This latest disagreement over the official record of a meeting proves it's time Gympie Regional Council started recording its meetings.
This latest disagreement over the official record of a meeting proves it's time Gympie Regional Council started recording its meetings.

It beggars belief Gympie council can't find 'record' button

THE inability of councillors to agree on a matter of record has astounded a few people, as this week's letters show.

And frankly it astounds me too.

Not because of what happened behind closed doors at the August meeting; but rather what happened when they were open in July.

After last month's meeting closed, I went back through my notes from July 24.

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Cr Glen Hartwig declared a personal interest as he had done "work for a subcontractor on some railway bridges” used by the Rattler. It's a declaration he's made before.

Someone else asked if it was an MPI.

Cr Hartwig said he didn't believe so; he would get "no financial gain” from the Rattler being given some carriages by the council. The Mayor told the council the MPI test "is did you receive a personal gain?”.

And so the merry-go-round continued until Cr Hartwig threw up his hands declaring "it was just easier to leave” and did - but not without first pointing out he'd stayed to vote on Rattler matters in the past.

Gympie councillor Glen Hartwig
Gympie councillor Glen Hartwig Tom Daunt

At no point did he agree it was an MPI, which is what's recorded. So forget the August minutes - I believe the July ones are wrong.

Cr Hartwig should have picked this up in August. That's on him.

But his error doesn't excuse the debacle the minutes arose from - one which appears to have happened again.

It's time someone in the council found the "record” button. In a world where 40 trillion cat videos can be summoned at a whim does it make sense the council's democratic accuracy relies on month-old memory?

Seriously - I can carry the '60s British Invasion back catalogue and some random whale sounds on my iPhone, but the ability to record a two-hour council meeting once a month is an insurmountable challenge?

A humpback whale breaching.
We can find recordings of these magnificent creatures, but not of what's said during the council's decision making process? Paul Aurisch

Cr Hartwig's motion could have been resolved in minutes, and the public would have faith the minutes are accurate.

And I don't buy the council can't afford to; you could lop a few branches off that $65,000 Christmas tree without losing the fun.

Forget joining the 21st century. Just joining the 20th with its boomboxes and cassette tapes would do.