Get the facts: Reference group claims ‘false’

Redland City Council has refuted claims that that an industry reference group working with Council was “secret” and formed without the knowledge of councillors.

CEO Bill Lyon said the Development Industry Reference Group was established almost three years ago, was approved by councillors and had reported to Council on a number of occasions since 2012.

He said this fact was supported by public Council records.

“Imputations that the reference group was formed without the knowledge of councillors are false, as the records show,’’ Mr Lyon said.

“This reference group was included in the operational plan approved by councillors for 2012-13. All councillors were in attendance. There also have been quarterly updates to Council.

“Councillors were fully informed and had opportunities to raise questions or to amend any items should they have had concerns.

“There were also discussions about the group with councillors at workshops and it has been openly communicated in our ‘Redlands – Open for Business and Investment’ document on our website.’’

Mr Lyon said Council officers had operated with complete professionalism and integrity and any inference to the contrary was offensive.

“As CEO, I cannot stand by and allow the professionalism and integrity of dedicated Council officers to be impugned by suggestions this reference group operated in secret,’’ Mr Lyon said.

“The Development Industry Reference Group is a group of development industry professionals working with Council to improve our processes. Such groups are a means for local government to discuss and address City-wide issues.

“All councils must plan for growth and change, and reference groups are one of the standard mechanisms which help officers better understand and work with their communities.

“Council officers working with these groups operate under a whole-of-council direction.’’

Mr Lyon said the terms of reference for the groups ensured they could not be used as forums to lobby Council officers or councillors on behalf of specific projects.