Child-abusing councillor could stay in office
A COUNCILLOR found guilty of child sex offences may keep his job, according to a shocking law, despite his boss declaring he is not welcome to return to office.
According to the Local Government Act Queensland, Noosa councillor Frank Pardon will only lose his job if he receives a jail or suspended jail sentence on his court date tomorrow.
However, Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said he didn't believe it was appropriate for the 70-year-old to continue his role.
Pardon was found guilty of maintaining a relationship with a 14-year-old girl across four months in the 1990s. He inappropriately touched and kissed her at her workplace and performed oral sex on her in his car, among multiple other sexual acts.
Cr Wellington said he was "deeply disturbed" by the verdict and would not fill Pardon's position.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said his council pushed for change to the local government laws, but their cries were never actioned by Local Government Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe.
"We felt the need for a fair system … but questions should be put to the minister as to why he took no action at the time," he said.
Mr Hinchliffe has been approached for comment.
By law, a by-election is not required if a vacancy occurs less than six months before the scheduled election.
Pardon will be sentenced tomorrow. The maximum penalty for his historic sex crimes is 14 years' jail.