Mayor Mike Brunker.
Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times
Mayor Mike Brunker. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times

Mayor's letter sparks response

MAYOR Mike Brunker's letter to the editor in last week's Whitsunday Times has attracted an overwhelming response.

The letter, which referred to the organisations Save our Foreshore (SOF) and Whitsunday Ratepayers Association (WRA) as CAVE people - citizens against virtually everything - has certainly fanned the flames of smouldering community discontent.

The Whitsunday Times has received several letters and many comments about the letter.

WRA secretary Tony Moscato said the mayor's comments were an insult and a slap in the face to ratepayers.

"I think that Michael is paying no attention whatsoever to the consensus. We would expect the elected representative or mayor to respect the consensus," Mr Moscato said.

"We [the ratepayers] are the ones paying interest on the money he's borrowing. We are entitled to have a say. It's just not acceptable. People are saying he's a dictator and he should go to Russia or Cambodia," he said.

WRA president Adrian Abrahams argued the association was not against virtually everything, rather its mandate was to stand up for the ratepayers and their various concerns.

"We're trying to do the best we can for our members but we don't get any answers and that's not right," Mr Abrahams said.

SOF Vice President Rory McCourt said the mayor's letter was completely inappropriate.

"We are citizens attempting to protect public foreshore…so to say we're against virtually everything is absolute nonsense," he said.

Cr Brunker said while the letter was written in frustration and as a joke, he would stand by its original intent.

"It's not about everybody in Airlie Beach, but to me that's how I feel about those groups. If anybody has got an axe to grind they get SOF or the WRA involved and to me, that represents citizens against virtually everything," he said.

In terms of how the letter might affect an election next year, Cr Brunker could not yet confirm what his position would be.

"I'm still making up my mind [about whether to stand for mayor]. I'll make that decision in the new year," he said.

Letters responding to the mayor's letter appear on page 46


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