Scenic Rim mayor points election watchdog at John Brent

REVIEW: Cr Christensen says mayoral candidate John Brent's statements in the Beaudesert Times last month were "questionable".

REVIEW: Cr Christensen says mayoral candidate John Brent's statements in the Beaudesert Times last month were "questionable".

INDEPENDENT Council Election Observer John Robertson has decided not to interfere with the "robust debate" between Scenic Rim mayoral incumbent Greg Christensen and mayoral candidate John Brent.

The ICEO was created to investigate misleading or untrue claims by council candidates but found that statements made by Mr Brent, a former Scenic Rim mayor, in the Beaudesert Times last month did not require further investigation.

Cr Christensen had complained to the ICEO led by Mr Robertson, a former judge, after Mr Brent said that major Scenic Rim economic projects had been started during his term as mayor.

Mr Brent says he stands by his comments.

Mr Brent says he stands by his comments.

Mr Robertson said the ICEO conducted investigations about development in the region.

"Cr Christensen points to three in particular which he asserts is contrary to what Mr Brent implied in the statement attributed to him," Mr Robertson said.

Mr Brent told Mr Robertson that he stood by his comments.

"I have not seen a single major development initiative delivered - all major initiatives were by me in my term," he said.

Mr Brent said projects referred to by Cr Christensen were developments discussed or initiated by him during his last term as mayor.

Mr Robertson said Cr Christensen had referred to a large number of developments during his term.

Mr Robertson said there was no relevant definition of a "major economic project" and Mr Brent did not dispute that the three new projects referred to by Cr Christensen were major economic projects.

Mr Brent said some of the development approvals referred to were just part of the normal day-to-day work of a council.

Mr Robertson said he hoped his review of Cr Christensen's request would help voters understand the position of both candidates who were contesting the office of mayor.

"It is not uncommon for 'initiatives' for development projects, particularly major development projects, to be raised by proponents with council during one term of office but not approved and/or delivered until the term of a later council," he said.

"Ultimately, I do not wish to interfere with robust debate between candidates leading up to the election, and in my opinion the issue raised for review by Cr Christensen falls squarely into this category."

Speaking after the release of Mr Robertson's report, Cr Christensen said it had done little to provide clarity.

"I note Mr Brent would have us believe that every piece of growth in the region was 'initiated' on his watch," Cr Christensen said.

"The facts show that our region's economy was in free fall decline along with years of job losses under his oversight. His flagship program Jobs Jump Start turned out to be a fizzer, only managing to rob ratepayers of infrastructure funds and generate few jobs.

"By listening to the wider community and focusing on the right things, I have been able to reverse his terrible legacy of failure. Record jobs growth, record regional revenue and strong infrastructure growth are my fact-based outcomes."

Mr Brent said his comments to the Beaudesert Times reflected the truth.

"The truth is Eat Local, the bridges program, Vibrant Towns and Villages and the playground upgrades were council initiatives when I was mayor.

"I don't take full credit, not at all, but I'm talking about initiatives, about going out and doing the heavy lifting.

"I'm sure if I were to become mayor again I might inherit things he (Cr Christensen) might have initiated.

"I will rest my case on what the independent umpire had to say on the matter."