Mayor Margaret Strelow’s conduct is under investigation due a previous trip she took to India in 2017.
Mayor Margaret Strelow’s conduct is under investigation due a previous trip she took to India in 2017.

Strelow’s conduct the subject of government investigation

ROCKHAMPTON Mayor Margaret Strelow has confirmed she was the subject of a councillor conduct investigation.

She said the matter was referred to the government body by the State Government's Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA).

The matter in question, she revealed in a lengthy post on social media, was related to a trip to India she had attended in 2017.

The itinerary was prearranged by the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for a number of mayors and councillors. 

Cr Strelow travelled to a remote Adani solar farm.

This flight was on an Adani-owned plane as no flights go there given the remote location. 

Cr Strelow explained Rockhampton Regional Council - much like every other local council - enforced the official recording of trip details.

"[There's] one list where we record hospitality received in the course of our duties. And another where we record our personal information and assets," she said.

"Things on the second list then become 'conflict of interest' matters.

"When I returned from India, I duly listed the solar farm visit on Council's Register of Official Hospitality and I listed it at full estimated cost (as if it were a commercial charter plane)."

 

Mayor Margaret Strelow says the situation continues to be “highly stressful.”
Mayor Margaret Strelow says the situation continues to be “highly stressful.”

It is then, she claimed, the OIA asked CCC to investigate the matter in question in relation to a legislative breach.

"The OIA (eventually) agreed that the solar farm inspection was official business, and that I had listed it on the Register where official visits are listed," she wrote.

"But they are arguing that this particular matter is a special case and should be on the second register anyway."

Cr Strelow stated the main costs for the travels - including all airfares and accommodation - were either self-funded or covered partly by the council.

She is now being questioned if Adani's "hospitality" of the solar farm trip will now impede her ability to make clear decisions about Adani on behalf of the community. 

READ MORE: New development for Adani's Carmichael Mine site

READ MORE: Mayor backs Gracemere High School despite enrolment numbers

READ MORE: What would Pineapple do if he automatically became mayor?

 

Further conversations with Adani would be prohibited should the tribunal rule in favour of the CCC.
Further conversations with Adani would be prohibited should the tribunal rule in favour of the CCC.

Since being informed of the investigation in July, Cr Strelow said the months following had been "highly stressful".

"I have felt bullied, harassed and pressured," she wrote.

Cr Strelow said if the Tribunal ruled in the OIA/CCC's favour then that could then lead to serious consequences and further charges for her.

She claimed she would be banned from continuing to meet with Adani.

"I am not surprised by the complaint, anything Adani is highly charged in relation to Queensland Labor politics," she said.

The Office of the Independent Assessor declined to comment, saying it would be inappropriate as the matter was before the Councillor Conduct Tribunal.


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