Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting.
Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting. Alistair Brightman

COUNCIL: Hansen apologises for social media comments


AND just like that, the meeting is into confidential.

During general business, councillor James Hansen offered his "sincere apologies" over social media comments he made in October last year.

It follows the OIA upholding a misconduct complaint against him.

EARLIER (10.55AM):

THE development of the Mary to Bay Rail Trail is set to get underway soon.

Councillors voted unanimously to endorse the 169-page feasibility study and proceed to the next stage of a trail development plan.

The project is a shared path that will be used by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders and would link Hervey Bay and Maryborough.

Councillor David Lewis said community feedback showed there was "support for the project" and it could potentially inject $3.2 million into the economy each year by attracting more visitors.

EARLIER (10.45AM):

CHANGES to maps of flood hazard areas have been voted through the council by a unanimous vote.

It means thousands of ratepayers will receive letters advising them of the changes, which include new flood overlay areas ranging from Glenwood to Urangan.

Maps have been released on the council website outlining the changes.

Deputy mayor Darren Everard said the studies were based on projections of a significant Q100 flood event (one that has a one-in-100 chance of occurring any given year).

EARLIER (10.20AM):

A VISIBLY moved councillor Stuart Taylor has opened today's meeting with a condolence motion for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Standing orders were suspended for Cr Taylor to address his fellow councillors and the public gallery.

During his speech, Cr Taylor urged his colleagues to rise free from politics and fear for a condolence for those whose "stories have been cut short".

"Their stories will never be told, they have been stolen," Cr Taylor said.

Kaumatua elder Kiiha Hapeta closed with a traditional prayer.

The prayer marks a departure from the usual opening of council meetings over the past few months.

In today's meeting, councillor James Hansen is expected to apologise after the Office of the Independent Assessor upheld a misconduct complaint against him.

Other votes on the future of the Tinana Sports Reserve, new flood maps and the Mary to Bay Rail Trail will headline today's discussions.