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Statement by the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian – Former South Burnett Regional councillor decision

23 March 2021

The Councillor Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has found the former South Burnett Regional councillor Terry Fleischfresser engaged in misconduct when he touched a woman in an unwanted and unwarranted manner.

The CCT found there were two instances in which Mr Fleischfresser placed his hands on the woman’s waist or leg at a citizenship ceremony at council chambers in 2019, and that he made a noise in her ear during one of the interactions.

In denying the claims Mr Fleischfresser presented a different version of events, but the CCT found the woman’s allegations were supported by eyewitnesses.

It said Mr Fleischfresser’s attempts to justify or excuse his behaviour as an expression of affection or friendship were inappropriate, and that his unethical behaviour constituted a breach of the trust placed in him as a councillor.

It formally reprimanded him to serve as a public condemnation of such conduct by an elected official and in the hope that future councillors would observe higher standards of behaviour.

In issuing the order, the CCT said it took into account that Mr Fleischfresser did not seek a full oral hearing, sparing the woman from having to recount the allegations, and saving the CCT and the local government significant time and money.

Mr Fleischfresser was not re-elected at the 2020 local government elections.

The CCT decision can be found here.

ENDS

Media contact: 0477 385 727 or OIAmedia@oia.qld.gov.au.

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Last updated: 23 Mar 2021