One Nation leader calls for by-election to be cancelled
ONE Nation's Queensland leader Steve Dickson has called on Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to put off the Fraser Coast's mayoral by-election until ex-mayor Chris Loft's appeal has concluded.
It comes less than a week before nominations for the by-election close.
Mr Loft will appeal his sacking in the Supreme Court next Tuesday, the same day nominations for the by-election close.
In a video posted to his Facebook page, Mr Dickson says Mr Loft was fired by Mr Hinchliffe and the State Government for "reasons nobody's too sure about."
"I know the people of the local area up there very much like their local mayor," Mr Dickson says.
"What really concerns me is the Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe (sic) and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk are calling for nominations for the position of mayor of the Fraser Coast.
"If this court case is successful and councillor Loft is exonerated, he should be replaced immediately back into that position of mayor."
The Electoral Commission of Queensland set a date of May 5 for the region's by-election.
A spokeswoman from the ECQ said it was an issue for the State Government.
But a spokesman from the Department of Local Government, Infrastructure and Planning declined to comment as the matter was before the courts.
Mr Dickson told the Chronicle he believed it was up to the State Government to direct the ECQ to put off the by-election.
He said he was a "great believer in democracy" and "common sense should always prevail in government."
"Seriously, why not wait for the matter to be concluded?" Mr Dickson said.
"If it's a decision in his favour, how could anybody consciously move forward, destroying a man's career and taking away a representative of the region?
"If the State Government gets it wrong, they won't ever forget burning that $390,000 spent on the by-election, because I won't let them."
Mr Dickson defected to One Nation from the LNP last year.
He lost the seat of Buderim in the State Election on November 25.
The Fraser Coast will go back to the polls to decide who will be their new mayor on May 5.