News

M'boro MP and Mayor trade verbal blows

A PUBLIC stoush has erupted after Maryborough MP Anne Maddern launched an attack on Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell, backing a plan for an independent review into the council's finances.

In the third public stoush with Mayor Gerard O'Connell since June, Ms Maddern has again weighed into local government affairs and urged Cr O'Connell to start listening to Fraser Coast residents.

Cr O'Connell got straight to the point when talking about Ms Maddern in his Hervey Bay office on Tuesday.

"With two-and-a-half years into the term and with an election looming, to start making noises - little bit too late," he said.

"Personal attacks have absolutely no place.

"The people of our community deserve more than this."

Ms Maddern said she felt "the pain" of ratepayers who opened their bills this week to find increases "more than the 3%".

"I am calling on all councillors to stand up for their ratepayers and rein in the council's operating costs," she said.

Clenching his fists and raising his voice, Cr O'Connell urged Ms Maddern to get on with the job.

"Cheap headlines and trying to score points is something I'd never do," he said.

"Stay focussed for the good of the region."

On Tuesday, the Chronicle reported maverick Maryborough councillor Chris Loft's calls for an independent audit of the council's finances.

Mrs Maddern said last year's review of the council and Wide Bay Water by the Queensland Treasury Corporation found the rating level was unsustainable.

Cr O'Connell quoted the QTC as praising the council.

"Council's financial position should still be viable under either consolidation or continuation of Wide Bay Water," he quoted.

Topics:  anne maddern, finances, fraser coast regional council, gerard o'connell, independent review, maryborough mp, mayor



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