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FCO annual general meeting closed to public

DESPITE ratepayers forking out more than $2 million to keep Fraser Coast Opportunities operating, the media and public will be barred from its annual general meeting on November 25.

An overview of the tourism body's success and its plans for growing the region will be presented at the meeting.

After questioning from the Chronicle, FCO board chairman and Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the meeting was "for members only".

"It is normal accepted practice that the meetings are between the members and directors," he said.

But his view conflicted with that of other councillors, with some suggesting opening the meeting for transparency.

George Seymour said FCO's meeting should be open for the public and media to attend.

"It's a lot of public money so I'm of the view that it should be open to the public," Cr Seymour said.

"I think there has to be a very good reason not to open it to the public and I can't see such a reason," he said.

Councillors Rolf Light and James Hansen agreed it should be open.

"You're handling public money, it should be open and transparent," Cr Hansen said.

But tourism councillor Stuart Taylor moved to assure residents there was "no information being hidden".

"I don't think it's different to any other organisation," Cr Taylor said.

About $40,000 a week of ratepayers' money is being funnelled into the organisation.

Councillor Trevor McDonald refused to comment.

The public can attend Fraser Coast Regional Council's ordinary meetings.

Topics:  agm annual general meeting fraser coast opportunities fraser coast regional council



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