Statement by the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian – Maranoa Mayor decision
Maranoa Regional Council Mayor Tyson Golder has been found to have made unauthorised, dishonest and misleading comments at a private meeting about a land acquisition as part of the Roma Flood Mitigation Project.
The Councillor Conduct Tribunal (CCT) ruled the Mayor engaged in the misconduct during talks with a local couple, who had been in negotiations with the Maranoa Regional Council over the acquisition of their property.
The ruling followed an investigation by the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) which found that during a closed session of a council meeting in November 2017, Cr Golder sought authorisation to meet with the couple to discuss an offer previously made by council to purchase their land.
The council agreed Cr Golder would attend the meeting in his capacity as Mayor and on behalf of the council, in a final attempt to resolve the matter and avoid a compulsory acquisition.
The meeting was organised by council staff and held at council offices the next day with legal representatives for both parties in attendance via telephone.
Notes taken at the time were accepted by the CCT as a true and accurate record.
They showed Cr Golder told the couple the meeting was being held at his personal request and not on behalf of council, and that he was attending in a personal capacity rather than as a councillor.
The CCT deemed these comments to be misleading, dishonest and unauthorised, and found that Cr Golder breached the trust placed in him as a councillor by making them.
It also determined the Mayor made other comments which were not authorised by council when he told the couple:
- the valuation of their land obtained by council was strange, and he thought it should be at the rate paid for a neighbouring property
- in his personal opinion it was not reasonable to take people’s land by compulsory acquisition.
The CCT found that while these comments did not constitute a breach of the trust placed in the Mayor as a councillor, they had the effect of undermining the position of the council he leads.
Cr Golder was ordered to publicly admit to misconduct at the next council meeting and to undertake relevant training, at his own expense, to address the conduct.
He has no previous disciplinary history.
The CCT decision can be found here.
Media contact: 0477 385 727 or OIAmedia@oia.qld.gov.au.
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Last updated: Monday, Jan 4, 2021