THE relationship between Mayor Brad Carter and Yeppoon councillor Bill Ludwig plummeted new depths yesterday.
Cr Ludwig made a formal complaint against the Mayor, accusing him of inconsistent rulings, discrimination and bullying. Shortly after making the complaint to acting chief executive Gavin Steele, Cr Ludwig was ejected from the council chamber.
Having previously warned Cr Ludwig for inappropriate and disorderly conduct and ordering him to stop making interjections, the Mayor called a division on a motion to throw out Cr Ludwig.
Earlier proceedings were disrupted when four councillors – Rose Swadling, Stephen Schwarten, Graeme Brady and Sandra O’Brien – walked out, indicating their dissatisfaction at the level of debate and trivial points of order.
The Mayor closed the meeting for 20 minutes so councillors could thrash out their differences in private.
After he had been banished, Cr Ludwig accused Cr Carter of waging a personal vendetta.
“The last time I was cited for inappropriate behaviour the Mayor had to apologise to me.
“I will not be silenced or bullied.
"This personal vendetta is making a mockery of the democratic process,” he said.
Cr Ludwig said he had requested transcripts of the entire meeting.
“I think my demeanour and attitude throughout was appropriate.
"I’m entitled to challenge rulings and ask relevant questions but there are two standards applied at the council; one for Bill Ludwig and one for everyone else.”
The complaint against the Mayor could end up with the Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal in Brisbane.
Cr Carter said he was disturbed by some of the conduct at the table but, given the formal complaint, he did not wish to make further comment.