Fraser Coast Regional Council - Mayor Chris Loft.
Fraser Coast Regional Council - Mayor Chris Loft. Alistair Brightman

Mayor Loft backs plan to appoint complaints assessor

FRASER Coast mayor Chris Loft has praised the State Government's decision to appoint an independent assessor to review complaints against councillors, saying it would curb "frivolous and vexatious complaints".

"I think it's a good initiative," Cr Loft said.

The Fraser Coast Regional Council is responsible for a third of all the complaints made to the Department of Local Government across all councils.

Cr Loft said the whole system of complaints needed to be looked at to make sure some people weren't wasting time.

He said some of the complaints that had been made were a waste of time and money and it was time to look for a better way to resolve issues within council.

"Many of the complaints could have been dealt with in the council just by talking," Cr Loft said.

"Face-to-face is how many discussions need to be had."

Cr Loft said issues had been escalated unnecessarily in the past and he was hoping the independent assessor would resolve "frivolous or vexatious complaints" before they went any further.

"Many of them turned out to be a waste of everyone's time," he said.

Minister for Local Government Mark Furner, who tabled the report at a budgets estimates hearing last week, said the proposed changes were aimed at ensuring public confidence in the councillor complaints system.

Mr Furner said under the model identified, the assessor would be able to dismiss frivolous complaints.

"It would also be an offence for an accused councillor to attempt or take a reprisal against an employee or another councillor who makes a complaint of misconduct."