Council admits mistake

Something as significant as this should have been put before the public to gauge whether a name change would be appropriate.

Following the receipt of many messages and phone calls from annoyed people on Sunday 30 June 2019, I started a Petition compelling the Mayor to explain the renaming of the Seafront Oval to the community. People did not express concerns about what ‘they thought’ as suggested by the Mayor of FCRC; people expressed their concerns about what they actually saw. A sign clearly labelled ‘Pialba Esplanade Park’ erected at the Seafront Oval. In fact, the media release issued by FCRC this afternoon clearly showed it was intended.

We don’t expect the Mayor to know everything that happens across the region but something that requires the spend of ratepayer money, one would think that Cr Seymour and his fellow Councillors would be aware of it. Didn’t they recently approve a budget? Wasn’t this itemised anywhere? How many other spending related decision making are unknown to the Mayor and Councillors?

Council appeared to have started down the path engaging the community in deliberative democracy, so what happened here?

Most people understand change is inevitable but there are somethings that are valued highly in Hervey Bay and that is their heritage. With very few areas of historical significance remaining it is understandable why the community would voice their disapproval. Did they not learn anything from trying to move Pialba Memorial Hall?

The Seafront Oval is rich in history. Initially it was an indigenous corroboree ground and cooking site. It is significant in Butchulla people’s lives, where their ancestors would swim from K’Gari (Fraser Island) to the corroboree ground. The coolooloi (Cypress Pines) are sacred to them also, as are the girraman (flying fox) of which they have a spiritual connection too.

The Seafront Oval was one of the first sporting grounds in Hervey Bay, soldiers trained there during World War I, hosting many sporting and community events have transformed and impacted many people’s lives.

Bravo to George Seymour on his quick action of having the sign removed today. To finalise the matter the community would like some answers to reasonable questions, then the matter can be put to rest.

Who thought up this idea?

Who designed the sign?

Who approved the design?

Who approved the ordering of the sign?

Who approved the payment of the sign?

Why was this sign erected in the first place?

Why did we spend $80k on a corporate style guide for it not to be used? Which raises a couple of questions, why was the $80K corporate style guide not put out to tender at the time and just given to a friend of a councillor?

The more important question is why didn’t the Mayor know about the renaming of an iconic and historical part of Hervey Bay?

When will the Butchulla people be consulted considering they have the richest of history?

Who pays for the mistake? Well I guess we know the answer to that one. Ratepayers of course.

7 News Wide Bay coverage 

#CommunityConsultation #DeliberativeDemocracy #ButchullaRecognition #fcrc

Media Release – Plastic and the hero industrial hemp

Media Release

In 2015 I campaigned for a Container Deposit Scheme and lobbied the Qld State Government. QLD Parliament made some historic decisions on plastic litter and waste by banning plastic bags and introducing a container refund scheme which will commence on 1 July 2018. These were unanimous and popular decisions, welcomed by many in the community.

I have continued to campaign and lobby for the phasing out of all plastics and replacing with Industrial Hemp. #billion$crop #trillion$industry #zerocarbonemissions #strong #compostable

Pic: Organics Recycling Eenee

Industrial hemp requires same security as any other business. No body steals crops of sugar, so I doubt anyone would steal a product that is for industrial use only.

With the millions in profit these big supermarket chains make each year they should be looking at alternatives to plastic bags. I believe we could replace everything plastic and create jobs, jobs and more jobs and help clean up our water ways, flora and fauna; effectively cleaning up the planet. Not to mention drastically reducing landfill waste which again costs millions of tax payer dollars and contaminates.

Creating opportunities for people to reach their full potential, boosting our economy and supporting our farmers are all integral to the success of our great state. Excellent crop rotation for agriculture (3rd less water required than other crops) which is pertinent to growing fresh produce to sustain the masses. By 2050 there will be 9 billion people in the world that need feeding, so replacing those nutrients lost in the soil, industrial hemp is the hero so nutritious crops can be constant. Not to mention building our roads, houses, infrastructure, tourism, fuels, medicines etc, value adding to many portfolios all thanks to removing plastics. Practical yet abundantly resourceful and a sustainable industry.

PRIORITY: We must secure water for the future, water sustains all life. #water4life

This brings us back to plastic bags, not only should bags be unavailable in the imminent future – they should be already gone and starting NOW, everyone needs to be mindful that all this plastic stuff has to go somewhere. (Still trying to find an effective solution for this – recycle options etc). If you have any suggestions would appreciate them.

