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'Horrible keyboard warriors' taking a toll on Clarence City Council staff

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Clarence City Council offices. Image / Nina Hamilton

A surge in “unacceptable” bullying and threatening behaviour towards Clarence City Council staff has prompted a new campaign to address the issue.

Former WIN TV personality and Alderman Wendy Kennedy says the behaviour, which has been “exemplified and unrelenting” since the debate over an AFL high performance centre emerged, is having a significant impact on staff.


“During my time on Council, I have seen this inappropriate behaviour from members of the community intensify each time we have a contentious issue to deal with,” she said.

“Regardless of your point of view on a matter, it is never ok to get behind a keyboard and abuse another person.”

Kennedy hopes to leave a legacy that ensures aspiring councillors are treated with respect and that constituents understand “there are boundaries”.

Clarence City Councillors are fed up with the behaviour. Image / Supplied

Mayor Brendan Blomeley threw his support behind Kennedy’s motion, saying the “horrifying” behaviour directed at councillors and staff needed to stop immediately.

“These have ranged from personal attacks, telling staff they are no good at their job, they should be ashamed of themselves and even sharing the personal details of staff members,” he said.

“In no way, shape or form does anybody have the right to treat another person like that.”


Blomeley said the majority of the community were “wonderful to work with” but emphasised that the unacceptable behaviour from a small minority needed to end.

Speaking on Facebook Live on Tuesday about recent decisions of the Hobart City Council, Hobart Alderman Louise Bloomfield said the solution to happier councils also requires self-reflection from elected members.

Clarence City Councillors are fed up with the behaviour. Image / Supplied

“When I come up in council with an alternative view to the general narrative, I am met with derision, sarcasm and even more so, a patronising speech [from other councillors],” she said.

“If we treat each other inappropriately like this, which we would never do to any other community member, the community actually then thinks, you know what, it’s fair game to treat elected members the same.”

“We are actually, with our own behaviours, teaching the community to treat us with derision.”

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