RESPONSE TO CANDIDATE’S CLAIMS

I have no intention of getting into tit for tats with other candidates in the lead up to the election however I need to clarify comments published by a mayoral candidate.

Troy Madle has now posted a media release in which he attacks me over discussions that I had with a constituent at my weekly Community Consultation Desk, namely,

“Troy Madle spent some time at Bargara one Saturday morning a few months ago & dropped in to see Cr Greg Barnes, who runs a weekly mobile office at one of the shopping centres. “I didn’t end up staying long”, he said, “because I heard Greg telling a constituent that rate increases of 5% a year were reasonable. I was appalled & left as quickly as I could because I didn’t want to be associated with that comment.”

Here’s the truth…..

Troy sent me a message and asked if he could meet me at my Desk for a chat. He arrived with his wife  shortly after I set it up and his wife left a short time later. Troy remained there for about 45 minutes.

I was surprised when he brazenly interrupted the discussions that I was having with constituents and started peddling his political opinions/propaganda whilst at the same time handing out electoral pamphlets to those who attended or even walked past the desk.

The constituent that Troy refers to was a lady who approached me and advised that she was preparing her household budget for 2016 and asked how much the next rate rise was likely to be. I told her that I had no idea as it would be up to the new Council but that I usually used 5% as a ballpark figure for my personal budgeting even though it could obviously vary up or down from this.

Troy certainly didn’t leave “as quickly as he could” after this innocuous conversation and nor did he make any comment about it. In fact he remained there for quite some time during which he continued to butt into my conversations and hand out his political brochures.

Having politely dropped a few hints about his behaviour, I eventually had to ask him to stop because I didn’t want passing residents to think that this was an electioneering platform or that I was aligned with any particular candidate. It was only then that Troy got the sulks and left which made it clear to me that his only intention from the beginning was to try and use my desk as a vantage point from which to promote his own political aspirations.

I need to stress that the Consultation Desk is just that. Its sole function is to provide the community with an opportunity to make inquiries, raise a complaint or provide feedback through their local representative. It is not there as a distribution point for political paraphernalia.

Whilst I’ve had other candidates attend the desk (as the first Divisional Desk of its type) to check out how it works and what the general feedback from the community is, none (except for Troy) has tried to pull such a stunt which I found to be both inappropriate and disrespectful.

Having said that, this happened many weeks ago and I had no intention of making my thoughts public however as he has now chosen to publish a twisted version of the events, I have little option other than to respond with the facts.

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