New Local Govt Minister weighs in on mayor's suspension
HOURS after being sworn in as Queensland's new Local Government Minister, one of Stirling Hinchliffe's first actions was to consider the suspension of Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft.
It means today could be the last day as mayor for Cr Loft, who had until last night to make a submission to the State Government on why he should not be suspended.
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Mr Hinchliffe told the Chronicle yesterday he was being briefed on "relevant matters concerning Cr Loft".
"After a full assessment of the facts, including Cr Loft's submission, I will make a decision as required by the Act," Mr Hinchliffe said.
The Chronicle understands a suspension notice is likely to be issued today or tomorrow.
Former Local Government Minister Mark Furner announced he had issued Cr Loft with the Notice To Suspend last Tuesday afternoon, December 5, after "repeated findings of inappropriate conduct and misconduct".
But a defiant Cr Loft took to Facebook on Sunday asking his supporters to email the State Government with letters of support.
"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."
Cr Loft was contacted for comment, but did not respond before the print deadline.