BUILDING A TEAM: Fraser Coast councillors have been asked to unite and take the council forward.
BUILDING A TEAM: Fraser Coast councillors have been asked to unite and take the council forward. Valerie Horton

Crs Loft, Taylor exchange barbs during meeting

LESS than a week after voting to sack his own chief executive Lisa Desmond, Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft has called for unity in the Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Cr Loft made the impassioned plea at Wednesday's council meeting, reading out a statement asking for council to 'work as a united team' following employee feedback from the organisational review.

The details of the review have not been released, but Cr Loft stated it contained "alarming feedback.”

But during general business, Cr Loft directed another statement towards Cr Stuart Taylor that asked him to "put his personal relationship and feelings aside and move forward with councillors.”

"I appreciate that you're close friends with Lisa Desmond, and it's unfortunate in any situation when anyone is terminated from their role,” he said.

"I know that you are using the media to communicate your feelings, but I'm not sure it's in the best interests of the community or those employees who work tirelessly for the council and deserve to be listened to.

"That job will be done best if we work together as a united team, without personal agendas taking over...I'm showing compassion to you.”

Cr Taylor called the statement "inappropriate.”

"I think it's not unexpected that he would make such a comment. These sorts of comments are inappropriate; he's said similar things in briefings, and now he's made a public statement,” he said.

"This statement was egregious, inappropriate and insensitive...the issue of compassion related to the fact she was not afforded any more time to consider her options.

"There's no place for it, no need for it.”

The mayor's comments come just days after a 7-4 council vote to terminate Ms Desmond's contract, which drew criticism from Crs Taylor and Darren Everard.

Deputy mayor George Seymour, who previously voted to keep Ms Desmond in December 2016, said the results of the internal operational report were the reason for his vote to remove her.

The report, commissioned by an external agency, is due to be reviewed by senior and lower management today.

Cr Loft did not divulge details of the report, but said it was "our duty” to filter it down to staff

"We are on a new path...we're heading towards a modern council with a new CEO in due course,” he said.