Fraser Island

Fracking pledge

Fraser Coast is famous for it’s amazing beaches, K’Gari (Fraser Island), pristine waterways, farmlands and cultural heritage.

Wide areas surrounding the largest sand island in the world Island is right here at our doorstep and we are at risk from unconventional gasfield exploration licenses and the Colton coal mine.

We need to stop gasfields and the Colton coal mine risking our land and water before it’s too late!

Our region is a valuable food bowl and is an internationally significant environment worth protecting.

#water4life #fishingNOTfracking #NOfrackingway

#doNOTfrackFraserCoast   #farmingNOTfracking

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

Mayor Loft should be supported for exposing systemic corruption

glt-press-release-logo

Glenn Lazarus Team candidate for the Federal seat of Wide Bay and Advocate for the Fraser Coast region, Jannean Dean, today called for the community to get behind Mayor Chris Loft and other Councillors in their push to have allegations of corruption involving previous Councils investigated by the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CCC).

“It appears there are quite a few people keen to deflect the truth, agitate and steer the community away from having the facts disclosed,” Ms Dean said today.

“It takes great courage and integrity to walk through the front doors of the CCC and our Mayor has done just that.”

“Chris Loft has followed through with his election commitment to expose the ‘goings on’ of previous Fraser Coast Regional Councils.”

“It is of the utmost importance that we understand how things operate and I believe it is in our best interests to stop targeting the process and Councillors.”

“Unfortunately some people have been misguided and there is a great deal of misleading information being circulated.”

“Given this, it is imperative that we all support the Mayor and our current Councillors in their attempt to get to the bottom of things.”

“I have grave concerns that if the agitators get their way, the truth will never see the light of day.”

“Further to this, if we don’t stand united behind the Councillors we elected, our region will be destroyed and you know it will be us that have to foot the bill.”

“Too much has been covered up for too long. Questionable dealings and mirky arrangements have plagued our region for too long.”

“Mayor Chris Loft is determined to shed light on past practices and to hold people to account however he is facing a lot of pressure and push back from different parties.”

“It takes strength to do this knowing he will be targeted. The work on the investigation by the Mayor has taken hours and hours of research to uncover serious systematic anomalies.”

“I am extremely disappointed in the Queensland State Government.  It appears they have done nothing to assist the Mayor and this has given him no choice but to bring the matter to everyone’s attention.”

“I understand the Member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders has not yet met with the Mayor and nor has he attended the Council offices in Hervey Bay.  I am advised however that a meeting has been scheduled for 28 September so it is the hope of the community that Mr Saunders gives our Council a decent hearing.”

“I am also led to believe that the Fraser Coast Regional Council (Council) has not supported the Mayor and nor has it provided staff to assist him in work needed to research serious issues of corruption.”

“This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.  If the Council has nothing to hide then it should be supporting our Mayor to undertake his work in cleaning up the region.”

“I also urge everyone to exercise calm, stop, listen and be informed properly.  Let the process continue and we must also exercise patience as this will all take time.”

“I encourage anyone with any information that may assist with the Mayor’s investigations to contact either myself or the Mayor.”

Cabinet Ministers Meeting

On Sunday Jeanette Maynes and I traveled to Bundaberg to meet with Qld State Government Officials to voice our concerns, start conversations and offer ideas and solutions.

We were warmly welcomed by Mayor of Bundaberg Mal Forman and to my delight the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was keen to speak with me on many matters.

Annastacia Palaszczuk_Jannean Dean_18_10_15

I spoke with 17 Government Officials on a range of matters and look forward to continuing the conversations.

I spoke to The Premier several times during the afternoon on Medical Cannabis, Hemp Industry, Job Creation, Supporting Farmers, Boosting our Economy and Innovation, Domestic Violence. Annastacia received all the literature and evidence and advised she would read it on the plane tomorrow and be in touch.

Jon Black, Director-General – Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and Chris Hill, Director – DEHP joined Jeanette Maynes and I for clarification on the Maryborough Original Township Site and any future development protocols. Jon Black made a call to seek confirmation and further information. We discussed our perspective of this magnificent site and what we believe is a better approach and under no circumstances should this site have an ‘iconic development’ built there. They listened intently to our argument for this and were keen to learn more.
We also mentioned the current application for Pialba Memorial Hall and the Cenotaph, which will be heard in the near future. Freedom Park and the Railway Station were also discussed. We will discuss this again.

