Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor, Chris Loft.
Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor, Chris Loft. Valerie Horton

Mayor Loft turns to social media as suspension notice looms

FRASER Coast Mayor Chris Loft has taken to social media looking for support as he faces an imminent suspension notice.

The embattled mayor has called for his supporters to contact Local Government Minister Mark Furner with letters of support on his official page.

In the post, published on Sunday, Cr Loft said he was seeking "a little help... as part of my submission to the minister for not being suspended."

It follows Mr Furner's announcement last Tuesday that he would issue Cr Loft with the suspension notice after "repeated findings of inappropriate conduct and misconduct during (Cr Loft's) tenure as Mayor".

The Chronicle understands Mr Furner is likely to issue the notice to suspend Cr Loft on Tuesday evening.

"I would like the minister to actually come visit the community and speak with the staff and real people in the area before making his decision," Cr Loft said in the post.

"I truly believe despite a somewhat bumpy ride, I have been able to deliver great results for the community at large and we are heading in the right direction."

Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO Ken Diehm said the suspension notice and the mayor's post were "a matter for the mayor and the minister".

"It would be inappropriate to make any statement in relation to this matter," Mr Diehm said.

If Cr Loft is suspended, deputy mayor George Seymour will become acting mayor.

But the Fraser Coast could go back to the polls for a by-election if the mayor either resigns or is sacked.

Ken Diehm responds to Loft suspension notice: Speaking to media after yesterday’s council meeting, Mr Diehm said Cr Loft would fight the impending dismissal from the State Government.
Ken Diehm responds to Loft suspension notice: Speaking to media after yesterday’s council meeting, Mr Diehm said Cr Loft would fight the impending dismissal from the State Government.

It has been a difficult few weeks for Cr Loft who is less than two years into his term.

On November 30, he was arrested and charged after a five-month long Crime and Corruption Commission investigation.

Cr Loft has been charged with two counts of misconduct, disclosure of official secrets, wilfully disclosing information and computer hacking and misuse by the CCC

Cr Loft's lawyer has said the mayor plans to fight the charges.

He is due to face Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on January 18, 2018.

The Fraser Coast Regional Council also faces a multi-million dollar lawsuit from ex-CEO Lisa Desmond, who has lodged defamation proceedings in Brisbane's Supreme Court against the council, the mayor and 10 councillors.