I am asking you to keep the good work going and support policies on the next important steps to reduce and rid plastic litter and waste. I support and ask you to support the following:

  • Instigate a Plastic Litter Reduction Plan for QLD to identify and find solutions for single use plastics – in the home, away from home, in industry and agriculture and in the marine environment
  • Introduce a levy on waste going to landfill-to stop the 100,000’s of tonnes of waste being dumped in QLD from NSW

Come on Queenslanders we need to be leaders in the market.

What are we leaving future generations to come? Let us leave a legacy we can be proud of.

We’ll make it happen. #BuildingBetterTogether


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

Region ripe for the new-age industry

Click here to see Fraser Coast Chronicle article

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

Toogoom rock wall must be isolated

I am calling on Fraser Coast Regional Council to immediately place signs warning it is a high risk area and place temporary fencing to isolate access to the failing rock wall at Toogoom.

7 News Wide Bay – 1st November 2016

Thank you Glenn Lazarus for taking the time out of your hectic schedule and attend today’s Rally in support of our fellow community members on the Fraser Coast. Accompanied by your amazing wife Tess who we are all the better for organising us all at #glt. Your kind words today humbled me and I feel exactly the same – proud to stand with you and our team #CaringWithIntegrity.

Thank you to Councillor Denis Chapman Div 8 for listening as a regional Councillor and under the banner of your Portfolio: Planning and Infrastructure. You listened attentively to the communities concerns and we now have confidence that at least one Councillor stands by the Principles of the LGA. Something many others should aspire to reach across all Queensland Councils.

Norm Hoffman you are a true man of integrity and speak only in facts. It is an absolute privilege to have worked with you over the last few years. Your conviction to principle and righteousness is a courageous gift and all the while you go about it respectfully. Nothing but admiration for an outstanding Fraser Coastarian. Like I said today, we will not go away and I will keep fighting this until it is resolved satisfactorily to all parties.


It was great 7 News Wide Bay turned up, videoed and interviewed several people in attendance. Keep a look out, probably go to air Monday evening 6pm.

Fraser Coast Chronicle interviewed both Norm and I a couple of times this week, so I am looking forward to reading future editorials

Thank you to all those that travelled from different parts of the Fraser Coast today to attend the rally and share your concerns – Bauple, Urangan, Torquay, Scarness, Pialba, Sunshine Acres, Antigua, Maryborough, Toogoom, Point Vernon, Dundowran, Dundowran Beach, Sydney NSW, Melbourne VIC and others.

Thank you to everyone who sent support vie emails, texts, messages, social media etc. I do this for you, because you ask it, and this is how a representative of the people serves.


Toogoom Rock Wall Rally

Calling all Fraser Coastarians to stand united against the failed rock wall in Toogoom.

Sunday, 30th October 2016 – 10:30am

Standing united against the poor decision making of Fraser Coast Regional Council and Queensland State Government in protecting the environment, protecting the rate payer, protecting the integrity of good governance.


The important issues are:
1. The application to build the wall was not assessed in accordance with the legislation.
2. The wall was not in accordance with the SEMP and in fact contradicted the SEMP.
3. The wall was not constructed in accordance with the approved design.
4. The wall alignment is causing serious environmental impacts to the foreshore to the west of the wall.

And there is more.

Those paying for the wall have not got what they agreed to pay for!


Toogoom Rock Wall Rally Event Page


We finally know future of Original Maryborough Town Site



At Fraser Coast Regional Council’s Ordinary Meeting No. 6 on Wednesday there was a unanimous vote by councillors to use the site as a nature area with minimal embellishments. Music to my ears! Great decision. Good to see Council finally respecting the Qld State Heritage Listing. Many people fought to save this site which we say thank you: Councillor George Seymour, Councillor James Hansen, Sandra Armstrong, Save Maryborough Original Township Site Committee and members, advocates for heritage, environment, historians, Indigenous elders, culture groups and not forgetting the community. Without strong committed support we would not have these exhilarating, rare wins.

The vote to stop the push for an 89-lot residential development came after $651,000 was spent on designs and reports. This is a very good example of more wasteful spending.

Councillors now need to discuss plans to maintain and improve the site, especially after $500,000 was moved from the project and allocated to sinking the HMAS Tobruk on the Fraser Coast. After all they are guardians and should at the very least restore this site to the glory it once was. If they can waste over half a million on reports and remove allocated dollars then they can afford to make the repairs, replace the bins they removed and all the other changes they made in hasty preparedness to develop the site that didn’t get the go ahead.

