Anne Maddern
Anne Maddern Robyne Cuerel

MP says Mayor misleading public, not listening

THE WAR of words between Maryborough MP Anne Maddern and Mayor Gerard O'Connell continued yesterday.

Mrs Maddern accused Cr O'Connell of misleading the public and not listening to the community.

Mrs Maddern hit out again yesterday at claims by Cr O'Connell that the State Government cut funding to local councils.

At a meeting last Friday, Mrs Maddern demanded Cr O'Connell show her evidence of the cuts.

"Basically he provided no evidence at all to support his statement that the current State Government had cut funding to the Fraser Coast Regional Council," she said.

"I'm just a little bit concerned that council's not listening to their community as much as they should."

Cr O'Connell fired back, citing community chats, divisional meetings and portfolio chats as evidence that all councillors were accessible.

As for the State Government cuts, he said the new $2 million electricity access charge was one example he said he told Mrs Maddern "more than once".

"I find it a little strange that there's not an understanding on what the impact of State Government policies and decisions and budget has done to the likes of local government," Cr O'Connell said.

Mrs Maddern invited Chris Loft, James Hansen and Rolf Light to the meeting with Cr O'Connell last Friday.

The trio was the only councillors who rejected the council's budget - but Mrs Maddern claims that isn't why she chose them.

"Because James is very active in the rural sector and Rolf is very active out at Burrum Heads - just names out of a hat basically."

Mrs Maddern said Cr Loft was the only person who accepted and he acted as an independent source in the meeting.



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