Cr Stephen Schwarten
Cr Stephen Schwarten

Attitude makes his blood boil

STEPHEN Schwarten says the attitude of senior bureaucrats at Rockhampton Regional Council makes him boil with frustration.

A day after the tensions between councillors and officers were laid bare in an extraordinary debate about who wields power, the veteran councillor's comments reveal the extent to which the working relationship between managers and elected members has dissolved.

Cr Schwarten said: "I just boil with frustration when I go to the trouble of reporting dangerous conditions in a roadway to senior council bureaucrats in the infrastructure department, asking for the problem to be fixed urgently, only for senior management to be dragging their feet on the matter of organising repairs.

"It's as though my representations count for nothing, which I take as a deep insult to the hard work I do as an elected representative on behalf of the people.

"It's not as though the council lacks the workforce, equipment and materials to do the job; it's a lack of will in the upper management to take my representations seriously."

He used the example of a large pothole in Rodger St to explain.

After asking for the matter to be dealt with urgently to avoid an accident and potential injury it required a blistering attack a week later on the general manager before any action was taken.

"The senior managers are costing ratepayers a small fortune in salaries and benefits and the public has a right to expect the highest standards to be met by them.

"As Rodger Street proves this is presently not the case and there are plenty of other examples of the management's failure to deliver," he said.

Chief executive Evan Pardon was offered the opportunity to defend himself and his staff from the sustained attack by councillors.

But he declined The Morning Bulletin's offer to publish a statement.

Yesterday's story attracted numerous comments on the Bully's website, some blaming councillors for allowing their authority to be usurped.



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