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Mayor Chris Loft apologises, explains his reasoning

A FORCED public apology wasn't nearly as controversial as the accompanying speech made by Fraser Coast Mayor Chris Loft in yesterday's council meeting.

Left with no choice but to admit the faults which led to a second misconduct complaint being upheld against him, Mr Loft apologised for "overstepping" his position and requesting information from a staff member about how community money was spent on a community event.

The apology came two minutes into the impassioned speech and was prefaced by Cr Loft welcoming the ongoing Crime and Corruption Commission investigation.

He also said he was "deeply disappointed and disheartened" by complaints process to date.

"In my opinion the process lacked honesty, transparency and integrity and allowed anonymous complaints to be made without evidence, facts or proof," Cr Loft said.

Fraser Coast Regional Council - Mayor Chris Loft..
Fraser Coast Regional Council - Mayor Chris Loft.. Alistair Brightman

Cr Loft was reprimanded for three instances of inappropriate conduct within a year by an independent Regional Conduct Review Panel.

He apologised again yesterday for reporting two of his fellow councillors for a conflict of interest in their votes on the Sports Precinct.

He followed his apology by vowing to continue speaking up to perceived conflicts of interest

"I believed I was doing the right thing by the community," Cr Loft said.

"Whilst I accept this was not proper conduct and will ensure I follow correct protocol in future, I will also speak up when I see what I believe to be a conflict of interest to ensure the community can feel confident in the voting procedure of our council."

Cr Loft also took aim at Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders who he accused of "harassment".

Mr Saunders said it was time the mayor "took responsibility for his own actions instead of blaming others."

He then ended his speech with this - As the saying goes - "You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. Let me assure the chamber, the media and the community that our omelette is well on the way to being cooked and the time for breaking eggs is behind us."

Topics:  chris loft fccouncil fccouncilmeet


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