterday seeking comment about those posts was not returned.

The post said the fallout from these posts was "digital media again … flexing its cancel culture muscle".

"It is a sad, fascist place that disallows political free speech and political satire cartoons."

The page had been shut down early in the year following a string of controversial comments aimed at the newly elected council.

The post said there would not be a repeat performance.

The posts were made in the lead-up to and wake of the Gympie council voting to overturn environmental protection laws.
The posts were made in the lead-up to and wake of the Gympie council voting to overturn environmental protection laws.

"I took the page down last time due to the cancel culture of far right wing digital warriors, this will not happen again," it said.

"I believe that ignorant and negligent decisions should be called out."

In response to the latest comments, Mayor Glen Hartwig said there was a great deal of middle ground between criticism of the council's choices and what was posted on the page.

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"There is considerable difference between discussion, and disgraceful and defamatory comments," Mr Hartwig said.

"One does not need to be that educated to understand the difference between them.

Mayor Glen Hartwig says there is a gulf between mature debate and what was posted on the page.
Mayor Glen Hartwig says there is a gulf between mature debate and what was posted on the page.

"This group of councillors is happy to have an intelligent debate about its decisions … but it must be mature."

Mr Hartwig said the decision to repeal the controversial Temporary Local Planning Instruments came on the back of recognition of past and present council staff having created flaws in the development process.

"The problem for this group of councillors is we only received the information after the election," he said.

It was particularly concerning the TLPIs created hurdles for people who owned their land in the region "since the 70s and 80s".

"The council is already putting together a plan that involves consultation from all groups so we can move things forward to protect our necessary flora and fauna."

Whatever the outcome of this, he said, it needed to have "balance", and there were several options to be explored.

Gympie Times

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