News

Councillors 'fumble the ball', FCO board says

THE tourism and economic body partly tasked with bringing business and marketing the region has accused the council of fumbling the ball on a key investment opportunity.

On Friday, the Fraser Coast Opportunities board weighed into the Becker Helicopters issue, which has gripped the region since Monday.

It described some councillors' actions as "extremely disappointing".

In an open letter to the Chronicle, the FCO board of directors said the council knew about the region's employment problems.

"It seems inconceivable that earlier in the week we were told the area has the worst unemployment in Australia and then a few days later we fumble the ball on a major opportunity," the letter read.

The letter stated the Fraser Coast Regional Council had decided to "slam the door shut" on new business.

On Wednesday the helicopter issue reached a climax when councillor Darren Everard successfully moved a motion to ban all helicopter flying schools from setting up in the region.

The FCO board said it believed that decision has cost the region 100 new jobs and more than $20 million in economic stimulus.

Speaking to the Chronicle on Friday, FCO board member Paul Cotton said the directors had a unanimous view that some of the council had botched this opportunity.

"These sorts of opportunities are crucial," he said.

"The mixed messages of Fraser Coast open for business and the rejection of this major potential new industry without due process will have significant ramifications far beyond this particular issue.

"We can't afford to be talking about things then individually pulling it apart."

Earlier in the week Cr Everard admitted he hadn't spoken to Becker Helicopters owner Mike Becker - something that annoyed Dr Cotton.

"To turn anyone away from here without due process or due considerations is myopic," he said.

"We've got kids who are leaving school in Year 12 with no opportunity to get a local trade."

Dr Cotton was reserved when the Chronicle asked if FCO would have done a better job at handling the situation with Becker Helicopters.

"I think if FCO were involved - at the seminal state of this, I think that we would have had a more considered and better balance, and maybe not have got the situation we're in now," he said.

"I think we all need to learn lessons about this.

"There needs to be a general maturity and an understanding the entity is there- it was put there for a reason."

FCO has previously been criticised by some councillors for not achieving results.

But yesterday the directors were on the front foot, calling on the council to invite Mr Becker back to the table and to work with FCO, to realise the potential of this opportunity.

Mr Becker was due to meet with councillors for discussions in Hervey Bay on Tuesday.

Topics:  becker helicopter, council, fraser coast, fraser coast opportunities, helicopter, hervey bay




Mount Walsh photo jump ends in chopper rescue

Stevie Burscough rolled her ankle.

“My ankle gave way and my body slammed sideways,”

Former Matilda keeps Warriors on track to finals

BACK ON FIELD: United's Belinda Kitching. The former Matildas goalkeeper will play the rest of the season after first-choice keeper Marni Rice left the area.

Kitching's presence in goals lifted her team.

Police charge man for assault on pregnant woman

Police on the scene outside Maryborough Courthouse, where a man accused someone of bashing him with a stick near Customs House.

It is believed the woman assaulted was pregnant.

Latest deals and offers

Vintaea: Why I left The Bachelor on the first night

Vintaea Carlos was one of 22 "bachelorettes" looking for love on the fourth season of The Bachelor.

Queensland beauty leaves Richie at rose ceremony.

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is stalling divorce

Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp is delaying their divorce

Are you a Fraser Coast eligible bachelor or know someone?

Richie Strahan stars in the fourth season of the reality dating show The Bachelor. Supplied by Channel 10.

THE Fraser Coast Chronicle is searching for top Bachelors.

The Bachelor host: this year's season is a cracker

The Bachelor host Osher Gunsberg.

GUNSBERG says tonight will be "the best night of TV of the year".

Kerri-Anne Kennerley to Sonia Kruger: "Stay brave"

She said her television peer should "stay brave"

Swimwear designer looking for love on The Bachelor

Noni Janur on her first day of filming.

The 25-year-old is one of 22 women vying for Richie Strahan’s heart

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles