Ludwig censured but unapologetic

HE WAS chided, shouted down, insulted and sidelined, but Bill Ludwig emerged smiling and unrepentant yesterday.

After taking a pasting during an acrimonious debate in which he was accused of acting to destabilise Rockhampton Regional Council for his own political self-interest, the former Livingstone Shire mayor declared it was the best and healthiest debate the council had conducted.

“At least we have talked openly about de-amalgamation today. This was an attempt to gag me and stop me promoting a better system of government, but it has been an opportunity to discuss the issues,” he said.

The record will show that a motion that his behaviour undermined the integrity and credibility of the council was passed with just one dissenting vote – his own.

Cr Stephen Schwarten led the verbal assault, claiming Cr Ludwig's “de-amalgamation furphy” was causing distress to council staff at the Capricorn Coast.

“Do the job you are paid to do Bill, and if can't do it, get out of the road and let someone else do it, someone who is prepared to act in the interests of the whole shire.”

Cr Greg Belz said to play on the high costs to date of amalgamation was destructive and harmful.

And Cr Brett Svendsen said Cr Ludwig had pushed his own agenda from the word go.

As the debate raged, voices were raised, challenges issued and insults traded.

Cr Ludwig said it was not just him advocating a Cap Coast breakaway from Rockhampton and it was his democratic duty to represent the people who had elected him.

“I will not resign,” he assured the other councillors.

Afterwards, Cr Ludwig vowed to continue to speak out.

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