With the right vision and community consultation this would value add to Tourism, Education and Environmental Portfolios. More jobs, more boosting of the economy and supporting small business.

#vote1 #janneandean4widebay #glt #ausvotes

Article Fraser Coast Chronicle 17th June 2016


Mayoral candidates share views on foreshore’s future

FFC_18-02-2016_EGN_04_election topic_t620

THE Hervey Bay foreshore is a key asset to the Fraser Coast – now the region’s mayoral candidates are making their views clear on what they believe its future should be.

Last year, the Fraser Coast councillors endorsed an $8 million rock wall and sand-bagging plan to protect the vulnerable foreshore from erosion.

Sticking with his controversial “enhancement” policy, incumbent Mayor Gerard O’Connell promised more of the same if he was re-elected.

Cr O’Connell said when dealing with the issue of erosion, he would “rely on good science and engineering solutions”.

“My plan is a combination of protection and enhancement,” he said.

The Mayor refuted claims the council had destroyed vegetation on the foreshore.

Fellow mayoral candidate Steve Coleman told the Chronicle he was in favour of “grooming trees rather than eradicating them”.

When asked about dealing with the erosion problem, Mr Coleman said he would rely on “professional advice”.

“Nature is nature and it’s very hard to fight against it,” he said.

Mayoral candidate Greg Schmidt said he would push to keep the balance of vegetation and sea views to protect Hervey Bay from the dwindling sand mass.

“A tree’s root structure is crucial to holding the sand together and for the stability of the beachfront corridor,” he said.

Acknowledging the foreshore was the best asset Hervey Bay had, Chris Loft said future works should be halted.

“Let’s just push the pause button and smell the roses on it,” he said.

Cr Loft said solving the erosion issue would require dredging sand from the Dayman Spit and pushing it onto the beaches.

Jannean Dean said she would like to see five lines of defence on the foreshore.

That includes ground-covering plants, cottonwood trees, shrubs and gum trees.

“We are the only northerly facing beach in Australia and protecting our infrastructure on the foreshore is paramount,” she said.

Ms Dean said the council should consider geo-textile sand bags and more vegetation as well as investigate dredging to form a new Shoreline Erosion Management Plan.

Holding a science degree, candidate Lee Carter said burying rock walls under sand dredged from Dayman Point was a favourable option.

“The only time you’d see the wall is with a serious tidal event,” he said.

#Vote1 #JD4Mayor #TripleR – rates rubbish roads

Fraser Coast Chronicle Article 18th February 2016

Election Commitment 5 of 8



Pialba Memorial Hall & Cenotaph

**  Chief Petition for saving Pialba Memorial Hall, Railway Station and Cenotaph.  I delivered 1002 signatures to Councillor George Seymour on 6th May 2015 at Ordinary Meeting No. 6 where he tabled the petition objecting to the relocation of the Pialba Memorial Hall and the Pialba Railway Station.

**  Completed and submitted application to Queensland’s Department of Environment Heritage and Protection. The Department accepted application for proposed entry of the Pialba Memorial Hall and Cenotaph on 28th October 2015.

**  Public Submissions were sought and received by the Department before the close of business on 4th December 2015. Ref No. HRN 650026

**  Fraser Coast Regional Council is yet to make a submission and an extension has been granted to them until 27th April 2016.

**  The application will be considered in May 2016.


Railway Station

**  Brian Downey gave me a proposal for embracing our Heritage that included a buffet/restaurant dining car, having all the buildings in this vicinity themed with pantomimes and theatre creating ambiance that builds to the shopping experience.  It is also envisaged to run a further train as a tourist ride to Nikenbah. 


Historical Plaques

**  These plaques are packed in boxes in the Library – they need to be on display.

**  A suitable location needs to be found.

Old Maryborough Original Township Site

**  Strong campaigner in support of protecting this magnificent site. This is a gold mine with the right tourist vision.

**  Canoe rides when it floods around the temporary islands (safety and weather taken into consideration)

**  Great location to open up for an RV site.

**  Excellent for community events, weddings, education.

**  Theme entire site for the historical experience.

**  The only undisturbed original township site in Australia .

**  The Maryborough Original Township Heritage site is a marker of the past, and of people’s identity and memory. This place is LIVING history. Preserve our Heritage

**  Council reallocated $500K from Maryborough Original Township Site to the HMAS Tobruk with the CEO to find a further $500K.

**  Qld Heritage Council made it known on 9th October 2015 that the Application to list most of the Original Township Site had been successful and to be listed on the Queensland State Heritage Register.

