Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough.  Councillor Darren Everard.
Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough. Councillor Darren Everard. Valerie Horton

Everard set to run for Fraser Coast mayor

FRASER Coast Councillor Darren Everard believes he's the man for the region's top job.

The Division Seven councillor announced yesterday he would run for mayor in the May by-election, called in the wake of Chris Loft's dismissal.

He is the first councillor to put his hand up for the position since it became vacant on February 15.

Speaking to reporters at the council's Hervey Bay chambers Cr Everard said he could "no longer handle the frustration and embarrassment" of the community being made a "laughing stock."

"We have been floundering and failing to reach our potential due to a lack of leadership from the council and community," Cr Everard said.

"The time has come for strong leadership and I am the best person to take on this challenge and responsibility.

"I am proud of my achievements on council over the past six years, but I cannot stand by any more and allow the underwhelming leadership to continue."

Cr Everard caused controversy in 2015 after fabricating four emails and sending them to the Fraser Coast Chronicle.

His conduct was exposed by a Fraser Coast Chronicle investigation.

After Cr Everard referred himself to council's then-CEO Lisa Desmond, he was disciplined for inappropriate conduct by the State Government over a seven-month investigation.

When asked about the tumultuous incident, Cr Everard insisted positive things he had done since then "far outweighed the negatives."

"A few years ago I had an issue, I addressed that issue, and I was judged by the community," he said.

"Since then, I have not stopped working to pay back the community."

Cr Everard said he wanted to focus on attracting industry and business to the Fraser Coast over the next few years.

No other councillors have confirmed whether they will run for the position in the election.

The by-election will be held May 5.