Councillors split on views over cashless welfare card
COUNCILLOR Rolf Light said mayor George Seymour should not have made submissions on the cashless welfare card, after the Fraser Coast mayor took a stand during Senate Hearings.
In a statement to the Chronicle, Cr Light said it was "disappointing" Cr Seymour used a mayoral letterhead to "state his personal views" in written submissions during a Senate Committee meeting on Tuesday.
The Fraser Coast mayor told the committee he feared the card could "create a black market in my community, impact businesses that are cash-based and may lead to an increase in crime".
But Cr Light said the statement could be "easily perceived that this is the council's position" and challenged his statement that the community shared his position.
"In my personal opinion, I believe there is equals support for and against the cashless card," Cr Light said.
"The mayor of any community should display a balanced position on State and Federal issues, when not directly related to Local Government.
"Local Government needs to have a neutral view, so appropriate and engaging debate can occur on this issue."
But Cr Seymour told the Chronicle the proposed roll-out of the cashless card was something that affected the community and said his statements indicated they were his personal views, and not of the council.
"I want it to be clear, I was contacted by the Senate Committee to provide my views as the mayor," Cr Seymour said.
"I'm entitled to my view, and have my view... I care about people in my community and I don't want to see them discriminated against.
"Rolf is entitled to his view, I'm not trying to stop him from having it... (but) the council doesn't have a view on this issue."