Mayor’s shock resignation slammed as ‘childish’
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow has been accused of a "childish tantrum" or expensive "stunt" following her shock resignation and called on to rule out running at the expensive by-election that will now be triggered.
Labor MP Barry O'Rourke, who represents the seat of Rockhampton, has accused Ms Strelow of behaving selfishly in resigning over a misconduct finding relating to her failure to update her Register of Interests, saying there was absolutely no reason for her to do so.
He said Ms Strelow had several less "selfish" avenues she could have chosen rather than the one that will result in a massive waste of taxpayer money.
"The tribunal finding did not require her resignation," Mr O'Rourke wrote in a Facebook post to his community on Monday afternoon.
"Ratepayers did not expect her to or want her to.
"She simply should not have done it.
"She has behaved selfishly and not in the best interest of ratepayers."
Mr O'Rourke urged residents to read the tribunal's findings and said Ms Strelow could have put the matter behind her by simply apologising for the oversight at a council meeting or by fighting the decision at QCAT.
"There was simple (sic) no reason to resign and her decision cannot be justified rationally," he said.
"It's either a childish tantrum or a stunt designed to cause a completely unnecessary by-election.
"Nonetheless, a by-election is what will happen now."
Mr O'Rourke said ratepayers would be forced to wear the cost of that now, "which is likely to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars".
"Having put us through this unnecessary expense - I call on Ms Strelow to do the right thing and rule out running again," he said.
"It's time to draw a line under this sorry episode and allow the community to move on."
The MP acknowledged the Palaszczuk Government had gotten laws that would have installed the person who came second in the mayoral race automatically into the job and said it was "the right move" to fix those laws as a priority now.
Ms Strelow has been contacted for comment.
Originally published as Mayor's shock resignation slammed as 'childish'