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Media Release: Rockhampton Regional Council

23 November 2020  Mayoral vacancy update

Following discussions with the state government, Rockhampton Regional Council today confirmed that the Mayoral vacancy will not be on the agenda for tomorrow’s Council meeting.

Acting Mayor Neil Fisher said, “Due to the potential implications of planned legislative changes, the state government has recommended providing Councillors with a full briefing which is currently being arranged,” he said.

“I have been advised by the Department that the legislation the State Government intends to pass may invalidate any decisions made by Council, or the appointed Mayor, between the time of appointment and the by-election.

“This wouldn’t just affect decisions made at the Council table but also day to day duties carried out by the Mayor, for example signing off on critical documentation.

“Council has a responsibility to the community to ensure we are fully informed and understand the nature of the implications as a result of the proposed legislative amendments. This is simply good governance.

“We will continue to meet our obligations under the Local Government Act 2009, and to ensure that Council operations and services are still being provided to the community.”

Timeline:

Monday 9 November, 5pm – former Mayor Strelow resigns with immediate effect and Deputy Mayor Neil Fisher commences duties as Acting Mayor.

Tuesday 10 November, morning – Acting Mayor Fisher holds a doorstop to provide an update to the media and the community.

Wednesday 11 November, morning - Rockhampton Regional Council CEO Evan Pardon contacts ECQ to advise of the vacancy, as outlined in the Local Government Act.

Wednesday 18 November – CEO advised by ECQ that Mr Hooper had consented to the appointment and that official notification would be sent shortly.

Thursday 19 November, morning – CEO and senior officers meet with Mr Hooper and his representatives.

Thursday 19 November, afternoon – CEO receives official notification from ECQ that Mr Hooper had consented to the appointment.

Thursday 19 November, late afternoon – Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning separately contacts Acting Mayor Fisher and CEO Evan Pardon to discuss the planned legislative changes.

Friday 20 November, morning – Video conference between Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and CEO and senior officers with preliminary detail about planned legislative changes. State Government recommends a full briefing.

Friday 20 November, afternoon – Informal briefing provided by CEO to councillors and update provided to media.

Monday 23 November, 9am – Email sent from CEO to Mr Hooper confirmed that the Mayoral vacancy will not be discussed at the Council meeting until the State Government have provided an in person briefing outlining the implications the planned legislative changes could have for Council and the community, including that any decisions taken by the Council or appointed Mayor could become invalid.

Monday 23 November, 12.30pm – Acting Mayor Fisher holds a doorstop to update media and community.