OPINION: Vicious attacks push away our best representatives

FOR the first time in decades the names Jan Chambers and Peter Flynn will not  appear on the ballot paper at next month's Local Government elections in the Maranoa.

Deputy mayor Chambers and Cr Flynn have been candid about each of their decisions to not run for re-election on March 28, both citing the mounting toll personal attacks have had on them and their families.

In a world where everyone's opinion - no matter how disengenous or ill-informed - can be magnified, shared and taken for truth on social media, we run the risk of losing our best people for the job.

I'm not saying change is a bad thing, but those baying for the removal of certain councillors should understand the uphill battle for council when it loses a combined 41 years of experience from two councillors who were the driving force behind the Roma Saleyards, Bassett Park, the Roma airport, Roma PCYC, art galleries and many other projects.

A thick skin is essential for any leadership position, but when online attacks are continuious and vicious, how can we expect any of our best people to want to do the job

When community leaders, who have been integral to the creation of vital assets and programs in our towns, are citing toxic work conditions as a main reason for bowing out from public service, then alarm bells should be ringing in all of our heads.

If we want our community to be better, we need to be better as a community.