Strategy to insult voters a joke: Quilty

Cr Tim Quilty
Cr Tim Quilty

Wodonga councillor Tim Quilty says he is not afraid of telling residents to “f--- off”, in his new “insult the ratepayers personally” approach to being open and honest with opinions and policies. 

In a “tongue-in-cheek” post Cr Quilty took to his self-authorised councillor Facebook page to tell residents one of his three goals when elected to council was to say what he thought. 

“I think there is a market for grumpy politicians who tell it like it is, and aren't worried about sucking up to everyone who comes along,” he said.

“Time will tell whether the ratepayers of Wodonga agree with that or not. I like to refer to this as the ‘insult all the voters personally’ strategy. 

“I've yet to reach the good Senator David Leyonhjelm's level of telling people what he thinks - but give me time. Eventually someone will irritate me enough that I'll tell them to f--- off.”

Cr Quilty told the Border Mail his post was fairly sarcastic but his position on honesty was nothing new. He said it was the same policy he took to the election. 

“If someone doesn’t take it with a sense of humour that’s up to them, I try not to take everything too seriously,” he said.

Cr Quilty's Sunday post

Cr Quilty's Sunday post

Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie said she would not take the same approach, but refused to comment on whether Cr Quility’s conduct was appropriate for an elected official. 

“Everyone is entitled to their viewpoint,” she said.

“As a community leader there is an expectation about behaviour from the community, and quite rightly.”

The Wodonga 2017 Code of Conduct states councillors must facilitate effective communication between council and the community and should ensure any comments could not “reasonably be construed as being derogatory, offensive or insulting to any person”.

The code says councillors should treat all persons with respect and have regard to their opinions, beliefs, rights and responsibilities.

Cr Quilty said his comments were personal opinion made in jest, which directed nothing ill at councillors and did not breach the code.

Cr Speedie would not comment on whether the post breached the code.