Sacked mayor Loft to launch supreme court appeal

READY TO FIGHT: Sacked Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft (R) and his lawyer Angelo Vernados will appeal  today.
READY TO FIGHT: Sacked Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft (R) and his lawyer Angelo Vernados will appeal today. Alistair Brightman

UPDATE, 5.15PM: Ousted Mayor Chris Loft has spoken to the Chronicle ahead of launching his supreme court appeal.

He says "I am looking forward to the opportunity to have this decision reviewed. In the meantime I will continue to fight for the people who elected me".

EARLIER: Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft will call for a judicial review into his historic dismissal.

Mr Loft has confirmed to the Chronicle his lawyer, Angelo Vernados, will file documents in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday morning.

He was "quite confident" of their prospects.

He also flagged his intention to stand up and speak during public participation in Wednesday's council meeting.

It comes after Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe dismissed Mr Loft amid "clear and unequivocal evidence' he was unfit for office.

He insisted his decision was fuelled by repeated breaches of Local Government rules and not related to separate criminal charges against Mr Loft which have not yet been tested in court.

Mr Loft had argued the findings of inappropriate conduct and misconduct "only related to matters that occurred a significant time ago when this Council was going through a very turbulent period".

He also said he had completed a performance plan, paid fines, made public apologies, and received ongoing mentoring from a "well respected and experienced local government practitioner".

The decision was also criticised by Local Government Association of Queensland President Mark Jamieson who said he would have rather seen the issues with the mayor resolved through "negotiation and conciliation not his dismissal from the council".

The Chronicle understands a judicial review determines whether the Minister's decision was lawful, rather than his reasons for making it.

The outcome of the court application could delay a mayoral by-election which has been called for May 5.

Mr Hinchliffe's office was contacted for comment.

A Department of Local Government spokesman said that "given this is an ongoing legal matter, the government will not provide comment".

Topics:  chris loft fccouncil fcpolitics fraser coast regional council

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