FCRC

Two contentious issues


On 27th July 5:00 pm, I emailed the CEO thanking Council for the opportunity to represent the 11,000 plus signatures from across the Fraser Coast and requested a Deputation on the Sports Precinct.

It was hoped that Council would show belief in their own decision making by conducting a poll/referendum on deamalgamation and by doing this; it would have assisted in repairing the damage from the previous dysfunctional council. As you would know trust is something that takes a long time to repair, it can, but will never be the same.

This issue has sustained the distance for a reason – people want transparency and accountability. It is not up to 11 people to decide the future direction of everyone’s lives; it is up to them to fully inform the 104,764 current community members, listen to them and then vote on their behalf.

People desire a referendum so Council can demonstrate they are listening.

To date wasteful council expenditure would far out way any costs to deamalgamate. It is my belief that before any further expensive reports are ordered, community consultation must take place to ensure that rate payers money is not squandered on unnecessary marketing, brochures etc on projects that are lacking community support.

Having witnessed several Councillors vote time and time again as divisional Councillors when the CEO has pointed out at a meeting, they are regional Councillors. No wonder the people ask questions and are pretty unhappy.

If population forecasts tell us by 2036 we will have 146,461 people living on the Fraser Coast, makes me think of future planning. i.e. Do we need more now? If the Council remains amalgamated will we require additional regional Councillors? Should we have full-time Councillors? (Stats are doctored all the time in favour of pushing things through, how accurate is this really? Isn’t a regional Councillor a full-time Councillor??)

Further to this, the petition also includes a request for Council to conduct a poll/referendum on the highly controversial sports precinct and requested for several community members to address council at Ordinary Meeting No. 11 on 16th August in Hervey Bay with a Deputation on the Fraser Coast Sports Precinct.
With a State Election happening we have missed the opportunity to have both these contentious issues placed on the ballot paper – reducing costs significantly as opposed to conducting separately.

There should also be included a current poll/referendum on the maximum height / number of storeys in Hervey Bay and on the Hervey Bay Foreshore. Do 20 storey developments also apply to Maryborough and on the Mary River? Does it also apply to any regional locality i.e. Maaroom, Dundowran Beach, River Heads, K’Gari (Fraser Island) etc? More importantly does the significance of the town plan mean anything when it can be changed at whim to accommodate a development application, especially without proper community consultation? And does the minimum 35 metre distance mean nothing at the end of the day? More to be discussed on this in separate post.

The CEO discussed the deputation request with the Mayor and he decided (in accordance with Standing order 16.2) not to allow the deputation on the Sports Precinct.

The reasoning for his decision is as follows:
1. The Council has considered the development of the Sports Precinct on numerous occasions already and has resolved to proceed with the development
2. The Council is now contractually committed to the development of the Sports Precinct

While the Mayor did not provide his consent to the proposed deputation, the CEO would be pleased to receive my correspondence on the matter.

I was gobsmacked so on the 2nd August I emailed the Mayor:

Good Afternoon Chris,

Is the below true?

a) Are you not allowing the Deputation on the Sports Precinct to give the people a say?

The reasoning for the decision is as follows:

1. The Council has considered the development of the Sports Precinct on numerous occasions already and has resolved to proceed with the development.

2. The Council is now contractually committed to the development of the Sports Precinct.

After running your election campaign based pretty much solely on the fact you would do everything possible for the people to stop the sports precinct. I cannot believe you would take away the opportunity from community to have a say, which they are entitled to.

The Sports Precinct could be stopped at any stage with a vote. A new Council could potentially vote to block it for a four-year period or longer. Or possibly sooner if we go to a state election and /or bi-election.

The full amount has not been allocated or even voted on. There is at a minimum $30 – $40 million more required to complete the project plus ongoing maintenance costs that are not accounted for, not voted on, not in a business plan, not contractually committed or even in a budget.

b) Would you please explain how council is contractually committed?
The council is only contractually committed to preliminary earthworks which would certainly compliment a hemp farm. Did you know a hemp processing plant is only $3 million, far more cost effective and beneficial for the entire community? #boosteconomy #supportfarmers #jobs #jobs and more #jobs

Out of respect for the signatories it is important I continue to represent them and upon receipt of your response I will be issuing a media release on this prolonged public dispute.

c) Please explain a deputation on deamalgamation that has been contractually committed too since 2008; is approved but not the Sports Precinct?

