PUTTING the boot into Orange City Council is not a vendetta, but an elected politician doing his job, according to member for Orange Andrew Gee.
Mr Gee has publicly criticised Orange City Council over the state of the new section of the northern distributor and the issue of asbestos in north Orange this week. He says criticism of council’s handling of both issues is justified.
“I wrote to council in July on behalf of a constituent who is very concerned about the asbestos flowing into his dam and I haven’t even had the courtesy of a reply,” he said.
“He was the one who came to me because he said he had no response from council, but when I went public with my comments in the CWD [Central Western Daily] that’s when there was a response,” Mr Gee said.
However, council spokesman Nick Redmond denied the lack of communication.
“We have had ongoing discussions over a period of time with the landholder involved on a number of issues,” he said.
Mr Redmond said council had closely monitored the pile of asbestos referred to in Mr Gee’s complaint.
“In seven years, while we have been using air monitors on the asbestos, we have not recorded one reading, and what we have to remember is that the asbestos is naturally occurring in the serpentine rock,” he said.
“We have always taken extreme care in dealing with this material.”
Mr Gee also defended his criticism of council over the surface of the distributor road, saying he has been inundated with complaints from Orange residents.
“You can look at it any way you like, but the fact is, council is gilding the lily. It’s like a patchwork quilt with workers out there again on Friday trying to fix it,” he said.
The member for Orange denies he is driving a wedge between himself and council and says the relationship between himself, the mayor and councillors is not strained.
“I can work with anyone and I’m always happy to work with council, but the road has serious problems and they [council] just don’t want to hear the truth,” he said.
Mr Redmond said Mr Gee was exaggerating the state of the northern distributor.
“The way he is talking you would think there are problems with the whole road and that is just simply not the case,” Mr Redmond said.