City of Gosnells mayor Glenn Dewhurst said he felt Tuesday night’s council debate about his recent sharing of a post from an anti-Islamic group was ‘nothing but an attack from Councillor David Goode’ and ‘political correctness gone wrong.’
Mr Goode put forward a motion that the mayor make a public apology at the next scheduled council meeting for any offence he had caused by sharing the post and for breaching council’s Code of Conduct.
Mr Goode told council on Tuesday he was personally disappointed at the Mayor’s actions in sharing Anti- Islam Australia’s Facebook post and that several councillors held a similar view.
Mr Dewhurst’s sharing of the post was highlighted on the front page of the March 8th edition of the Examiner in which Mr Dewhurst said he did not support the agenda of the Facebook group and was instead conducting research for an article on bullying, mental health, youth suicide and social media.
Mr Goode said he had no pleasure in bringing the motion to council but he wanted to make sure no councillor made this mistake again.
“I don’t think the mayor is a racist man,” he said.
“I don’t think he has a racist bone in his body.
“I don’t want anyone doing this again… I cannot let this matter rest in good conscience.
“We are better than this.”
Councillors Olwen Searle and Serena Williamson supported the motion and were both concerned that the mayor’s behaviour had brought his seat and council into disrepute.
Ms Searle said she went into Tuesday’s meeting with an open mind and said the statement Mr Dewhurst made at the start of the meeting was not an apology.
“‘I am sorry’, ‘I regret’, ‘I apologise’ – no language like that has been used in the chamber tonight,” she said.
“Just apologise, just do it, just get over it.”
Mr Dewhurst spoke to Examiner Newspapers after the meeting and said he was still unsure who he needed to make the apology to.
“They haven’t brought anyone forward who is offended by this,” he said.
“I will make it very clear that political correctness has gone absolutely crazy.
“This was nothing but an attack from David Goode and some of the lefties on council.
“They are against me changing the role of council.”