Your urgent attention to this would be appreciated. This issue is very clearly not supported by the community and it is not too late to put a stop to it and the people deserve a say/referendum – once and for all to give an exact measurement of any support; either for or against before any further monies are spent/committed to this project.

No response so on the 14th August I forwarded the following:
Chris would you respond to my email dated 2nd August this instant please?

No response so on the 29th August I sent a further email:
Chris I will be needing a response for this today as I will be issuing a media release within 24 hours.

On 31st I received a response:
Sorry I am not in a position to answer this today.
There is lots going on in establishing the new way forward for our region.
Thanks
Chris

So there you go folks, #no consultation, #no deputation, #no sound reasoning and #no community representation.

#fcrc #sportsprecinct #deamalgamation #referendum #storeys #politicalnews

Long term inaction and cover-ups

PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE – A MUST READ

Many documents were tabled in Qld Parliament today by Member of Parliament Rob Pyne – not only putting Cairns FIRST; also putting every other region First. Representing all Queenslanders.

The only politician standing up for transparency and integrity.

Here is one of the many tabled documents to give you an idea on why an Independent Commission Against Corruption should immediately be established. Fraser Coast Regional Council is not the only Council in Queensland that needs investigating.

“The Department of Local Government and the Crime and Conduct Commission (CCC) have exacerbated the situation by their long term inaction and cover-ups which has left the staff and community at unacceptable risk physically, financially and emotionally.” Anonymous

Gutchy creek bridge replacement

Too much spending is never enough on some projects

It was a close call at Gundiah, north-east of Gympie, where two-thirds of the town came within inches of being inundated back in March 2012. Gundiah received about 500 millimetres of rain that week, causing flash flooding in the Gutchy Creek, which flows into the Mary River. Luckily, no homes were flooded, but both Gundiah Community Place and the Gundiah Community Hall were inundated by the surge of water from Gutchy Creek reported as the Highest Flood in 100 Years.

Moving forward to December 2014, I spent some time speaking to locals, surveying the beautiful landscape, dreaming of better times for this regional locality and knowing I could help this community. In January 2015, I reported “Gundiah folk are very concerned about the single bridge on the main road. This is the access point to the school for their children and needs a safe walkway for them. Kids have created a bike track themselves but still have the safety issue of crossing the bridge. Would also like a park, skate park or something for the kids. There is only one bus stop and Gundiah residents would like a bus on the opposite side of the road for the kids. They loved my idea of the light rail and can’t see why a train in the meantime doesn’t stop at least once a week.”

At every opportunity, I raised this creating awareness and requesting action be taken to make a safe travel path for children to get to school.

One year later in January 2016 the then Acting Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure & Regional Development and Federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss joined the then Fraser Coast Regional Councillor Phil Truscott to announce a new $2.3 million bridge would be built to replace the one lane bridge.

Mr Truss said the old bridge would be replaced with a two-lane, 40 tonne limit concrete bridge and would be 28 metres long with a pedestrian lane. The project was jointly funded with the Australian Government contributing $1.144 million, with the Fraser Coast Regional Council matching the cost under Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Programme.

On Tuesday 18th July 2017 I returned to see what the outcome of this big spend was. On approach, I was grateful for improving the safety of students, saving heavy vehicles a 78km detour at a cost of $1,200 per load and improving access and response times for emergency services by removing a 35 km detour; which back in 2015 I highly prioritised. When I actually took a closer look, my gratitude was quickly replaced with astonishment that this project was not complete. A great deal of work needs to be done to ensure the water flow is not hindered by its poor design and construction. Stones and rocks are filling the drain pipes and breaking the road surface. The embankments need widening to allow water to run away without washing all the support framework away with it.

Why does it look this way today? Because of not consulting the people who understand local flooding. I’m no expert in building bridges but I listen to the locals and completely understand what they are saying and local, state and federal governments must listen too. How much more money is it going to take to get this sorted properly and I wonder what time frame?

