Lights at the newly redeveloped Wreck Point Lookout be changed to a rainbow configuration in a show of support for Cap Coast Equity Alliance and marriage equality.
Lights at the newly redeveloped Wreck Point Lookout be changed to a rainbow configuration in a show of support for Cap Coast Equity Alliance and marriage equality. Contributed

Councillor launches marriage equality attack on acting mayor

ROGUE councillor Glenda Mather has gone on the attack over marriage equality against acting Livingstone mayor Nigel Hutton.

Cr Mather claims the newly-appointed deputy mayor spoke out of turn to suggest the Livingstone Shire Council was in favour of same-sex marriage.

Her accusation refers to the LSC's move to revert the lights at Wreck Point to a rainbow configuration at the request of the Cap Coast Equality Alliance, which Cr Hutton said council was happy to support.

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Councilor Glenda Mather at the public meeting regarding the Gracemere Industrial Precinct.   Photo Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin.
Livingstone Shire councillor Glenda Mather has launched an attack on her colleague amidst the same-sex marriage debate. Chris Ison ROK070312cindustry3

However, Cr Mather argues local government has no place in the greater marriage equality debate, and argues Cr Hutton misrepresented council by sharing his own view.

"It would be totally out of order for Council to initiate or support the undertaking of marriage equality awareness activities around the shire," Cr Mather said.

"If anyone gave Cr Hutton this authority, they would be acting ultra vires, outside their powers.

"The topic is a legal and Constitutional matter, and not one for a council to enter into, let alone give authority to support either side of the debate on behalf of our constituents.

"If Cr Hutton supports one view, he must be very clear that it is his personal view, and not speaking on behalf of the Council."


LSC Cr Nigel Hutton with Vice Chairman Grantley Jack at the announcement
Livingstone Shire acting mayor Nigel Hutton. Trish Bowman

Cr Hutton argued on the contrary, and said the move was in line with council's inclusivity plan and corporate plan, and at no point did he offer a same-sex marriage position on behalf of council.

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He said council gave the same support to the Cap Coast Equality Alliance, as they would the organisers of peace marches or environmental groups, for example.

The request stemmed from the alliance's first meeting Thursday night, which drew in about 60 people including Cr Hutton.

The group's goal is to offer support for members of Central Queensland's LGBTIQ community in the lead up to the same-sex marriage non-compulsory postal plebiscite from September 12.

Cr Hutton said council's acceptance of the request for the rainbow configuration was to show "support and solidarity" for parts of the community who might feel "weak or challenged" by the conversations surrounding the vote.

"If members of the community see that as that light on the hill, I personally believe that is wonderful, but it's also a reflection that we do value diversity, we support multi-culturalism, and it's not offering an opinion one way or another on behalf of council in regards to same-sex marriage," Cr Hutton said.

"It's accepting that our community is made up of a wonderfully diverse range of individuals and we are the better off for it."

Cr Hutton said on a personal level, he believes Livingstone is a place where "every family, and every individual is valued, cared for and respected regardless of their age, sex, religion or race".

"I believe our collective lives, knowledge and experiences make us as a community stronger and I never want that to change," he said.