Mayor calls to end legislation

MAYOR Brad Carter is to meet the state Infrastructure Minister next week to make a case for Iconic Places legislation to be scrapped.

The mayor says he will be armed with a dossier of evidence when he meets Stirling Hinchliffe in Brisbane on Tuesday.

He asked for the meeting after the Capricorn Coast Iconic Places Panel threw-out a proposal for a light industrial business park in Manns Road in Emu Park. Rockhampton Regional Council had earlier approved the scheme.

“I think it is encouraging the minister has agreed to meet with me so quickly,” Cr Carter said yesterday.

He believes he can make a powerful case for the panel, which includes former Rockhampton City Council Mayor Margaret Strelow, to be binned or have its teeth pulled.

“I will be pointing out a variety of inconsistencies in the legislation and asking him to rescind the legislation or undertake a significant review,” he said.

The mayor says it makes no sense for an unelected panel to overturn a properly made decision by a democratic body.

“I will be asking why the panel meets in closed session, when the council’s planning meetings are open to the public and the decision making process is transparent.

“And I will be asking if he thinks it is fair that the council can appeal against an approval by the panel, but can’t appeal in its own right against a refusal. I think this is against democracy,” he said.

Cr Carter said yesterday he now hoped the Milbi controversy could be laid to rest after Cr Glenda Mather asked a series of questions at Tuesday’s council meeting about the decision making process.

He said he didn’t believe protesters had any grounds for a legal challenge to the way the matter was conducted.

“It’s time to move on. I have written to federal and state ministers and agencies detailing the concerns of residents who live near the Milbi Farm, asking them to take those concerns on board in their dealings with Milbi management.”

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