Councillor defies mayor

Latrobe City Councillor Christine Sindt has refused to remove a post from her Facebook page following a request from the mayor.

Cr Dale Harriman said he had emailed Cr Sindt on 11 March requesting she remove a post that “denigrated multicultural groups”.

“I believe there are posts (on Cr Sindt’s Facebook page) that have breached the councillor code of conduct, so I’ve initiated the process to have those removed,” Cr Harriman said.

“The next step we’ll ask our CEO to come up with a list of mediators and go to mediation over it.”

After initially denying on Monday she had received the email, Cr Sindt said she had found it yesterday morning.

At the time of speaking to The Express, Cr Sindt said she had attempted to respond to Cr Harriman, however her mailbox was full and this prevented the email from being sent.

She said she intended to ask Cr Harriman who had lodged the complaint about the Facebook post.

Cr Sindt said “under no circumstances” would she remove the post.

“My Facebook page belongs to me, it’s social media and I say what I believe is correct, it’s a democratic forum,” she said.

The matter is now likely to go to mediation.

Gippsland Multicultural Services director Lisa Sinha said free speech had responsibilities tied to it.

“If you take a position of authority in the community, you have a responsibility not to damage people in your community,” she said.