State Minister for Local Government, Stirling Hinchliffe, outside the Hervey Bay Chambers of the Fraser Coast Regional Council in February.
State Minister for Local Government, Stirling Hinchliffe, outside the Hervey Bay Chambers of the Fraser Coast Regional Council in February. Valerie Horton

Hinchliffe: Why I sacked Loft and not Logan mayor

LOCAL Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has addressed concerns from the community as to why he has not sacked Logan mayor Luke Smith in the wake of corruption allegations, despite dismissing a month former Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft a month earlier.

There has been rising calls from the public for Mr Hinchliffe to explain his stance after Cr Smith was charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission earlier this week.

Mr Hinchliffe said there were powers available to him under the Local Government Act when a councillor repeatedly breaches the Act's principles.

RELATED: Why Mayor Loft was sacked

"I used these powers in making my decision to dismiss former Mayor Loft in February," he said.

"When a Mayor is alleged to have committed a crime, and is charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission, those matters are considered by a criminal court.

"It is not for me as Local Government Minister to pre-empt the outcome of any pending criminal proceedings."

Mr Loft was dismissed in February after ongoing breaches in the Local Government Act.

Following the sacking, Mr Hinchliffe released a video statement addressing Fraser Coast ratepayers, saying the mayor's repeated findings of misconduct and inappropriate behaviour had forced his hand.

Mr Loft was contacted for comment.


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