EXCLUSIVE: Loft confirms he will stand for Mayor

COUNCILLOR Chris Loft will confirm today he will stand for Mayor of the Fraser Coast.

The Chronicle has obtained a draft copy of Cr Loft's announcement speech:

Following the article re my rumoured 'run for Mayor' recently published in the Chronicle newspaper and the subsequent announcement that Mayor O'Connell will run again for this prestigious position, I have been bombarded by telephone calls, emails and have been accosted in the streets by ratepayers, begging me to step up to the plate. The support from local business owners and the community at large has been overwhelming and deeply moving.

After discussions with my wife and children, many meetings with a diverse range of business people, associations and members of the public, I have been convinced that the Fraser Coast cannot sustain another 4 years of Mayor O'Connell's leadership.

I have witnessed an extremely unhealthy council chamber where 'block voting' takes place on each and every major decision and therefore the community is not heard.

I strongly believe that Councillors are paid by the rate payers, to be their Board of Directors, as they are the stakeholders in our community.

The Board's role is to make policy and set direction after intelligent, informed, robust discussion, following on from consultation with community at large.

The community's democracy and rights for fair consultative governance cannot be swept aside for the personal interests of just a few.

The feedback I have received clearly shows that the ratepayers on the Fraser Coast want 'common sense' consultative leadership.

I believe that common sense is part of my DNA and therefore I have decided to run against Mayor O'Connell on behalf of the entire community.

Cr Loft did not respond to the Chronicle's requests for comment.

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