Cr Taylor criticises 'lack of consultation' over minutes

Cr Stuart Taylor will step down from the role of LDMG deputy chair.
Cr Stuart Taylor will step down from the role of LDMG deputy chair. Alistair Brightman

COUNCILLOR Stuart Taylor has resigned as the deputy chair from the Local Disaster Management Group after a bitter dispute erupted over a mayoral minute at the Fraser Coast Regional Council's Monday meeting.

In an email sent to the Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO on Tuesday evening, Cr Taylor confirmed that he had tendered his resignation from the position following a move by mayor Chris Loft to elect himself as the deputy chair.

The move also recommended Cr Anne Maddern take the position of the Chair of the Recovery Committee.

"This is not a decision that I want to make nor one that I make lightly. The nature of the positions within the LDMG and the need to ensure that the public and other members of the LDMG have confidence in the running of the group is essential,” he said.

"This must be the first consideration and one that leads me to my decision to resign. This will also ensure that Council has a clear path forward in relation to this matter.”

Cr Loft's move saw Cr Taylor remove himself from the chamber on Monday in order to prevent a situation which would have the chair and deputy chair voting against each other.

But Cr Taylor made specific mention to the lack of consultation between himself and the rest of Council, claiming there was enough time for Cr Loft to discuss the motion with other councillors.

"At no time did I receive advice from the Mayor that he was going to progress the motion either as a motion or as a Mayoral Minute,” he said.

"I believe that it was inappropriate for the Mayor to withhold the motion to the last minute and that he should have given all Councillors the opportunity to properly consider the motion.

"It is clear that there was enough time to consult with the Department of Local Government, LGAQ, Cr Light and Cr Maddern on this matter.”

But Cr Maddern stated she had been asked if she was prepared to take the chair role of the recovery committee, but said she was not aware of the minute until Monday's Council meeting.

"I was advised there was a mayoral minute that would be tabled just before the meeting,” she said.

Cr Lewis said he was stunned as to why there was no opportunity for confidential discussion on the motion, and slammed Cr Loft's "poor leadership qualities.”

"The irony is that he's (Loft) putting himself on the disaster committee when his conduct will lead to a disaster of another kind,” he said to the Chronicle earlier.

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said the whole matter was "a poor indication of where the council is.”

"We want them to get on with the job rather than playing silly games that will affect the region,” he said.

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