News

Mayoral candidate pledges to keep rates on hold

Cr Chris Loft.
Cr Chris Loft. File

MAYORAL candidate Chris Loft has promised to keep rate rises on hold with the support of councillors and without "mass sackings" of Fraser Coast Regional Council staff.

After weeks of silence Cr Loft has pledged to stop rates rising if the majority of the council will assist him.

"I believe I can hold rates but it's not just my decision - it will be the input from all councillors," he said.

"It's not up to me - I'm one of 11."

Cr Loft said he intended to audit the council's operations.

Auditing the council's operations will be a priority for Cr Loft if he is elected to the Tavistock St mayor's office on March 19.

Using the savings he is expecting to find, Cr Loft believes that will be enough to prevent an initial rate increase.

"I'm convinced (it is possible to freeze rates), I know it - (council) wastage will be shown," he said.

"It definitely should not be more than CPI."

Incumbent mayor Gerard O'Connell, who has prided himself on delivering a record infrastructure spend of $55 million said the community expected to receive services.

"It might be populist to talk about keeping rates on hold but you then need to put some detail," he said.

"It might be a good way of getting a few votes but you need to back it up by saying what you're not going to do."

He challenged Cr Loft to detail what services the council would discontinue and savings that would be found under his mayoralship.

"You need to say how many people you're going to sack," Cr O'Connell declared.

"Are you going to put a toll on the boat ramps - charge for people to borrow a library book?

"Do you stop cleaning the toilets, mowing the grass, do you close libraries or art galleries?"

When asked, Cr Loft said he would not cut staff, easing "concerns" of council staff.

"No, no; I'm not out for mass sackings at all," he promised.

"But you've got to be efficient and productive in a day - it's just good business."

Councillors Loft, O'Connell and community member Jannean Dean are the only confirmed mayoral candidates so far.

Ms Dean has pledged to review rates and reward people who pay rates by giving them two trees to plant.

"I think that's all we can do," she said.

"I don't think any candidate for mayor or divisions should come out promising anything - they're only one vote out of 11."

Ms Dean said the council's current $75 infrastructure levy could be reviewed and broken down further.

"A possible solution to that could be $25 towards an environmental levy, $10 for a vital emergency infrastructure fee and the other $25 could go back into the kitty to reduce rates," she said.

"I think it (the council) needs a massive audit and a massive review and then we can put the right things in place."

Yesterday, exactly two months from the march elections Cr O'Connell defended his record.

"We've been able to get $15 million in savings and $4 million in water (savings)," he said.

"I will never stop looking for cost savings."

Arguing against the council's program, Cr Loft suggested expenditure was trimmed "back to the wick".

"They just keep spending on top of spending," he said.

"You've got to pull your head in when times are tough."

When asked about his major election commitments Cr Loft said he would reveal economy-stimulating policies closer to the election date.

"Spending needs to be related to job creation, job creation now," he said.

Topics:  chris loft fraser coast regional council



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Mammino Ice Cream creator joyful to the end

THE FUN ONE: Anthony Mammino, pictured on his macadamia farm, was "always encouraging mischief”.

Family opens up on ice cream creator's lymphoma battle

Leaving navy to take up nursing career

Kelly Scott, who joined the Navy at the age of 17, is enrolled in a Nursing Science degree at USC's Fraser Coast campus after deciding it was time for a major career and lifestyle change.

Kelly Scott is swapping a naval career for a nursing career.

Five drink drivers nabbed on Fraser Coast over weekend

RBT: Random breath testing, Alexandra Headlands, Sunshine Coast. December 10, 2015.Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily

The highest reading was four times over the legal limit.

Local Partners

How Adam Brand’s Nashville dream fell apart

Country music singer Adam Brand talks about how heartbreak stopped him chasing his Nashville dream.

SINGER reveals how heartbreak stopped him from chasing his dream.

What's on the small screen this week

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

STAR-studded Australia Day celebrations and fascinating docos.

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

First home buyers the "lifeblood” of Fraser Coast market

CoreLogic property statistics reveal the region's median house price of $300,000 did not change in the September quarter.

Median house price of $300,000 remains steady in September quarter

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!