Editorial: Two Words – The Public Had Many

Filed in Recent News by October 30, 2018

AT last night’s Council meeting the packed gallery was audibly aghast forcing the Mayor to call order when Cr Kiwa Fisher stood up to make his statement on the change of the pool policy and said, “Two words: xxxx xxxx”.

It was the name of a well-known convicted pedophile in town.

To be clear the Council does not have parliamentary privilege which means Councillors are accountable for everything they say in chamber.

The person he referred to was a swimming coach at the Scone pool in the 80’s, I remember it well as I was in the swimming club as a child at the time.

Fortunately, I was not assaulted, but several of my fellow swimmers were.

I find it outrageous that the Councillor would use this as an example, he wasn’t there, he didn’t know what happened and there is absolutely no way it could be used to justify his support for the raise in pool age.

If the new pool policy was in then, would have made absolutely no difference.

He was the swimming coach, which under the policy they have introduced would still have allowed him as an adult overseeing the squad.

The reason I have not run the name is, first it is not news…it is “olds” and secondly I would not reinforce the cheap shot made by the Councillor.

It was an a well constructed argument about how to protect children, it was a cheap shot to generate unfounded fear and outrage, but it generated the opposite type of outrage, outrage about the behaviour of the Councillor.

And he wasn’t alone.

While the members of the public were outraged by the Council’s decision last night, in speaking with people afterwards, they were even more outraged by the behaviour of the Councillors, most notably the treatment of the female Councillors.

After the meeting there were many people who approached me and implored me to include their behaviour in my report on the meeting.

One man said to me “I am deeply embarrassed to be male and see other men treat women that way and as the father of a daughter who was there I was appalled that they behaved that way in front of so many young people.”

Another man expressed the same sentiment, “I was disgusted to be a man, the way they behaved was out of control and I am told they were tame last night, but I couldn’t have been prouder of how Sue and Lee spoke.”

Others also pointed out the body language and the eye rolling when people were speaking.

I have reported on many Council meetings and can honestly say they were tame compared to many meetings I have witnessed.

Every time I see these “leaders” turn up to anti-bullying events I am gobsmacked by the hypocrisy.

I am glad the public got a taste of how these Councillors behave.

Cr Sue Abbott usually wears the brunt of the misogyny, but last night she won many admirers for her tenacity and professionalism in the face of such poor behaviour.

For the Councillors to behave so poorly in front of the many children that were present last night is terrible, but on a bright note, they also noted how Cr Watts and Cr Abbott conducted themselves.

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