**  On the 21st October 2015 Councillors O’Connell, Loft, Garland, Taylor, Sanderson, McDonald, Truscott and Everard voted to destroy and build on a site that floods, echoed by the Town Planner.

We need to ask all candidates if they intend being ‘respectful guardians’ to this special place.

I pledge to be a ‘Respectful Guardian’ and restore the Original Maryborough Township Site to the glory it once. I will also be listening to the people to find out the best way to make this magnificent site a Tourism Gold Mine.


Moolyyir Creek

**  Moolyyir Creek Community Environment Program

**  Strongly supported protecting Moolyyir Creek

Scarness Rotunda

**  Was opened in 1926 and I will start an application Queensland’s Department of Environment Heritage and Protection to be listed. 

**  This historical 90 year old structure should not be moved. An application should be made to be placed on the Department Qld Environment and Protection State Register.

**  The Scarness Railway picnics attracted 6 to 7 thousand people.

Torquay Tennis Courts

**  This proposed new tennis court is being built 50m -100m from a tennis court in perfect condition

**  75 years and still used regularly by locals and tourist.

** An application should be made to be placed on the Department Qld Environment and Protection State Register.

**  Build new tennis court in another town on the Fraser Coast that does not have one.  Granville residents have requested.



Election Commitment 4 of 8



Toogoom Rock Wall

**  Wrong materials were used created broken shards of rock on the beach and sink holes at the back of the wall.

**  Lines of vegetation defence have been removed.

This has been a very costly exercise not only to the rate payers of the Fraser Coast but more costly to the Toogoom residents.

It is in my opinion; the current Council should be stating how they are going to fix this very serious problem before the election. The recently submitted Engineer’s Certificate signing off on the project insuring it for the next 100 years is questionable.

If elected, I would be speaking to experts about the best approach in finding a solution. Coupled with this, it is imperative the home owners affected by this are involved in all future conversations to ensure all parties will be satisfied to achieve the appropriate outcomes.  

There are solutions which I would like to explore further. It is hoped Bruce Saunders MP for Maryborough will assist in this process and in particular have an enquiry into how such poor decisions can be made and how a project that has failed on so many levels be acceptable to both the current Council and / or any State Government.

Hervey Bay Rock Wall

**  $4.2 million so far

**  Regular clean-ups of sharp shards of basalt rocks on what was a sandy beach.


**  Update Shoreline Erosion Management Plan (SEMP) with current information, resources and technology in line with current modern practices.

**  Sand from the Dayman Spit which has accumulated there since the Marina was extended should be used.

**  Further sand nourishment with vegetation and tree planting along the five lines of defense implemented between 1974 and 1999, should be undertaken.

**  $8 million to embellish foreshore plus $7.2 million to repair damage done by embellishment is just senseless.

**  Recommendations from the 2012 that $600 MILLION needs to be spent over the next 20 years. So why is Council mismanaging the foreshore? 

**  Comply with Module 10 of the Coastal Protection Policy – no building or developments on the erosion buffer zone.

**  Monitor Phellinus Noxius – brown root rot disease across the Fraser Coast.

**  Maintain and protect animal corridors across the Fraser Coast.

**  As Chief Petitioner for Saving the Cottonwoods I delivered 500 plus signatures to Councillor George Seymour who presented them to Council on 21st January 2015.  Council could not find the further 300 signatures posted that were lost in the mail.


**  Strong campaigner against the removal of trees from Scarness Caravan Park. 

**  Jeanette Maynes presented the petition with 650 plus signatures to Councillor James Hansen at Ordinary Council meeting No.16 on 2nd December 2015, to reference when the Council wants to chop the next lot of roosting tress the birds relocate to.

**  Councillor George Seymour raised a very important point “Rainbow Lorikeets are a very special native bird, to deliberately destroy their habitat to move them away sets a very bad example to the community and to children on how animals should be treated.”

**  The question suggesting ten trees would not be sufficient to provide a greater benefit is a ridiculous argument as is the health reasoning some Councillors iterated. 

**  Setting up a Lorikeet feeding station on a smaller scale such as Currumbin would pull in the tourists in droves (or flocks) as was discussed in today’s Council meeting is well worth looking at. 

**  Removal of these trees needs to be handled by the correct Environmental Agencies and impact assessed accordingly.

Bats – need to adopt an approach similar to Logan City Council

Introduce Environmental / Sustainability Portfolio

Introduce Private Member’s Bill for a Container Deposit Scheme – will assist in reducing rubbish that litters or beaches and land.