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Straight from the horse’s mouth – Council’s ‘Ask the Mayor’

‘Ask the Mayor’ is Gympie Regional Council’s newest transparency initiative. It is a bi-monthly question and answer platform aimed at encouraging residents to submit questions for Mayor Glen Hartwig to answer.  

The Mayor will be filmed responding to as many questions as he can in 90 seconds, with the footage posted onto Gympie Regional Council’s Facebook page.  The aim is to encourage community involvement and reduce any misinformation circulating in the community. 

Mayor Glen Hartwig said ‘Ask the Mayor’ is another great way of creating transparency between council and the community.

“I encourage all residents to submit a question, no matter how big or small. Now’s your chance to ask me anything; rates, roads or what I had for breakfast, go for gold.

“I won’t see the questions beforehand and I will only have 90 seconds. So no frills, no longwinded explanations, just straight-forward honest answers.” He said.

If you would like to get involved in ‘Ask the Mayor’, submissions can be made online or in person - all questions will be anonymous. 

The submission period will be available from Friday 16 July until Friday 23 July 2021.

If you would like to submit your question in person, a submission box will be located at the Customer Service desk at Town Hall, Gympie. To submit your question online, please visit


A message from Cr Warren Polley - Wednesday, 21 July 2021 A message from Cr Warren Polley - Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Years ago, I read a story which I still think about today. It goes something like this … 

A couple were walking along a country road (it was set in the days before cars) in search of a new town to settle in. On the way, they passed a farmer resting from his day’s labour under a tree. They asked him about the region they were passing through and what the locals were like. The farmer answered by asking them a question – “What are the people like where you have come from?” They replied, “Oh, they are not nice people. Selfish busy-bodies who made a sport of putting others down.” They went on for a few minutes painting a dismal picture of all the negative things that had happened and the wealth they had lost.
“Oh, I am sorry to hear of your loss,” said the farmer. “You know, that sounds just like the people from this region.” And he repeated many of the negative traits that the couple had raised.

“Thank you for letting us know”, said the couple, “we’ll keep passing through.”
The next day another couple, this time on horseback as the lady was heavily pregnant, passed by the farmer, resting from his day’s labour. They asked the farmer what the town folk were like in this quaint rural setting. Once again, the farmer answered the question by asking them a question –  “What were the folk like where you have come from?”

“Oh, we miss them so, we did love the community spirit and the picnic races.” They said. They went on for a few minutes painting a picture of an enchanting lifestyle. “But alas, our first daughter had passed away there and we just want to start afresh somewhere else, restart our business and create new memories.” 
“Oh, I am sorry to hear of your loss”, said the farmer, “but don’t worry, you have come to the right place. The folk here are warm and loving and are keen to support conscientious artisans, especially young families. You will love it here.”

The young couple were delighted to hear about the connections they could make and made plans to relocate as soon as possible. 
The moral of the story is that our attitude not only colours the past, but it often determines the colours with which we paint our future.  
As a travel agent in the 90s, I had the pleasure of visiting much of the world – lovely places to visit, stunning scenery and steeped in history. But I wouldn’t want to live there. Rather, I choose to live among the warm and loving folk of the Gympie region who make lasting connections, are keen to support conscientiousness, and promote latent talent. All set in a quaint rural backdrop with hills, plains, sub-tropical rainforests and pristine beaches.

It seems much of Australia is discovering this as well and are making plans to move here. When they arrive, they will find a colourful past and bright future waiting. The challenge for Council is to provide the palette for residents to paint with. 

Cr Warren Polley

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