MP KIM RICHARDS COPPING ABUSE BECAUSE PEOPLE THINK SHE IS THE MAYOR! Why do so many people not understand how Government works? The reason: Queensland State Government Member for Redlands, Kim Richards, has been copping a huge amount of online and ‘drive-by’ abuse because many islanders and Redlanders thinks she is the Mayor of Redland City Council, Karen Williams. Mayor Williams has been in the headlines of late because of a recent arrest and conviction on drink driving charges, to which she has accepted full responsibility, and for which she has lost her licence for six months but had no conviction recorded. Karen Williams dug her heels in, stood her ground, and refused to resign her position as Mayor of Redland City Council. There has been considerable reaction from the community with many registering how they feel, particularly online. The only trouble is, it seems many people do not understand the difference between our three levels of Government. Subsequently, State Member for Redlands Kim Richards has been copping much of the abuse. To say she is ‘frustrated’ at the lack of knowledge by many who have subjected her to abuse. “I have received it online and from some ‘drive-by’ and ‘walk-past’ comments.” She added: “I am not the Mayor of Redland City Council. I am the State Government representative for Redlands in the Queensland Parliament. There is a considerable difference.” The other factor in all of this may have something to do with hair colour. Both Kim Richards and Mayor Williams have blonde locks (mostly). The workings of Government seem to be an issue for some. We addressed this issue in the April edition of The Friendly Bay Islander. Many people blame ‘the Council’ for just about everything, because it is the first area of Government that comes to mind for many. There are three levels of Government in Australia: • The Federal Government based in the national capital of Canberra; • State Governments based in the capital of each Australian State; • Local Government which is responsible for: ‘roads, rates and rubbish’. And just so you know, the Federal Government representative for the seat of Bowman which covers our group of Islands and the Redlands, is Henry Pike of the LNP. The Queensland State Government representative in the Queensland Parliament is Member for Redlands,Kim Richards. The three representatives who are Redland City councillors for the islands are Peter Mitchell (Division 2, Straddie); Lance Hewlett (Division 4, Coochiemudlo); Mark Edwards (Division 5, SMBIslands). Karen Williams is the Mayor or Redland City Council.