Monday, February 26, 2024

Scenic Rim councillors reject public abuse of Mayor

Scenic Rim Regional Council has reiterated its position of zero tolerance for abuse following a recent incident in which it says physical violence was directed towards Mayor, Greg Christensen.   

Deputy Mayor, Jeff McConnell says he and his fellow Councillors stand in solidarity with Mayor Christensen.

“Council takes a dim view of any form of bullying and harassment, whether it is aimed at elected members or Council officers,” he said. 

“Like all members of our community, Cr Christensen should not be subjected to physical violence in the course of his work.  

“My fellow Councillors and I are genuinely concerned to see such lack of respect being shown by some people towards elected members of Council and staff.    

“People seem to forget that, just like everyone else, our elected members are human and, while they signed up to be a public servant, they did not sign up to be subjected to physical and verbal abuse.”  

“Yes, the hallmark of a democracy is freedom of speech, but freedom of speech is not a licence for anyone to be abusive, accusatory or violent.  

“I am confident that the wider Scenic Rim community recognises that physical abuse and harassment of elected members and Council staff is completely unacceptable.”  

Acting CEO, Oliver Pring said Council was committed to providing staff with a safe work environment which was free from abuse and harassment, whether face-to-face or on social media platforms.   

“When Council’s elected members and staff attend work each day, they are simply doing their job and, like all community members, they expect to be able to do that without being harassed, intimated, abused or assaulted,” he said.    

Council has reiterated it will not tolerate racial, prejudicial, or insulting comments towards any member of its staff whether through:   

  • face-to-face or similar personal interactions involving frontline personnel;  
  • telephone interactions;   
  • written correspondence including letters, emails and digital interactions; or    
  • Council’s social media platforms, such as commenting on posts and direct messaging.  

“Disrespectful and violent behaviour towards our staff will not be tolerated and instances of abuse will be managed accordingly which may involve matters being referred to the Queensland Police Service,” Mr Pring said. 

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