The Diamantina Shire Council has today barely avoided catastrophe.

This comes as Council officer, Wendy Mitchell (58), who works in the large Customer Complaints and Dispute Resolution Unit that sits within the larger Community Frustration and Lack of Services Department of Council, opened a suspicious envelope and set off a cascade of inescapable events.

Reports confirm that the envelope was sent from perpetually disgruntled ratepayer, Terry Kimber (73), a man known to Council for his incessant calls, expletive-laden emails and in-person verbal assaults on Council staff. 

When Wendy realised his letter was filled with nothing but positive feedback, she knew something was wrong. But when she sought out the procedure on how to process positive ratepayer feedback, she found that no such procedure existed.

“I’ve worked at Council 32 years and there’s never been one positive comment received from ratepayers in all that time,” said the visibly shaken woman. “We just don’t have the procedures in place to deal with something like this.”

As fears grew, Wendy followed Council’s crisis management procedure, which saw her quickly scan the letter and action it to her Coordinator for review, who then actioned it to their Manager who actioned it to their Director who then, several weeks later, actioned it back to Wendy for review.

It was then that Wendy knew it was up to her to deal with the situation. 

The closest procedure she could find that dealt with suspicious envelopes was the National Terrorism Public Alert Systems approach which advised to raise the fire alarm to precipitate evacuation of the building immediately. 

All 262 public servants, who have never truly worked a day in their lives, rushed out the emergency exits and congregated alongside the safety of the Diamantina River. 

There they waited for 3 hours while the bomb squad’s forensic investigation robot carried out its inspection of the envelope. It confirmed that no bombs, anthrax or chemical weapons were present, just positive feedback relating to the Depot boys who filled in those potholes out at McGrath’s Lane the week prior.

Council’s Terror Alert Level has since been reduced back to ‘likely’.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here