A social media stoush has erupted over the process to appoint the new Whitsunday Regional councillor.
A social media stoush has erupted over the process to appoint the new Whitsunday Regional councillor. Contributed

Grouse online stoush on councillor appointment

A SOCIAL media stoush has erupted over the process to appoint the new Whitsunday Regional councillor.

Defeated contender Denise Hadley came out swinging in a Facebook post shortly after the appointment of Nicola Grieger as the replacement for the retiring Peter Ramage.

The council stated that Ms Grieger was voted unanimously, but Ms Hadley challenged that verdict.

"The vote was NOT unanimous... as has been reported to the media," Ms Hadley wrote.

"It was 3/3 (Nicola and Tony (Large) and the Mayor who had already voted for Nicola got another vote.

"The councillors were TOLD no matter who was chosen they HAD to show a united front and make it appear everyone agreed.

"Democracy I think not."

Ms Hadley continued on saying that councillors Brunker and Ramage, who stood down earlier this year after 18 years on council, had been "grooming" Ms Grieger for months.

"Not 48 hours after Ramage resigned Mike Brunker was posting everywhere and endorsing his new protege (on his councillor FB page no less) stating she would most certainly be the next Div 4 Councillor without the nominations even being open or having any idea who would run against her," she wrote.

"The selection process was a farce." Ms Hadley also stated the experience of running for council had been a chastening one.

"Sadly the procedure and outcome has left a very sour taste in my mouth regarding some of our current councillors and most definitely our Mayor," she said.

 

Whitsunday Regional Council chief executive officer Bruce Davidson with Mayor Andrew Willcox.
Whitsunday Regional Council chief executive officer Bruce Davidson with Mayor Andrew Willcox. Contributed

In a statement published on Whitsunday Regional Council's Facebook page, acting chief executive officer Bruce Davidson said council strictly followed the process under the Local Government Act of 2009 regarding appointing a replacement councillor, less than 12 months, but more than six months from an election.

"I acknowledge that there was robust discussion in (last) Wednesday's confidential session during and after all nominees undertook the interview process, but rumours of a 3-all or casting vote discussion by councillors are untrue and just that, rumours," Mr Davidson wrote.

"The only people privy to those discussions were myself, the Mayor and the five councillors.

"When the Special Meeting was then held in a public forum, a resolution was required which was carried unanimously 6-0, electing Ms Grieger as the Division 4 Councillor until the next election in early 2020.

"It is disappointing and unfair that the reputations and integrity of the Mayor, councillor and Ms Grieger may be compromised by plain and simple untruths."


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