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Council fronts knockers

Saturday, 8th March, 2014

Therese Manns Therese Manns

By Emily Roberts

A firm stance is being taken on anyone making defamatory comments about City Council via social media sites.

City Council has informed one local person that they need to stop suggesting that Council is corrupt.

General Manager Therese Manns said they informed the person that any allegations of Council corruption is taken very seriously.

“The comments were forwarded to me at Council by concerned individuals and a letter was sent to the author of the comments to ascertain if the comments were in fact based upon anything, simple as that,” Mrs Manns said.

Mrs Manns said the author of the comments was informed this matter would be taken before the Independent Commission against Corruption.

But she has since been told the author said they couldn’t remember ever making the comments.

“Further comments have been made on the site following my letter being posted on the site, and based upon the response to the letter, it’s one big joke to everyone on that site including the author who can’t even remember their comments and as such I can’t imagine any evidence being provided.

“I certainly won’t be wasting ICAC’s time with it.”

Mrs Manns said this was the first time she has taken action like this.

“It is the first time I have sent a letter in regards to allegations that Council is corrupt on Facebook (also) it’s the first time I have been made aware of such statements,” she said.

“The reality for any government, and any government official is that corruption is not a joking matter.

“People may not agree with decisions made by Council and are more than entitled to have their say about what they think, but to label a Council corrupt suggests that the integrity and honesty of either councillors and/or staff should be questioned.”

Mrs Manns said this impacts not only Council, but the community.

“False and reckless allegations do nothing but feed further negativity across the community.

“Broken Hill is a great city and has a great community, but it’s time for everyone to stop finger pointing and start contributing to solutions and actually working together for the benefit of the city.”
Mrs Manns said City Council was not responsible for every single thing in the community.

“Everyone has a role to play, and everyone has a unique quality to contribute to the future of the city.

“These are difficult times for the city economically, and in such moments we need to ensure a confidence in the future.

“Council holds a leadership role in this community and is pivotal to a sustainable future, we are working really hard on changing the way we work to ensure the community has sustainable services and infrastructure spanning not just this generation but future generations.

“This is a tough task and when our integrity and honesty is attacked without substantiation, it should be questioned.”
Mrs Manns said social media can be a great communication tool if used proactively, but it has its “downfalls”.

“Comments made on social media spread so quickly, and we have certainly seen the negative impacts associated with cyber bullying and personal attacks reported lately in the media.

“I would just question what is achieved from it all in the end.

“From council’s perspective, if you have a problem with council’s decisions or if you have an idea that you believe could enhance services and infrastructure in the city, we want you to be able to have your say and it’s a bit old fashioned, but if you have the time, just come and see us.”

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