Jeanette Maynes champions for the protection of our foreshore by speaking with Steven Miles MP for Environment. Rodney Dudgeon also standing strong on the correct and proper decisions that should be made. Great advocates for environmental awareness.

Qld Treasurer – Mr Curtis Pitt MP made time to discuss the Indigenous Employment and Training Programme, Col Bowman and I have been working on for some time. Joining us was Manny Hegarty, Regional Director CQ – Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and several other people. They loved it and are going to advise how to make this happen. I stressed that 90% Indigenous unemployed on the Fraser Coast was a fail and not good enough, especially since something like this which is 100% Federally funded is not already running is poor. We also discussed how this would improve relations and acknowledging the Traditional Owners we move forward. Keeping Indigenous Bush Medicine and Culture and valuing it is something we should all want to do.
I am thrilled they agreed and Manny will be working out the best way to make this happen and soon. Fingers crossed.
They also advised to speak with another DG Megan Houghton regarding the Fraser Island (K’Gari) Tourism and Dingo Management Policy. Megan is from Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games.
Megan and I discussed some of the points from the document to highlight why it needs to be seriously changed. She agreed and accepted, advising she would circulate to all the relevant Departments for consideration as it takes into account environment, tourism, small business, education, medical etc. We will have further discussions.

Linda from the Community Cabinet Ministers Office will personally deliver the De-amalgamation Public Address from Cliff Hammer to Hon Jacklyn (Jackie) Trad, Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade. This will be followed up.

Qld Police Commissioner Ian Stewart enjoying Jeanette Maynes conversation. A big thank you to the Police Commissioner for willing to look at the people’s Drug, Alcohol & Addiction Policy incorporating the Judiciary System. Whilst speaking with another high ranking police official we both agreed the current system is not working and a fresh approach is required. I look forward to discussing this further with them in the near future.

Michael Hogan, Director-General – Department of Communications, Child Safety and Disability Services spent every moment exchanging information on Domestic Violence – I requested Qld adopt the Batty Findings by Judge Ian Gray in Victoria. We also discussed time frame, $’s and education and training amongst other topics including risk assessment and information sharing. Briefly discussed the inadequacies of the Bail Act. This is crucial to winning the war on DV. It was a valued meeting. As requested I will complete a submission to task force for consideration.
The DG will also look into the helicopter being permitted to land next to a Children’s Disability Park and the concerns we have about this and how this was approved.

Acting Director General, Stephen Johnston – Dpt Infrastructure, Local Government & Planning was concerned as we were about the direction FCRC have taken us all and was unaware of some points made. There will be follow up communications on a range of matters.

Fraser Coast Community Unites

MARCH AUSTRALIA INVITE (1)

I have organised this event in Hervey Bay Qld for the entire Fraser Coast in line with the weekend there will be Welfare Marches around Australia 11th – 12th July.

The venue was chosen for several reasons. As you are probably aware Freedom Park is the home of the Hervey Bay Communities remaining two historical buildings – Memorial Hall and the Railway Station; which Council is trying to clear for their proposed new building. I thought this was the best location, as it is a perfect position to highlight the concerns of the people surrounding heritage, environment, foreshore management, small business, rates, crime, drug epidemic, jobs, dingoes and all the issues affecting our community by the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s poor and mismanagement practices, including State and Federal Governments.

People from ALL OUR Communities will be attending. Specialist parties have also been invited. i.e. Foreshore, Environmental, Rates Association, Youth Groups, Domestic Violence Advocates, Child Welfare Groups, Save the Fraser Island Dingo, Homeless Advocates, Heritage Committees, Small Business Representatives, De-amalgamation Committee, all Community Groups that utilise the Memorial Hall on a daily basis and the Vietnam Veterans Association currently working from the Railway Station etc.

Ministers, Senators, Members of Parliament, Mayor, Councillors and Executive of the Fraser Coast Regional Council will be given special invitations. Some are already aware and waiting confirmation of event details.

I am waiting on confirmation from two worthy groups to cater for the event as an opportunity to fund raise.

If you know a group or speaker who would like to be heard please ask them to contact me.

Click here to join the event

SAVE THE FRASER ISLAND DINGOES

PLEASE CLICK ON THIS AND SIGN PETITION

8130586_orig  Save Fraser Island Dingoes Inc

Save Fraser Island Dingoes Inc