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




The biggest seizure 'in living memory': police

'We believe we've put a good dent in the drug trade...'

'RVs promise much if we attract them': Letter

Visiting grey nomads bring wealth to communities when they shop for life's necessities.

I am concerned that some councillors still oppose

M'boro bee hive takeover is a bit like Australian politics

Lynette Beck with the native bee hive in an old tree stump in her yard in Maryborough.

There has been a hostile takeover of Lynette Beck's bee hive.

Latest deals and offers

Johnny Depp 'deeply respects' Amber Heard

Celebrity

Amber Heard gives away $7 million settlement to charity

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

Maryborough's little link to Hollywood heart-throb Thor

STAR VISIT: Hollywood heartthrob Chris Hemsworth visits Craig Box and his daughter Violet Box at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane. Craig's family originate from Maryborough.

One little girl was lucky enough to meet the movie star

Kirk Douglas is defiant, fierce and still standing

VETERAN ACTOR: Kirk Douglas has had a long and varied career.

Kirk Douglas has out-lived almost all his contemporaries

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.