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Council pays out for 'sexist' comment to mother

QUIET: Cr Chris Loft declined to speak about the matter, offering a “no comment” to The Chronicle.
QUIET: Cr Chris Loft declined to speak about the matter, offering a “no comment” to The Chronicle. FILE

THE Fraser Coast Regional Council has settled outside of court after councillor Chris Loft made an inappropriate comment to a woman during a Fraser Coast Opportunities job interview.

A Chronicle investigation has revealed Cr Loft asked the candidate how she would perform in the role "as a mother of three young children".

The candidate, who the Chronicle has decided not to name, took Cr Loft's comment to the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland.

The commission found Cr Loft's comment was inappropriate.

The Chronicle understands the complainant accepted a $2000 payment from the council and did not proceed with the matter through the court system.

An internal investigation by the Fraser Coast Regional Council confirmed Cr Loft did make the comment.

In a letter to the complainant, Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the allegation was "substantiated".

The letter said Cr Loft's query was not part of the determined interview questions and it was not asked of other candidates.

"Evidence supports that the other candidates were not asked the same question," he wrote.

"Cr Loft has acknowledged that his question was poorly worded and FCO offer our sincerest apology for any distress and concern this may have caused you."

In a letter to the complainant, seen by The Chronicle, Cr Loft explained the basis of his comment.

"From memory I stated, 'as a mother of three young children are you aware this job will include a substantial amount of travel away from home'," he wrote.

"My only intent of the question was to alert you to this important component of the job."

Cr Loft declined to speak about the matter, offering a "no comment" to The Chronicle.

It is the third time Cr Loft has found himself being investigated since being elected.

Early last year Cr Loft launched a scathing attack against Fraser Coast Opportunities, describing the tourism organisation as a "cancer".

He was forced to apologise.

Last year, Cr Loft faced misconduct allegations with complaints he attempted to influence other councillors to provide financial support to Maryborough's Military Museum.

The allegation was dismissed.

THE COMPLAINT

Chris Loft asked a woman how she could do the job "as a mother of three young children".

The comment was taken to the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland

The matter was settled outside of court with $2000 paid to the complainant

Topics:  chris loft fraser coast regional council


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