The Logan City Council building in Logan Central.
The Logan City Council building in Logan Central.

Councillor admits: They have to sack us

ONE of Logan's four remaining councillors agrees with the state's Local Government Minister that has no choice but to sack the council, leaving him without a job.

Darren Power, who was first elected to council 22 years ago, has also taken aim at the slipping quality of councillor candidates.

Cr Power and remaining councillors Laurie Koranski, Jon Raven and Lisa Bradley assisted corruption authorities in their probe into Logan that saw seven councillors and the suspended mayor charged with fraud on Friday.

The fraud charges centre on a decision by the seven councillors to sack the council's whistleblower chief executive Sharon Kelsey in February 2018.

Ms Kelsey's sacking came after she reported corruption suspicions to the Crime and Corruption Commission against Smith.

Lisa Bradley Div 1, Darren Power Div 10, Jon Raven Div 5, Laurie Koranski Div 4. They are the four remaining Logan councillors that are expected to be sacked. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner
Lisa Bradley Div 1, Darren Power Div 10, Jon Raven Div 5, Laurie Koranski Div 4. They are the four remaining Logan councillors that are expected to be sacked. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner


While the four remaining councillors voted against Ms Kesley's sacking, they too face the sack as early as today if the council is dismissed and an administrator appointed.

Cr Power said the dismissal "has to happen" and Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe was had no other choice.

He said the ratepayers should not be expected to continue to pay councillors on suspension over the criminal charges.

"If you look at what's happened we've sort of gone past Ipswich in the circumstances in the sheer number of councillors (charged)," Cr Power said.

"Realistically the Minister has to sack us, he has no other course," he said.

He said he will run in the 2020 council elections and has not ruled out a tilt at the mayoralty.

Cr Power has also called for better qualified candidates to step up.

"One thing that does stand out to me is that the standard of the councillors has dropped dramatically over the last 22 years," he said.

"We need better qualified people to come into the job because it is so hard as far as legislative requirements.

"The situation is not getting easier. You just can't come off the street and be a councillor anymore."

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe says the four councillors will be offered spots on a new committee appointed to help run it until the March 2020 elections. Picture: AAP/ Ric Frearson
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe says the four councillors will be offered spots on a new committee appointed to help run it until the March 2020 elections. Picture: AAP/ Ric Frearson


The four Logan councillors will be offered spots on a new committee appointed to help run it until the March 2020 elections.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has today moved to dismiss the council after its mayor and eight other councillors were suspended leaving just four remaining, not enough to legally hold meetings.

He has appointed former director-general Tamara O'Shea to act as the interim administrator from today to take over the running of the council.

"In the coming weeks, I'll be appointing an Interim Management Committee, just as I did for Ipswich City Council to assist the interim administrator there to perform his responsibilities," he said.

"It's my intention to offer the four non-suspended councillors - Lisa Bradley, Darren Power, Jon Raven and Laurie Koranski - appointments to this Committee."

Cr Raven said he accepts the Minister's decision and does not regret his decision to stand by Ms Kelsey before and after she was sacked by the suspended seven.

"My experience in life has led me to the point where I know doing the right thing has a price sometimes and I was happy to pay it," he said.

"I learned that in business. You turn down jobs that are offered if you pay a kickback and you turn down jobs that are offered if you think they expect something that is not in the quote.

"The Minister didn't have much choice," he said of the council's pending dismissal.

"We only have four councillors and there are decisions that have to be made and can't be made at the moment so I understand where he is coming from and why he had to do it and I accept it."

The first-term councillor said he had implored the seven councillors before and during the council meeting at which Ms Kelsey was sacked not to terminate her employment.

"They had locked themselves in and were not even telling us why they were making the decision. So we had no idea what was going on. Deafening silence."

Lisa Bradley also accepts the Minister had no choice but to axe the council.

"The writing was on the wall once the councillors were charged last week and really at the end of the day it's the best thing for the community," she said.

"They were livid that two (suspended) councillors were still being paid before all this.

"The community deserve better. This now means we are going to have a fresh start.

"The other thing is that you can't function (as a) council with only four councillors.

"There is no quorum there."

However, she said she felt vindicated as a whistleblower that the CCC had laid charges over Ms Kelsey's decision.