Mayor shocks business leaders with attack on Daily
MAYOR Peter Blundell has shocked business leaders by using a community event to launch a stunning tirade against the Warwick Daily News and one of its reporters.
Cr Blundell, speaking at a Business Network of Warwick event, labelled the Daily News' coverage of Palmerin St road closures as a "travesty".
Council had upset CBD business owners with a last-minute change to the time the main street would close for the March of the Dungarees commemorations tomorrow.
The Daily News labelled the blunder as a "horror show".
Cr Blundell, in a nine minute speech to the 30 business leaders in attendance, singled out Daily News reporter Jayden Brown, who was at the event.
He looked at Mr Brown and announced to the room that he would be "a thorn in (the journalist's) side".
Business leaders were not impressed with some accusing Cr Blundell of bullying.
Karara business owner Belinda Marriage said Cr Blundell's outburst was "inappropriate" and labelled it an act of "bullying".
"A few people seemed to be shocked by it," she said.
"I think people should be open to express their views.
"If the mayor has problems with what's in the paper he should take them up privately, not in public at a business function."
Mrs Marriage, who was attending her first Business Network of Warwick event, said Cr Blundell's actions were potentially damaging to the future of the networking events.
"We've got a business community trying to get these meetings up and going," she said.
"That type of behaviour isn't exactly welcoming."
Business Network of Warwick organisers have distanced themselves from the comments.
They released a statement yesterday to "acknowledge the ongoing support of the Warwick Daily News and their positive sponsorship of the Warwick Chamber of Commerce auspiced local monthly business networking events."
Real estate agent Darryl Evans said he was shocked at the mayor's politicising of the event.
"For me I felt it was an appalling display of opportunism," he said.
"To spray so publicly I am afraid was an abuse of office in my opinion and quite appalling.
"The mayor owes Jayden Brown and the Warwick Daily News an apology.
"If he had something to say it shouldn't have been in such a non-political public forum."
Cr Blundell was contacted for comment but did not return the Warwick Daily News' calls.