BATHURST Regional Access Committee (BRAC) has suspended its operations until 2019 due to what has been described as continued attacks from bullies in the community.
Interim chairman Bob Triming said the decision was made at BRAC’s meeting on Monday, where elections were due to be held for the committee’s key positions.
There were no nominations for chairman or secretary, which had to be filled in order to have the committee.
“No one wanted the jobs and in order to hold [Monday’s] meeting we decided to appoint an interim chairperson for the sole purpose of running the meeting,” Mr Triming said.
It was decided that BRAC would not adopt any new general business for the next four months, at which point, in February, another election would be held.
Mr Triming said he was confident that people would be prepared to nominate themselves for roles then.
“We are all hoping that by then everything has settled down and we can get back to supporting people with disabilities,” he said.
Mr Triming said cyberbullying from several people over the course of three years had proved too much for volunteers, as had the ongoing saga of making the Return and Earn machines accessible, and they needed a break.
BRAC members were allegedly bullied across different social media platforms and Mr Triming himself was heckled at a recent Bathurst Regional Council meeting.
Although taking a break is necessary for the volunteers, Mr Triming said the decision was not the end of the committee in Bathurst.
“We don’t want the bullies to win and that’s why all the volunteers have said to take a break for four months, have a rest and hold the elections again next year,” he said.
“The decision took a lot of debate [on Monday] and with 13 normal members they made the decision.
“They’re all confident of turning up in February and they’ve said as much.
“We did have two people nominate as vice chairperson, but if you don’t have a chairman or a secretary, you can’t have a committee.
“So I am confident … I think everyone just wants a rest. I know I do.”
BRAC has been part of the community for 30 years, acting on behalf of people with disabilities to improve access in Bathurst.
Mr Triming said that in the past 12 months alone BRAC had worked on over 80 matters relating to access, some of which a council-run access committee would not have dealt with.