Councillors warned it’s time to play nicely

Tim Powers
Tim Powers Alistair Brightman

BUSINESS leaders have warned councillors heading into today's testing meeting over the future of Fraser Coast Opportunities: "It's time you all learn how to play together."

In an open letter to Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell and the four councillors who have been named as having turned to the "dark side" - Chris Loft, James Hansen, Darren Everard and Rolf Light - Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce President Tim Powers says the community is suffering".

In urging the councillors to get on with the job they were elected to do, Mr Powers asks that the rogue four stop undermining the mayor and "participating in divisive, destructive games".

He goes on to call on Cr O'Connell to show leadership and restore the credibility he says has been damaged as a result of the uncertainty caused by the ongoing infighting.

"There is nothing more embarrassing for businesses that operate outside of this region than to be laughed at because that business comes from the dysfunctional Fraser Coast," he writes.

"We have all the foundations that are required to become a prosperous region - we just need strong leadership from our Mayor. We would also suggest that the community is tired of slogans, sweet words and throw away lines.

"It is time for the council to work for the benefit of the Fraser Coast region."



It is with high expectation that the business community looks to a successful outcome from Monday's meeting between the Mayor and respective Councillors. The Chamber would like to reiterate our recent call for the Mayor and Councillors to get on with the job of managing and growing this region, the job we elected them to do.  Our community is suffering and it is time for this madness to end.

If the Chamber could add their thoughts for Monday's meeting, we would make sure the following items were raised:

  • The worst kept secret in the Fraser Coast - Councillors Loft, Hansen, Everard and Light - we all know you are the proverbial "dark side" as you are often referred to around town.  We have all heard the rumours about how you are actively working on undermining the Mayor and the current establishment. We call on you to stop participating in divisive and destructive games and start working together with the Council as a whole to grow this region.
  • The Mayor - it is time you show leadership and take control of this mess.  There is nothing more embarrassing for businesses  that operate outside of this region than to be laughed at because that business comes from the dysfunctional Fraser Coast.  We have all the foundations that are required to become a prosperous region - we just need strong leadership from our Mayor. We would also suggest that the community is tired of slogans, sweet words and throw away lines.  It is time for actions.  Your credibility has been significantly damaged and the ratepayers are starting to grow very tired.
  • To the remaining Councillors - you are complicit in allowing this debacle to occur and it is also time for you to act responsibly and professionally for the sake of our region.  A professional group of people should be able to acknowledge and express differences of opinion and then collaboratively work through these differences to achieve a united outcome. We look for your support in this conversation.

Leadership requires commitment and the ability to work with people, for people. It also requires humility and emotional intelligence. It is time for the Council to work for the benefit of the Fraser Coast region! The Fraser Coast region will suffer if you don't get over your individual difference and start thinking about growth and prosperity for the region.  The ball is in your collective court.  It is time you all learn how to play together!

Tim Powers
Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Topics:  chamber of commerce fraser coast opportunities fraser coast regional tim powers

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