Council rubbish row festers
A UNION leader has leapt to defend a colleague who was accused by Rockhampton Regional Council of airing mistruths publicly before checking facts with them.
Transport Workers Union Rockhampton organiser Larry Wilson issued a statement on Wednesday defending his Australian Workers Union counterpart, Peter Ward, who council said didn’t have his facts correct or “the courtesy of discussing them with council before engaging in public debate”.
Earlier this week about 50 council workers rallied outside City Hall angered by a move to look at bringing in a private contractor to collect the city’s rubbish.
Mr Ward was the union spokesman on the matter.
Mr Wilson said both he and Mr Ward spoke with council before the media about union concerns and he believed council was attempting to put its own “spin” on what was going on.
“I can personally testify that Peter Ward and myself were engaged in a conversation with a senior representative of council for the purpose of having the discussion that Mr Ward is accused of not having,” Mr Wilson said.
Council declined to comment on the matter.
Meanwhile, Mr Ward singled out council’s response to the mess outside roadside bins at Mount Morgan for attention.
Council had said these bins were currently collected by contractors; “however the waste outside the bin is not the contractor’s responsibility.
“It is in fact the responsibility of the public and a misuse of this service, which council is investigating.”
Mr Ward said there were always some people who would do the wrong thing, but cleaning up the mess should be part of council’s service.
Council said the bins were overloaded partly by people living outside the area.
“This matter is not a result of the service being contracted to another organisation,” council said.
“The discussion around contracting out as opposed to increasing internal service provision is premature as council are still working through the costs, which on first indication, could potentially save ratepayers more than $2 million over the life of the contract.”
It said staff were protected and no job losses would occur if this service was outsourced.
A recommendation will be brought to the council table sometime in the new year.