Councillor Warren Polglase.
Councillor Warren Polglase.

Former mayor's poor conduct

FORMER Tweed mayor Warren Polglase is in hot water after telling a protester who said “shame” to him at a council meeting to “get a job”.

Cr Polglase has been found to have breached the council code of conduct by not treating people with respect after the elderly woman lodged a complaint.

His penalty is yet to be decided by fellow councillors at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Yesterday the outspoken councillor said he was ready to accept

punishment – probably an order to apologise – and had already done so by email to the protester.

But he added the “Australian way” of making jibes seems under threat, pointing out the “get-a-job” jibe was made famous by former Prime Minister Paul Keating in an aside to a protester in Adelaide during Labor’s ill-fated 1996 election campaign.

“It seems that’s been gagged now,” said Cr Polglase, adding while he had no recollection of making the comment he “may have said it in general but to no one in particular”.

David Gibson, a sole reviewer appointed from the council’s code of conduct review panel, has found Cr Polglase breached clause 6.3 of the code which says: “You must treat others with respect at all times.

Eighty-year-old Tweed resident Elizabeth Jack complained the jibe was levelled at her as Cr Polglase walked past during the dinner break at a council meeting on October 19.

She had said “shame” to him following his support for a new dam at Byrrill Creek.

Ms Jack said Cr Polglase turned around and said “get a job” to which she replied, “I’m 80 years old – what do you think I’m doing?”

Mr Gibson said Cr Polglase told him he did not recall the incident but if two or three people said he had made the remark “then he probably said it”.

Cr Polglase told Mr Gibson he may have said it “in general terms – to no-one in particular”.

Yesterday he said state and federal politicians were allowed to make “quite strong remarks” in and outside parliament.


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