I have added an images of Emerys Bridge to show how a bridge that is 3 times bigger, cost $860.000 to replace back in 1998 which would cost $1,286,578.08 today. How does a bridge a third of the size cost $2.4 million? Value for money is thrown out the window, when governments fail to time the construction of infrastructure to make sure they’re not inflating the prices of labour, materials and equipment.


#wastefulspend #buildingbridges #politicalnews #gundiah

Region ripe for the new-age industry

Click here to see Fraser Coast Chronicle article

#million$crop #trillion$industry #FARMacyNOTpharmacy #politicalnews

Councillors ignore community by voting 6/5

SPORTS PRECINCT UPDATE

 

I am not shocked but I am extremely disappointed in the decision by Fraser Coast Regional Council? today; voting 6/5 on #7million dollars without a business case.

Councillors who are allowing this to continue:

Councillor Paul Truscott – Division 3
Councillor Daniel Sanderson? (President – Football Maryborough) – Division 4
Councillor David Lewis? – Division 6
Councillor Darren Everard? – Division 7
Councillor Stuart Taylor? (President – Executive Members of Council, Wide Bay Football & Kawungan Sandy Straits Jets FC) – Division 9
Councillor George Seymour? – Division 10

This makes me angry to think an out of towner has the contract. What about local spend Councillors?

These Councillors just don’t get it! Maybe they should consider resigning, they certainly are not listening to the community they are meant to be representing IMHOATT.

The difference between the two voting pacts; one is community up, the other is government down. Pretty obvious to me.

The estimate of the project will now be over #55million dollars. I believe it will be at least double that.

There is still NO Federal funding
There is still NO State funding
ALL ratepayers money 🙁

Do you think it wise spending of rate payer money Councillors when it only gets us this?
* Bulk earthworks
* Fence around it all
* Northern Road 250 car parks
* Water reticulation, electric and lighting facilities

There are NO:
* soccer fields
* netball courts
* change rooms
* toilets
* canteens

Nothing in the budget for maintenance going forward.

Think my first live discussion will need to include this as one of the topics. Too many questions unanswered. It is my opinion that there is far more to this considering the Councillors still pursuing after a great deal of opposition from the community across the entire Fraser Coast.This is a very poor decision, using very poor judgement.

Click here to read and sign the petition

#NO2sportsprecinct
#politicalnews
#icac

Public Interest Disclosure is no leaking matter

MEDIA RELEASE

This was sent to media outlets on Wednesday 28th May 2017 in relation to the Fraser Coast Chronicle article which has since been removed.

If you have information about wrongdoing in the public sector, it is in the interests of all Queenslanders that this information is disclosed to someone with the power and ability to act.
Disclosures by members of the public and public sector employees help uncover corruption, misuse of public resources and poor administration. Reporting wrongdoing allows the matter to be investigated and action taken. This helps stop corruption, misuse of resources or wrongdoing and helps public sector agencies prevent it from reoccurring.
The Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Act 2010 encourages people to make public interest disclosures and provides protections to those who do. In simple terms, this is a form of whistle-blower protection.

Maybe the Councillors need to read the Regulations of the Local Government (LG) Act, CCC Act and PID Act. If people were acting appropriately there would be no need to have an Act where decency and honesty are made compulsory in elected and organisational leadership and we certainly would not be having these types of issues and reports full stop. Evidently this shows there are major failings within both local and state governments. Further to this, the many complaints within the Fraser Coast Regional Council, both elected and management, shows they are worthy of an ‘F’ on their score sheet in my opinion.

The CPEM Report highlighted the problem did not start or end with the CEO, it was justifiably chastising of the councillors and executive and management team.
Do the councillors’ comments published in the Chronicle warrant a formal complaint to the CCC for breach of the PID Act? Did they not see this document is clearly marked PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE (PID) stamped in red on every page? I cannot see how they could have missed it.

Under the PID Act a relevant person can make a PID to a Member of Parliament and a Member of Parliament can do certain things with that information including, but not limited to, tabling it in parliament.

