How the minister plans to help fix dysfunction in council
NEW minister for local government Mark Furner may only have been in the job for four weeks, but there were no fireworks in his first meeting with the Fraser Coast Regional Council.
It's a completely different tune to his predecessor Jackie Trad, who threatened to sack the council as she handed down the advisor's report in November last year.
Mr Furner met with councillors on Wednesday to discuss initiatives of moving forward, stating council would initiate a process of "training their staff, inside and out" as the first step of fixing the reports of dysfunction that have plagued the organisation.
"Today, the mayor demonstrated his transparency and provided me a copy of the (CPEM) report from council. I'm keen to have a read of it and see if there's any issues with it," he said.
"The council has indicated they're going to start on a process of training their staff...that's a positive step of fixing some of those problems."
The operational review of council, commissioned by consulting group CPEM, allegedly details issues of " micromanagement, overworking, disrespect and harassment inside the Fraser Coast Regional Council."
But he dismissed the idea the situation within the Fraser Coast was 'unique'.
"Like most families there will be times where people have matters of concerns, and times where they don't," Mr Furner said.
Mr Furner said the State Government was continuing to monitor the situation with the council, and he would be working to examine what the particular issues are in the region.
"We're currently working through a process of of consultation with the Local Government Association of Queensland...(and) we'll make considerations by cabinet to decide the next step forward," he said.
The advisor's report into the council, handed down by deputy premier Jackie Trad last year, found "severe tensions within council's executive management team," and a "high level of distrust between councillors.
Mr Furner also took the time to address the council on the use of the $12.5 million Works for Queensland program, stating over 40 projects across the Fraser Coast had been earmarked for development.
Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft described the meeting as "positive", and said some of the projects could be expected to roll out as soon as November this year, pending council approval.