Leaked audio of the Mayor's private chat causes upset
TENSION has escalated between the Granite Belt Community Association and Southern Downs Regional Council after a recording of an off-the-record conversation between Ten FM broadcaster Peter Robinson and Mayor Tracy Dobie was released.
The discussion took place on December 20 after Cr Dobie slammed the GBCA for claiming a report into the financial viability of the de-amalgamation was embargoed by the Minister for Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe.
GBCA president Alan Col-yer later said the embargo statement was a "slip of the tongue” and sent the council a letter clarifying the mistake.
In the released radio conversation, Mr Robinson said the GBCA "totally misrepresent themselves” and "lied” in claiming the report was embargoed or any suggestion it was embargoed was a slip of the tongue and Cr Dobie agreed.
"My contention is that it wasn't a slip of the tongue.... Because Mr Colyer said the Minister had embargoed the document and then went on with an explanation about why the Minister *inaudible* embargo the document. That was not a slip of the tongue,” Cr Dobie said.
Much of the recording is inaudible but towards the end, Mr Robinson said Mr Colyer was an "awful man” for criticising Cr Dobie.
Mr Colyer said he was offended by the conversation as the comments and tone were insulting.
"I am the centre of her abuse,” Mr Colyer said.
"We demand from her a public apology, in writing, to me, to the association and to the community of Stanthorpe because hundreds of people have also heard what she said.”
Mr Colyer and the GBCA recorded the audio when it went to air and held onto it.
He said he had no intention of sharing it but a group member posted it on social media.
"One or two members said they had had enough and it was time the Mayor gave an account,” he said.
"We made a commitment to the Minister that we would not play this out in the media.
"One of the committee members put this out, I now can't sit back and say nothing.”
He also asked the radio station to sack the (volunteer) presenter.
Cr Dobie said an apology was unlikely.
"I had a conversation with Peter Robinson prior the interview going to air and I didn't say anything to him that I didn't say on air, or in the media release prior to Christmas,” she said.
"Everyone is entitled to their the opinions: Mr Colyer freely expresses his opinion, Mr Robinson has the right to his opinion and I have a right to my opinion.”
Cr Dobie said it was a mistake to broadcast the conversation at the time but any suggestion Mr Robinson should be sacked was uncalled for.
"This should have no impact on his role at Ten FM,” she said.
"I didn't know at the time it was being recorded but I don't retract anything I said. I speak about what I believe in and I believe very strongly about what I said that day.”
Ten FM declined to comment and Peter Robinson was contacted but did not respond by time of print.
Click here to listen to the conversation.