Misconduct claims over Adani trip dismissed as ‘laughable'
EIGHT months after being sworn in as Rockhampton's Mayor, Margaret Strelow has resigned over a misconduct finding labelled as "laughable" by a federal parliamentarian.
Cr Strelow on Monday a Councillor Conduct Tribunal had found her guilty of misconduct following a day trip on an Adani-owned plane to a solar farm.
The tribunal said on March 18, 2017, Cr Strelow was part of the trade mission to India and received hospitality from Adani in the form of a flight from Mumbai airport to Madurai airport, transport to and from a Kamuthi solar plant, a flight from Madurai airport to Chennai airport, dinner and transport to and from dinner.
According to the documents, the tribunal found Cr Strelow did not inform the CEO of the interest, namely the hospitality received from Adani, via a form 2 within 30 days.
While Cr Strelow said she put the trip on the council register, the tribunal found her guilty of misconduct.
"I absolutely refute their finding," Cr Strelow said.
"I acted at all times in accordance with my own conscience and on the advice of senior legal practitioners as well as on the advice of officers from the Department of Local Government."
Dawson MP George Christensen has called the misconduct allegation against Cr Strelow "laughable".
"Margaret Strelow has been a great leader in Central Queensland," Mr Christensen said.
"They say she neglected to declare a leg of a trip sponsored by Adani when she had actually declared the vast bulk and substance of that trip.
"It is unbelievable that, from this, a misconduct allegation can be made against a respected civic leader.
Rockhampton Regional Council has confirmed deputy Mayor Neil Fisher will be Acting Mayor.
But it remains unclear if the runner-up in the mayoral race, Chris 'Pineapple' Hooper will become mayor through recent legislation changes.
The newly re-elected Palaszczuk government says it will act swiftly to ensure a by-election can occur.
Mr Christensen said it was concerning a candidate, who only claimed 30.91 per cent of the vote in the election, could become leader of the beef capital.
"Now we have a situation where someone who was overwhelmingly rejected by voters is likely to be the Mayor of Rockhampton," he said.
A local man is likely to become the new Mayor of Rockhampton after Margaret Strelow announced her shock resignation. Chris ‘Pineapple’ Hooper is set to take the position after being the runner-up in this year’s local government elections. https://t.co/x1OjeCLxKF #qldpol #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/LM09F4BV2Y— 7NEWS Central Queensland (@7NewsCQ) November 10, 2020