“Despicable” attack on councillor condemned by Barry Green
DEPARTING councillor Barry Green used his farewell speech to return fire to an independent newspaper that printed inflammatory comments about a fellow councillor.
Cr Green said the South Burnett Free Press (which is unaffiliated with the South Burnett Times) was responsible for a "despicable, scurrilous and mongrel act".
In the latest edition of the South Burnett Free Press, a letter criticised Division 6 councillor Ros Heit for nominating again when she was being treated for cancer.
The letter questioned if she could serve her community whilst receiving treatment.
"I couldn't let this go," he said.
"Ros is one of the most inspirational women I have ever met, and to put in print what these people have thought necessary to do is unbelievable."
No name was printed on the letter, and no names of journalists or editors are printed in the publication.
With his retirement scheduled to begin on Saturday, Cr Green promised he would not restrain himself if he meets the publishers.
"If anyone tries to defend that I will hit them," he said.
"And it will bloody hurt when I hit you too."
Departing mayor Wayne Kratzmann was also highly critical of the Free Press, saying it contained "sheer rubbish".
"It was bloody awful and pathetic," Cr Kratzmann said.
"It's damaging and worst of all it's embarrassing for the South Burnett."
Councillor Ros Heit said the comments sent the wrong message about cancer.
"Cancer diagnosis is obviously confronting," she said.
"But these days it's a word, not a sentence.
"It's very treatable and I'm concerned by them saying I might not make four years that they are taking people's hope away."
She was diagnosed for breast cancer last year and is currently in remission
Throughout the treatment she has continued to attend council meetings.
The editor of the Free Press was asked if they repudiated or stood by the comment, but did not respond directly to the question.
Free Press contributor and mayoral candidate Grant Newson also refused to repudiate the comments about Ros Heit when contacted.