MP Lister apologises over ‘toxic’ attack
JAMES Lister has apologised for statements made about Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie at a parliamentary sitting on Wednesday.
Mr Lister told the house he was sorry for the remarks he made last Wednesday after he called Cr Dobie a "toxic mayor".
"During the debate, I made a number of remarks about the Mayor of Southern Downs Regional Council," he said.
"I regret that I did so. I withdraw those comments and apologise to her."
Mr Lister made the apology after he came under scrutiny from Southern Downs residents and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
The MP said he hoped he could now focus attention back to the plight of Granite Belt Water Relief, which was the reason for his initial parliamentary plea.
"It was the right thing to do and the focus should be on the water situation for people who don't have access to town water or water for their stock," he said.
"Granite Belt Water Relief came asking for help and the answer the state member got was 'no' but I'd like to turn that into a 'yes' and the best way to do that is to make an apology and try to focus attention on the water situation.
Cr Dobie responded to Mr Lister's statements in a media release, saying that it was vital to put aside political infighting.
"I acknowledge the apology made to me by James Lister, Member for the Southern Downs, in parliament last night," Cr Dobie said.
"Since the remarks were made I have been contacted by many residents from within the Southern Downs but also people outside the region expressing their disappointment in the nature of the comments made by Mr Lister using Parliamentary Privilege.
"It is essential that while the whole of the Southern Downs Region is experiencing the worst drought on record that all three levels work together to achieve the best outcomes for our residents."
Cr Dobie noted in her statement that Mr Lister's statements had been condemned by Local Government Association of Queensland President, Cr Mark Jamieson.