Did the Councillors attacking Rob Pyne ‘the messenger’ and making reference to a ‘leak’ know it is an offence under the PID Act? The assumptions of these councillors are offensive to the truth and demonstrates that some councillors are not able to operate with integrity and transparency in the public interest. Councillors should not be questioning motive or origins of this CPEM report in the form of a PID. Council should have already published it. The report tabled in Parliament is the subject of a council resolution that stated the report, as redacted, be released to the public. It is understood that Council got caught up in their redaction process however the redactions in the tabled document are more than adequate. The councillors’ comments not only contradict the intent of their own resolution; it seems they may have breached the PID Act as well.

Is this action by disgruntled counsellors reasonable under the circumstances? Is it an example of how well council is working following the CPEM’s report, findings and recommendations which are costing rate payers exponentially? The public are entitled to have access to this report and counsellors trying to bury it should be embarrassed and ashamed.
Why did it take an MP out of our region when we have four that have not had the courage nor conviction to right the wrong? Where was / is Keith Pitt LNP Member for Hinkler? Where was / is Bruce Saunders LAB Member for Maryborough? Where was / is Llew O’Brien Member for Wide Bay? Where was / is Ted Sorensen Member for Hervey Bay? All I can say is thank God for Rob Pyne. Why are our local MP’s not standing up for the staff at Fraser Coast Regional Council?

While the findings reinforce a State Government report handed down in 2016, they go further to identify “councillor behaviour of in-fighting, political game playing” and “significant risk around psychological safety across the organisation” and many other issues. The first step to recovery is to admit there is a problem and some councillors are yet to cross that bridge and work together towards real solutions to the organisations problems. These problems are not in dispute.

All of Council (the whole entity of elected and management) needs to be united with strength which involves seeing this mess thoroughly understood and working through the necessary changes which will be a blend of staff and systems. Managers must begin to act as any employee should and stop behaving like they are Directors of a Company, and thinking they know what the community needs and wants when in fact their view of the world is not rooted in reality at all. They are not operating with a foundation of reality and they do not know what is needed or wanted. They are representatives of the people. The rate payers are the boss. Rate payers pay the salaries and all the perks of the job. I certainly am not paying for this shameful conduct to continue. Are you? What values are we teaching our children if we let this continue?

The Crime and Conduct Commission (CCC) Amendment Act says that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) must now do a full report and state clearly all reasons a complaint was NOT referred to the CCC. It seems that there are plenty of reports here that should have been sent to the CCC.

Anyone who has followed Rob Pyne’s actions and agitation on local government would appreciate that he has a strong calling for an ICAC style inquiry into local government. Such an inquiry could deal with the thousands of local government complaints that ‘go missing’ in the current complaint system.

I join Rob Pyne in calling for an ICAC style inquiry into the Queensland Local Government. Who else believes it obligatory?

Fraser Coast Regional Council need to get on and do the job they are paid to do and stop the harm! This whole situation may give weight to the increasing call for deamalgamation.
I have taken this paragraph out because it is not correct, nor relevant to the CPEM report. The CPEM report is not a “complaint” and does not have to be reported publicly. Except council passed a resolution to do so and that has been delayed which has probably lead to the PID being sent to Rob Pyne.

 

 

#toxicculture  #icac  #transparency  #politicalnews

Rob Pyne responds to FCRC

ICAC style inquiry needed

Last year Rob Pyne called for an inquiry into local government in Queensland, stating that bullying, nepotism and toxic working environments are common. For more than a year he has been tabling examples of these matters and it is most disappointing that it has taken this long to legislate for change. Councils could be employers of choice—model employers. Mr Pyne reliably informed the House that Queensland councils are in many cases toxic workplaces that have damaged, and will continue to damage, people.

I stand with Rob Pyne in calling for a ICAC style inquiry into Local Government so that this harm and the many other offensive actions of Councils will be stopped.

Rob Pyne 

#toxicculture #icac #politicalnews

Residents taking concerns to MPs

Community consultation with Maryborough residents

Maryborough residents held a community meeting on Sunday hosted by Fraser District Community Voice (FDCV) and discussed a range of issues. Councillor James Hansen must be congratulated for attending and providing helpful and trusted information.

