Bruce Saunders MP Maryborough.Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Bruce Saunders MP Maryborough.Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle Valerie Horton

'If he's got a spine he should stand down': MP on Hansen

MARYBOROUGH MP Bruce Saunders has called on councillor James Hansen to step down and Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to issue a show-cause notice as to why he should not be sacked.

It comes after Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said she was considering making a formal complaint about comments made by Cr Hansen, which referenced her Indigenous heritage during criticism of the Tobruk scuttling.

Responding to a comment made by fellow councillor David Lewis, Cr Hansen wrote "And... apparently she's supposed to be black David, looks as white as you and I,".

Mr Saunders said Cr Hansen's comments were "absolutely disgusting" and could not be interpreted any other way.

"If he's got a spine and a backbone he should stand down," Mr Saunders told the Chronicle.

"I'm embarrassed to say he represents the Fraser Coast."

Ms Enoch told the Chronicle she had not received an apology from Cr Hansen.

"Cr Hansen's comments in relation to my appearance and my race were absolutely appalling and nothing less than racist," Ms Enoch said.

"These kinds of comments... have no place in a modern, diverse Queensland.

"All people, wherever they come from and whatever their background, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect."

A spokeswoman from the Department of Local Government said a formal complaint on the matter had not been received and any complaint or breach of the council's Code of Conduct would first be made to the CEO for preliminary assessment.

Cr Hansen made the following statement to the Chronicle:

IN HINDSIGHT it was a dumb question phrased poorly, but there was absolutely no malice or bad intent, as soon as I saw people were taking it the wrong way I pulled it down.

I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone and if I did, I apologise for that.

I would hate to think that's a hanging offence by phrasing something poorly.

As for the State Member, I don't see any reason he would interfere, especially when I had no intention of insulting anyone.