Baildon?s lament

By YVONNE McLEAN

FOR two years, former Gold Coast Mayor Gary Baildon has refused to comment on any aspect of the city council.

He has now broken his silence because of what he claims is the poor image of council.

With 14 years in council, eight of them as mayor, Gary Baildon as an outside has a wide knowledge of council on all its levels. He said he is deeply upset to hear almost daily from members of the community concerned by the performance of some councillors.

"Quite apart from the CMC Inquiry and its findings of unacceptable irregularities at the last election, it appears that some members are more interested in point scoring off one another instead of focusing on the real issues. There seems to be a different kind of approach to the community," Mr Baildon said.

"I can understand that Local Government Minister Desley Boyle is in a dilemma. If she takes more drastic action, she punishes those councillors who give dedicated service to the job."

Mr Baildon said for the good of the city, its residents and visitors, the council must put personal animosities behind them and focus on the job.

He said a council at odds with itself had a disturbing effect on staff.

Meanwhile Citizens for Democracy spokeswoman Irene Wareing, said for the time bring it seemed that council "had got away with it" because of weak Local Government Laws.

"It is disappointing that the Needham Report is not tougher, but we welcome Minister Boyle's intention to tighten the rules on declaring election funding before an election," she said.

Mrs Wareing said the council had done itself a disservice by installing its glass barrier between it and the public gallery. This indicated a wish to distance itself from the community it was elected to serve.



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