Loft forgives colleagues in public speech
ADDRESSING a packed public gallery with evangelistic zeal, ousted mayor Chris Loft yesterday pledged to "forgive" those who had wronged him.
But he wasn't backing down from his promise to stand up for whistle blowers and expose the "truth".
In a passionate five-minute speech during yesterday's council meeting, Mr Loft told his former colleagues he forgave "anyone who had plotted, conspired, connived or cheered on" his dismissal by the State Government.
"A politician from William St in Brisbane should have no say in the democracy of the Fraser Coast or any other region," Mr Loft said.
"I'm appealing Mr Hinchliffe's decision not just for me, but to set a precedent that mayors and councillors in this great state should only be chosen by democracy and the communities they serve."
He said he held "no angst or anger" against any councillors and would "not be seeking vengeance" upon his return.
"Good men can be easily led astray by ego, promises of a shiny political career or the almighty dollar, and I do not have the power to judge you.
"While you may have rejoiced when I was dismissed last week and been angry that I will return, I came here today to let you know that I forgive you."
Outside the meeting and in front of Maryborough's Ben Chifley place, Mr Loft compared his speech to the former Labor Prime Minister's Light on the Hill address.
He said Mr Chifley would be "turning over in his grave to know what it going on in his party".
"Politics today is very much about silencing the whistleblowers who uphold integrity, honesty and truth," Mr Loft said.
"Maryborough, Fraser Coast is going to be the light on the hill for democracy in Queensland, watch this space."
Asked if Mr Loft's speech had drawn attention away from council business, acting mayor George Seymour said the council "can't afford to be distracted".
"We're really busy and have a lot of work to do," Cr Seymour said.
"We're focused on the community."
Mr Loft's speech comes less than two days after announcing he would seek a judicial review of his dismissal in the Supreme Court.
Documents filed in Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday reveal Mr Loft considers the decision "devoid of evident or intelligible justification."
The application will be heard next Wednesday.