Curran donations’ don’t pass the pub test’
DONATIONS of more than $17,000 by businesses to incumbent Mayor Mick Curran's re-election campaign proved a contentious issue at Tuesday night's debate.
Asked about the two gifts - $10,000 from Corbet's Group two weeks ago and another $7500 from Upper Kandanga landholder Tom Strachan this week - Mr Curran reminded the forum donations from developers are prohibited.
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"What we can do is accept donations from businesses that are operating either within our community or outside our community," he said.
It will preclude him from voting on items related to those business, but Mr Curran was "proud that some of the leading businesses in this town are supporting me in this campaign".
In reply Glen Hartwig, who is self-funding his campaign, said it did not pass the pub test,
"One of the things I learned in the police service was that some things are lawful, but they may not be moral," Mr Hartwig said.
"Is it a good move to take a substantial amount of money from one of the council's largest contractors? Some people think it's okay; personally … I don't think it's a good look."
Tim Jerome declined to comment on the question.
When Mr Curran questioned Mr Hartwig's thoughts on donations as a member of the Katter Party, he was told membership had lapsed. An attempt to rephrase it as a hypothetical questions drew boos from the crowds, and Mr Curran settled with saying it was a personal decision and he was "happy to accept that donation … so I could run a very good campaign".