Torquay councillors in fight over blog claims. ‘Get out of site’

Hamish Heard
Torquay councillors accused each other of playing politics yesterday in an angry clash over an internet blog site.
Torquay councillor Ron Humphrey, who has unsuccessfully run for Liberal preselection, challenged Cr Rose Hodge to deny she supplied “misinformation” to the site.
Cr Humphrey said the blog site falsely accused him of faking illness to avoid a council meeting.
Cr Hodge, a member of the Labor party, rejected the claim, saying she had not visited the site “lately”.
The left-wing website claimed Cr Humphrey pulled out of the meeting because Cr Hodge would chair it the mayor’s absence.
The site quoted a council source called ‘Deep Throat’.
The Independent has seen an email from Cr Humphrey to Mr Bollen dated four days before the meeting, saying he was unwell and could be absent.
Mr Bollen refused to answer questions about the incident but said an investigation of council computers had cleared councillors of accessing the website from Surf Coast Shire offices.
Cr Humphrey said the website, which made several other claims against him, was “defamatory”. He would seek legal advice.
“It’s quite obvious who is giving the website information,” he said.
“It’s a politically-motivated attack and I would suggest that these campaigns originate among ALP councillors and cost ratepayers a lot of money.
“This childish behaviour has got to stop.”
But Cr Hodge denied she had anything to do with the website.
She complained the site had labelled her a “Labor councillor”.
“I talk to a lot of people but I don’t even know who the blog writer is,” Cr Hodge said.
“(Cr Humphrey’s) Liberal links are well-known and I sincerely hope his attack isn’t politically motivated because party politics should stay well clear of the council chamber.”