Mayor’s complaint about councillor conflict dismissed

THE state government has dismissed Chris Loft's claim that councillors Stuart Taylor and Daniel Sanderson have a conflict of interest in the Fraser Coast sports precinct.

In Hervey Bay on May 25 the new Loft council debated the Fraser Coast sports precinct for the first time.

Ahead of the debate Cr Loft said Crs Sanderson and Taylor could not vote on the sports precinct due to their positions as respective presidents of Football Maryborough and Football Wide Bay.

Cr Loft said he would make a complaint to the Department of Local Government.

After a short investigation the department found Cr Loft's complaint to be unsubstantiated.

Cr Taylor said he was not surprised the outcome of the investigation was in his favour.

"That was always my understanding after seeking advice from the department prior to that ordinary meeting," he said.

"The department told me there was no issue with me voting on the matter."

Following the meeting in May Cr Taylor described Cr Loft's complaint as "tacky" and showing "poor leadership".

Cr Taylor was more reserved this week when asked about the complaint.

"It's disappointing it became so public - I just want to do my job - continue voting on important matters like the sport precinct," he said.

"The assumption I have this conflict of interest has proven unsubstantiated."

Maryborough councillor Daniel Sanderson was predictably "grateful and happy with this outcome".

"It is very positive news that this complaint has been returned unsubstantiated," he said.

"Before making the decision (to vote on the precinct), I made sure to check with the Department Of Local Government who said it was fine to proceed." 

Cr Loft did not respond to the Chronicle's request for comment.