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