The four councillors supporting the project (Sally Townley, Denise Knight, George Cecato and Michael Adendorf) at left were all depicted carrying brown paper bags in the cartoon.
The four councillors supporting the project (Sally Townley, Denise Knight, George Cecato and Michael Adendorf) at left were all depicted carrying brown paper bags in the cartoon.

Personal attacks will discourage future candidates

THIS letter writer was appalled to see a cartoon depicting four Coffs Harbour City Councillors carrying paper bags in an apparent political protest.

The cartoon by George Partos showed Mayor Denise Knight and Crs Michael Adendorff, George Cecato and Sally Townley holding brown paper bags above a likeness of the Cultural and Civic Space.

FULL STORY: Paper bag cartoon could amount to defamation Cr warns

A person of impeccable integrity and honesty

I was appalled to see that Councillor Sally Townley was recently forced to defend her honesty and integrity following an attack by an opponent of the Cultural and Civic Centre.

I got to know Sally well during the campaign for the State seat of Coffs Harbour, through time spent at candidate forums and long days at pre-poll.

Councillor Sally Townley and George Partos.
Councillor Sally Townley and George Partos.

I found her to be a person of impeccable integrity and honesty. She is also someone who cares deeply about the people of this region and she has stood fearlessly for what she believes to be right and fair during her tenure in Council.

The value of her work in Council has greatly influenced my decision to stand as a candidate for the next election.

I know that the Cultural and Civic Centre is a divisive issue and I know how strongly some people oppose the project.

They have every right to express their strong opposition, mount their arguments through the media and engage in lobbying through the political process.

Public disagreement and debate on issues and policy is a sign of a healthy democracy. However, nobody has a right to engage in unjustified and unfounded personal attacks just because they disagree with you. Unfortunately, those sort of attacks have become a feature of the debate on the Cultural Centre.

I fear that continued personal attacks on public figures will discourage hardworking, honest, thinking people like Sally Townley from standing for election.

What we will be left with is just populist candidates with a thick skin and an unshakeable belief that they are right about everything, and we all saw how well that worked over the last four years in the US.

Let's stick to the issues - that still leaves us plenty to argue about.

Tony Judge

Woolgoolga



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