SOCIAL MEDIA SHOWDOWN: Southern Downs Regional Council planning and development manager Cecil Barnard has been temporarily stood down.
SOCIAL MEDIA SHOWDOWN: Southern Downs Regional Council planning and development manager Cecil Barnard has been temporarily stood down. File

'F--- all to do with us': Council exec blows up at ratepayer

SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council Planning and Development manager Cecil Barnard was temporarily stood down on Friday after a heated row on social media.

Warwick resident Darryl Evans made a post on the Facebook page Stanthorpe and Southern Downs: Politics alleging Mr Barnard abused him via a private Facebook message in response to a question Mr Evans posed regarding the side road tourist drive to Vincenzo's at the Big Apple.

A screenshot of the message obtained by the Stanthorpe Border Post appears to show Mr Barnard responding by telling Mr Evans the highway was not the responsibility of the council.

"Darryl, the road pass [sic] The Big Apple is owned by Federal Highways, and administered by State department Transport and Main Road," he said.

"Sweat [sic] f***-all to do with your much hated council."

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According to the screenshot, Mr Barnard went on to say that tourism, not agriculture was the region's major breadwinner.

"While I'm in a bad mood, the Destinations Southern Downs and I are going to calculate the value over 10 days brought to Warwick, and I am going to calculate the value brought to Stanthorpe, with Stanthorpe Rocks and Apple and Grape," he said.

"I will make sure it is published in the newspapers, as there are certain elected members who hate tourism so much, they want to kill it.

"They say farming/agriculture is our saviour... if you want more employment in this region don't put your hope on agriculture, they bring heaps of money to the farmers but little employment (unless you are an international backpacker). "Please stop hating Destination Southern Downs, destroy it and see Warwick close down.

"Have you asked how many motels in town depend on tourism for their trade?"

SDRC CEO David Keenan said the council was aware of the online comments and they did not comply with the council's code of conduct policy.

"The staff member has been disciplined and stood down from employment for a period of time," he said.

"Southern Downs Regional Council does not endorse any of the comments made by the staff member."



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