Luke Smith with his council when first elected.
Luke Smith with his council when first elected.

Whistleblower calls for mayor to resign

A LOGAN CITY councillor, known as a whistleblower, has renewed his call for suspended mayor Luke Smith to resign and for the council to be dissolved by the state government.

The revived call for Mr Smith's resignation came from councillor Darren Power, who wrote to Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe on Monday asking him to dissolve the council.

 

Logan City Councillor Darren Power.
Logan City Councillor Darren Power.

 

Cr Power was prompted to pen the letter after footage last week showed the suspended mayor being pursued and interviewed by a TV camera crew.

Suspended mayor Luke Smith.
Suspended mayor Luke Smith.

The footage showed Mr Smith being asked if he should resign from his $218,000-a-year post.

Mr Smith said it was not his call, referring to the May decision by Mr Hinchliffe to stand down any elected representatives facing criminal charges.

"Well that was a decision made by the local government minister, not me - I'm happy to go back to work," Mr Smith said. "I am the mayor. Popularly elected."

 

 

The letter Cr Darren Power sent to Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe on Monday.
The letter Cr Darren Power sent to Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe on Monday.

 

 

But Cr Power said it was time for Mr Smith to move on.

"It's unfair to the electorate," he said.

"I asked the minister to dissolve the council and then hold a fresh election.

"There needs to be a fresh election so we can sort this out and stop wasting ratepayer money."

 

Acting mayor Cherie Dalley.
Acting mayor Cherie Dalley.

 

Division 8 councillor Cherie Dalley stepped into the role of acting mayor in June.

She said the state government's new legislation ensured natural justice for elected representatives who faced criminal charges but would not be drawn on whether she would run for mayor if fresh elections were held.

"My commitment since I took on this role has been to provide stability and strong leadership for our city which I will continue to honour until these other matters are resolved," she said.

"Right now, my focus is on the job at hand and I won't be drawn into future hypotheticals."

Cr Power said he had not decided if he would run for mayor, if the position were vacant. Under the Local Government Act, sitting councillors are eligible to run for the position of mayor.

Division 1 councillor Lisa Bradley said she had fielded many questions about the mayoralty.

"With 18 months before the next election, the community is asking who the next mayor will be," she said. "They're seeking leadership for our city."



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