Minister ‘misleading’: Mayor Dempsey calls for apology
MAYOR Jack Dempsey has called for an apology from Transport Minister Mark Bailey, claiming he misled parliament about council's position on the Port of Bundaberg.
Cr Dempsey accused Mr Bailey of wrongly telling parliament last month it was council's plan to transfer the Bundaberg Port into a new company.
"It is concerning that the Mayor of Bundaberg, who is a former Newman LNP MP, is now calling for the Bundaberg Port to be transferred to a new company, which would likely make it easier to privatise," Minister Bailey told parliament.
Cr Dempsey said Mr Bailey's comment was misleading as he was pushing for a government-owned corporation solely focused on the Port of Bundaberg.
"Bundaberg Regional Council and the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation of Councils believe a standalone Government Owned Corporation would better facilitate the port's development as a much-needed enabler of regional trade and economic growth," he said.
"It's disappointing that Minister Bailey has misrepresented the request of Council and WBBROC and politicised the region's economic development."
Cr Dempsey said he had written to Mr Bailey in July and the Premier in August seeking to establish a Government Owned Corporation solely focused on the Port of Bundaberg.
"The Minister also appears to have made up his mind against the proposal for the Port of Bundaberg to have a dedicated Government Owned Corporation," he said.
"I request that the Minister make a public apology for his misleading comments."
Late yesterday, Mr Bailey pointed to Cr Dempsey's history as a "senior member of the Newman Government that planned to sell off Queensland's publicly-owned assets".
"Because of that, any comments Cr Dempsey makes about changing the management, structure or ownership of Bundaberg's port will raise questions about his motives." Minister Bailey said.