Mayor Chris Loft during Thursday's council meeting.
Mayor Chris Loft during Thursday's council meeting. Alistair Brightman

Loft admits mayoral minute was 'clumsy, unprofessional'

FRASER Coast mayor Chris Loft has admitted the mayoral minute that attempted to dismiss Chief Executive Officer Lisa Desmond was "clumsy and unprofessional" and could have been handled better.

Cr Loft moved the minute during Thursday's council meeting, seeking to dismiss Ms Desmond and move all discussion about the matter into confidential.

It was lost 7-2, and prompted a strong reaction from his fellow councillors and from Ms Desmond, who cried she was "disgusted with what was happening in this council."

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But Cr Loft remains unfazed by the drama, telling the Chronicle he thought some of the reactions were "a little bit of theatre."

"Some of the (councillor) reactions were a little bit of theatre, dare I say," he said.

"It could have been handled better - there's always a better way to do something...but I do not promise to be a professional politician. I said I'll be an operational mayor."

The mayoral minute was not discussed with councillors or Ms Desmond prior to the meeting, with Cr Loft stating he did not discuss it because "some things need to be decided on before they get leaked."

"There are some current councillors in the mood that they're in, that I would not run these sort of things past. Others, I would," he said.

"That's the way I felt it needed to come. I am tired of playing the political game that some of my fellow councillors are playing.

"I believe their motives are more about the ALP than it is about this community. I think they have political ambitions apart from the Fraser Coast community...(and) are getting a little bit mesmerised by their ALP union mates."

 

Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO - Lisa Desmond.
Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO - Lisa Desmond. Valerie Horton

But Cr Loft stated he was more concerned about the culture of bullying in the Fraser Coast Regional Council, stating the 'toxic culture' identified in the advisor's report "needs to be driven out."

He said he was "disgusted" by his fellow councillor's "lack of attitude" over the issue.

"I am disgusted with their lack of attitude about the bullying we've got on in this council. I am hugely disgusted where they turn their eyes," he said.

"They're more interested in doing some report on dead fish or some exotic tree, or talking about a nature strip, rather than talking about human beings and working in a toxic environment. That's the issue.

"They can mouth off whether they're disappointed and (it's) the worst they've ever seen - the reality is I'm backing the staff here, and I haven't heard them bring up the issue of the bullying that's going on here.



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