The contentious sports precinct and deamalgamation from the Fraser Coast Regional Council were the hot topics for the afternoon. 7 News Wide Bay, WIN News and the Fraser Coast Chronicle arrived before the meeting and remained until they interviewed several people after the meeting had closed.

During the meeting a resolution for several delegates to meet with Members of Parliament Ted Sorensen and Bruce Saunders to discuss the concerns and legislation surrounding deamalgamation.

Both 7 and WIN ran stories on their respective news broadcasts on Monday evening. Click here to view 7 News coverage

#deamalgamation  #NO2sportsprecinct  #politicalnews

FCRC to conduct 2 polls

PETITION

If you are not one of the 9% who only care if your water runs, toilet flushes and the lights come on and you wish to be heard on these 2 contentious issues; please sign, like  and share. 

Fraser Coast Regional Council conduct 2 polls to gauge exactly what the community wants:

1.  Referendum to put in abeyance the development of the Hervey Bay sports precinct and stop all further development of the above until the people have had their say.
2.  Referendum on the separation of the Maryborough Region (Tiaro, Woocoo shires) from Hervey Bay.

Click on image or here for petition

Hard copies can be download here, distributed and printed for those that do not have internet access. FCRC Poll Petition__hardcopy_24_05_17

 

FCRC Organisational Review tabled in Parliament

The document we have all been waiting for has finally been released.

Thank you to Rob Pyne: Putting Cairns First for tabling the Fraser Coast Regional Council‘s Organisational Review and Development Plan today in Qld Parliament.

The CPEM report was behind the decision to vote for the dismissal of CEO Lisa Desmond, which was carried 7 / 4 at a confidential council meeting on April 6.

Recommendations Review Feedback to the Organisation – pages 93 and 94

1. There needs to be a public thank-you from the Mayor for their commitment to improve the organisation.

2. A feedback document should be created that summarises all findings for all staff.

Councillors

3. Elected members (Mayor and Councillors) need to undergo significant training and development focused on appropriate Councillor behaviour.

This includes but is not limited to:

i. Understanding the strategic and governance role of Councillors acting as if they were a board

ii. Councillor behaviour when dealing with operational staff such that inappropriate micromanaging behaviour ceases from Councillors and allows the operational and management staff to perform their duties without inappropriate interference

iii. Councillor behaviour when dealing externally with community and/or media to ensure appropriate perception and reputation management of the organisation

4. The relationship between the Mayor, other elected members, and the CEO must be significantly addressed to minimise the current state of trauma and embarrassment within the organisation.

This should include:

i. Agreed delegated authority confirmed by Councillors as a group

ii. Agreed protocols for information sharing, communication and decision making

iii. Agreed and transparent accountability around professional conduct of both the Mayor/Councillors and CEO

CEO

5. The CEO needs to rebalance (redacted)– focus on leadership (strategy, culture and people) and management (task and function) so (redacted) significantly increase leadership behaviours and delegates typical management tasks and behaviours.

6. The CEO needs to move from a directive autocratic style of decision making towards a more consultative style of decision making thus demonstrating respect for internal expertise.

7. The CEO needs to develop a set of delegated authorities that will significantly limit. ed to get involved in day-to-day operational issues.

8. The CEO would benefit from setting up a series of clear observable and measurable KPls for senior and key staff which will obviate (redacted) to become involved in numerous meetings, conversation and decisions.

9. The CEO needs to actively increase the leadership capability of (redacted) Executive Management Team. This should include but not be limited to; i. Developing contemporary leadership competencies and behaviours ii. Developing a dynamic and interdependent leadership team

10. The CEO needs to significantly improve the clarity, transparency, and reasoning behind decisions being made.

11. The CEO needs to actively support, encourage, and drive a values based, high performance, customer centric culture that has zero tolerance for bullying, harassment, favouritism or other behaviours that reflect poorly on the integrity of the organisation.

Click here for undated, titled ‘Fraser Coast Regional Council – Organisational Review and Development Plan’ (redacted)

#transparency  #goodgovernance  #politicalnews