Council fails to confirm if sacking was by book

PRESSURE for Mackay Regional Council Mayor Deirdre Comerford to come clean on the facts surrounding the sudden sacking of chief executive Brett Heyward intensified yesterday as questions were raised about the council's adherence to processes set out in Queensland local government regulations.

The local government regulations require certain processes to be followed.

However Mackay Regional Council has so far refused to provide details of the steps taken in the instance of the CEO's sacking.

News Mr Heyward had been dismissed as CEO broke on Monday, after four weeks on the job.

Although the council maintained they were united in the decision, sections 274 and 275 of the Local Government Regulation 2012 states that council has the power to dismiss a CEO by council resolution.

A Department of Infrastructure Local Government and Planning spokeswoman believed that a resolution had to be made at a formal meeting, which could be closed based on the nature of the matter set for discussion.

Despite numerous enquiries, council has refused to state whether a formal meeting ever took place where that resolution could have been passed.

The regulation also states that although the meeting may be closed to the public, "a resolution that a meeting be closed must state the nature of the matters to be considered while the meeting is closed".

No council meeting minutes have been made public where the nature of matters to be discussed during a closed period included discussing Mr Heyward's future.

A Department of Infrastructure Local Government and Planning spokeswoman said the regulation was valid even if the chief executive officer was on probation.

Yesterday the Daily Mercury asked the council if the decision to sack Mr Heyward was made at a meeting, when that meeting took place, if the vote in favour of the dismissal was unanimous, and if the minutes from the meeting were online, but a council spokesman declined to comment.

"Council was united in their decision," he said.

"Council has provided you with the necessary details relating to the termination of the CEO."

In Question

Local Government Regulation 2012 sections 274 and 275.

"Council has the power to dismiss a CEO by council resolution."

Topics:  ceo mackay mackay regional council mayor sacking

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