Some councillors' decision to say nothing in the latest Round-up speaks volumes.
Some councillors' decision to say nothing in the latest Round-up speaks volumes. Thinkstock

OPINION: Councillors' silence speaks volumes

TO BUTCHER an old proverb in a uniquely Aussie fashion, "the loss of a nail killed a kingdom”.

The idea is beautifully simple: the inability to find a single horseshoe nail before a battle means a horse can't be ridden, a key message can't be delivered and everyone in the realm dies a horrible death.

And with the sound of silence emanating from almost half the councillors in The Round-up, Gympie Regional Council's quarterly magazine, one wonders if council is getting this vibe in regard to general business?

Photo of Gympie Regional Council The Round-up June 2019.
The Round-up June 2019. Scott Kovacevic

The Gympie Times has been quite the council battleground for the past three years, especially in the letters section.

There's nothing new in councillor disagreements, of course.

That's politics.

But it wasn't long after I started - shortly after general business had been shown the door like a rowdy drunk - I was told these debates used to start and finish in public meetings.

This is not the case now, with strict agenda items to discuss and that's that.

Has a pressing issue popped up?

Your choices are to basically hope a councillor makes a motion seven days in advance, or cross your fingers and pray it makes the list.

FINGERS CROSSED: Winning the Ipswich Junior Eisteddfod means a great deal to some young competitors.
Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times
Cross your fingers if a pressing issue comes up you want councillors to debate at the next available opportunity. Claudia Baxter

Of course these debates do happen behind closed doors.

But is that what people want to be told? "We've spoken about it, but only where you can't hear us”?

There are pros and cons to things like The Round-up.

Let's have the debates back out in public.