The politics of vindictiveness
The Mount Isa Community has always played their politics hard but there was always a belief that the political battles and arguments being fought were aimed at improving our City with the interests of the Community always being paramount.
I have been watching and listening to the recent debates on water as well as other issues and I note that the political culture has changed with the politics of vindictiveness now reigning supreme.
It is no secret that former Mayor Ron McCullough and I are not “Besties”.
But after Ron McCullough left the office of Mayor of Mount Isa at the first opportunity I had the Council name the newly developed Park in Healy as “The Ron McCullough Park”.
Ron McCullough and I have had our differences and I am sure that we will continue to have them but I believe that he made a major contribution to our City over a long period of time and should be recognised for that contribution.
Nothing nor nobody can take that away from him, therefore I still believe that the recognition was warranted.
Compare my action to that of others.
Following my election to State Parliament in 1989 I retired from the position as Mayor after 17 years on the Mount Isa City Council five of them as Mayor.
Council by resolution unanimously decided that the committee room in the Civic Centre would be known as the “Tony McGrady Room”.
A suitable sign was erected on the door and a picture of myself hung outside the room.
That sign and picture was there for 26 years.
Civic Centre staff informed me that the day that the present Mayor took up her position instructions were issued to them to remove from the door of the Committee Room the sign with my name on it, remove the picture of me and the room must never be referred to as “The Tony McGrady Room”
When challenged about this story it was denied, but the facts are clear.
The sign came off the door, the picture was taken down and the room is no longer referred to as “The Tony McGrady Room”
Leadership is about bringing people together, at times making hard and tough decisions but also bringing people with you.
Explaining the reasons for taking these decisions and having confidence in your fellow citizens that they will understand.
It is not about branding anyone who doesn’t agree with you as “The Usual Group Of Suspects”
In the early days of this Council regime some terrible things were done to loyal Council Staff particularly those who worked in the Civic Centre and Outback at the Isa.
I have mentioned the politics of vindictiveness lets look at some of the recent actions of this Council.
The Horse Paddock Fiasco……The creation of these paddocks was an initiative of mine so it had to be changed.
The Closure of the Lions Youth Camp. The re-opening of it was an initiative of mine so it couldn’t be allowed to remain open so this Council closed it again.
I allocated an area alongside the Frank Ashton museum where an Indigenous Person worked hard to teach young people and their families the art of boxing.
It soon attracted a large following of young people and their parents but very soon in the life of this Council the group was evicted from the area, again because it was an initiative of mine.
I could go on with many more examples but I wont.
These are just three little issues but it says a lot about our civic leadership.
As I started this letter I will finish it.
The politics of vindictiveness now remain supreme in our Council.
That is so very very sad.