Costo calls for mayor and councillors to resign
MEMBER for Whitsunday Jason Costigan has demanded the Whitsunday mayor and three councillors to apologise and resign after they made inquiries last year into protocols that would prevent Mr Costigan entering schools in the region.
Mr Costigan this week called for the resignations after the council voted unanimously in February last year to write to Minister for Education Grace Grace seeking clarification on what protocols or procedures would be implemented to protect students or teachers who might not want Mr Costigan to enter schools in the region.
At the time, a Department of Education spokesperson said the issue around Mr Costigan visiting schools within his electorate should be treated no differently to any proposed visit by other members of the community.
However, Mr Costigan yesterday called for an apology to be issued and for councillors Mike Brunker, John Collins and Jan Clifford as well as mayor Andrew Willcox to resign.
"The councillors that are still there, the mayor, Cr Brunker, Cr Collins and Cr Clifford should all apologise and resign," he said.
"I haven't forgotten what they did on 14 February.
"This council saw fit to politically stitch me up.
"Council voted seven nil to try and ban me from schools in the Whitsundays."
Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker, who brought up the issue at an ordinary council meeting last year, said he stood by his decision to look into the matter and had "nothing to apologise for".
"I think the stance we took was appropriate considering what his party was doing to him," he said.
"My take still stands as far as at the time, when he was barred by his party, which he still is, for the actions that he took, I'd support any school principal who didn't want him on the site."
Division 1 candidate Jan Clifford, who is currently the frontrunner in the race for the Division 1 seat, said she had apologised to Mr Costigan on several occasions.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said because it was a legal matter it would not be appropriate for him to comment.
Division 3 councillor John Collins was contacted but did not respond by the time of publication.
An LNP spokesman said the party had the "most stringent candidate review procedures of any political party in Australia".
"We expect our candidates and elected officials to adhere to the highest standards of behaviour," he said.
"We do not believe Mr Costigan meets the high standards the LNP expects of its MPs."