Tony Abbott’s sister leaps to the defence of mayor lying in a coma following a ‘medical incident’ hours after he was accused of bullying and ‘intolerant behaviour’
- Dubbo mayor Ben Shields was rushed to Dubbo Base hospital on Wednesday
- The 40-year-old remains on life support and does not yet have a prognosis
- It came after six councillors accused him of bullying and ‘intolerant behaviour’
- Tony Abbott’s sister Christine Forster defended Mayor Shields in Facebook post
Tony Abbott’s sister has defended a mayor lying in a coma following a ‘medical incident’ hours after he was accused of bullying.
Dubbo mayor Ben Shields was rushed to hospital on Wednesday, where he remains on life support.
Moments before paramedics arrived, Mayor Shields shared on Facebook: ‘I have only ever done what is right for Dubbo’.
His hospitalisation came just hours after six councillors accused him of bullying and ‘intolerant behaviour,’ and signed a letter calling for him to resign immediately.
Dubbo mayor Ben Shields was rushed to hospital on Wednesday, where he remains on life support
Christine Forster, the sister of former prime minister Tony Abbott, threw her support behind Mr Shields in a Facebook post Friday (pictured)
Christine Forster, the sister of the former prime minister, Mr Abbott, threw her support behind Mayor Shields on Friday and slammed ‘purely politically motivated attacks’.
‘My friend Ben Shields is a better Liberal and a better servant of his community than just about anyone I could name,’ she wrote to Facebook.
‘His tireless commitment to the people of Dubbo and surrounding region has been his life’s work for 22 years and the current success of the city and its people is testament to that.
‘The purely politically motivated attacks on him are a disgrace.’
Ms Forster said she hoped Mayor Shields would be back doing his best for the community as soon as possible.
Her wife Virginia Flitcroft also shared a Facebook post praising the mayor in the wake of the medical emergency.
‘Ben Shields is an honourable man, who has always put his beloved Dubbo first, to hear that he is in a critical condition in hospital is beyond devastating,’ she wrote.
‘This political bullying at its most shocking.’
The 40-year-old’s family earlier revealed his prognosis is uncertain.
Moments before paramedics arrived, Cr Shields shared on Facebook: ‘I have only ever done what is right for Dubbo’
Mayor Shields was also accused of mishandling of a multimillion-dollar proposed Bunnings development, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Deputy Mayor Stephen Lawrence and councillor John Ryan claimed Mayor Shields didn’t adhere to consultation protocols.
A letter written on Wednesday – signed by councillors – said Mayor Shields’ colleagues no longer had confidence in him and his abilities.
‘The council condemns and will not tolerate abuse of power, bullying, harassment, threats and intimidation,’ the letter read.
‘The council has no confidence in the mayor and calls upon him to resign immediately as mayor and from council and enable council to move forward in the best interests of the community.’
The councillors called for a confidential report to be prepared ‘advising on any and all complaints, allegations and suggestions of misconduct on behalf of the mayor that have any stage of the term of council been brought to the attention of any council staff and not been the subject of a code of conduct process’.
Mayor Shields’ colleagues were also pushing for him to hand back his mayoral robes, phone, car and office within the next seven days.
His hospitalisation came just hours after six councillors accused him of bullying and ‘intolerant behaviour,’ and signed a letter calling for him to resign immediately