Monday, December 2, 2019

Friends remember John Bradley

Phil Townsend seeking to make a statement about his friend
the late John Bradley at the November council meeting.
FAMILY, friends and colleagues of the late John Bradley met on Sunday for an informal memorial following his untimely passing six weeks ago.

The gathering at Glenorchy's Tolosa Park provided an opportunity for people to share their memories and say their goodbyes. A private funeral was held last month.

Former Derwent Valley Council general manager Steve Mackey led the proceedings and thanked everyone for their attendance, including some of Mr Bradley's workmates from three councils he had been associated with, as well as community groups he had assisted, and family members.

Mr Mackey recounted how Mr Bradley had worked at the Glenorchy and Huon Valley councils before being appointed as the accountant at the Derwent Valley Council. This was a senior role that eventually led to him serving as acting general manager when required.

Mr Bradley had taken the job at New Norfolk because the council was offering a four-day week, which would allow him to attend Gowan's Auctions on Fridays. He was a keen collector, football fan and horse racing enthusiast.

Among the large contingent from New Norfolk at Sunday's function was another former Derwent Valley Council colleague, Phil Townsend, who had tried to make a statement about Mr Bradley's passing at the November council meeting.

Mr Townsend had submitted his statement in writing as required, but was not called upon when public question time was conducted. After asking why he had been overlooked, Mr Townsend was told his statement would not be allowed.

Mayor Ben Shaw telling Phil Townsend his
statement about John Bradley would not be
heard at last month's council meeting.
"It's around a staff member and personal issues so we're not going to take that statement," mayor Ben Shaw said at the time. He went on to say the council took questions on notice, not statements.

Cr Shaw invited Mr Townsend to make an appointment to discuss his concerns with the acting general manager, but said he would not be allowed to make his statement in public. "We're not taking it because it's a personal matter, about a staff member," Cr Shaw said. "We can sort something out for you to have your views put forward, but not in a public forum."

During a post-meeting discussion between Mr Townsend, Cr Shaw and acting general manager Brian Barrett, the mayor twice threatened to involve the police, raising his voice over Mr Townsend's to ask him to adopt a calmer approach.


  1. Of course you can make a statement to Council, what rubbish. I hope Mr Townsend makes his statement public and then we'll all know what he wanted to say.
    Can Council clarify the rumour that they were incorrect in their handling of the (late) Mr Bradley please? Certainly a well-respected accountant for a long term with the organisation and his treatment seems completely disrespectful.

  2. Admittedly, I'm probably not very much 'in the know' when it comes to bureaucratic policies & procedures, or specifics of a scenario when only relying on media articles posted on Facebook.

    But cant help wondering where our society is heading when it chooses not to acknowledge the efforts of those that have gone before us that have worked in our local communities.
    Some of these efforts come from people that may have worked at the coal face to serve their local communities for most of their natural lives.

    From my personal observations of these types of people (Phil Townsend included), their efforts may have involved working outside their normal 9 - 5, Mon - Fri working hours, & being flexible & adaptable depending on the needs of their community.
    These types of people provided a good example of the concept of working 'with', as opposed to 'for' their local communities, which assisted & supported the bond & relationship between Local Government & the community.

    Its difficult to imagine these types of people saying stuff like "This isn't in our Position Description" when responding to the needs of their local community, but these types of responses seem to be more common in recent times.

    But this is the legacy that these types of people leave behind.
    This is why local Government uses the catchphrase/bumper sticker "Think big, work local".

    This is why we need to acknowledge the efforts of those that have gone before us that have worked in our local communities.
    I have grave fears for where our society is heading, if it fails to acknowledge the stuff that makes our society, species, & what it means to be human great... & instead choose to stick our head in the sand & play reindeer games.

    The physical efforts/aspects of people may be lost in time, like tears in rain... But do we need to lose the legacies these people leave behind as well, & sell-out on the stuff that could make the world a nicer place?

    This statement was authorised by... Someone who might not be 'in the know', but someone who feels obligated to uphold concepts of human respect, integrity, & dignity for those unable to speak, & when those that choose to use political process as a scape-goat to avoid upholding these concepts.