Mayor Brent may go under, Abbott on his tail

View of the Scenic Rim from Mistake Mountains. This includes Yuggera, Yugambeh and Munanjali lands. Photo: Ian Curr 2012

Publisher’s Note: Another embarrassment for Abbott – after a series of damaging court cases revealing dishonest conduct, LNP Mayor John Brent and one-time Campbell Newman protégé, may be become a bankrupt and be forced to resign from public office.

Abbott gave Mayor Brent an OAM a day after he was found to be dishonest by the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

But does this solve the problems for the people of the scenic rim shire? I think not. The political stranglehold by conservative national party and one-nation supporters on the shire is evident. It is these forces that are resisting political change to a more progressive sustainable local authority.

For example, while other shires have challenged the amalgamations forced upon them by Bligh Labor government ‘oncer’ Andrew Fraser (Qld Deputy Premier and Treasurer 16 September 2011 – 26 March 2012) the people want change but the resistance against it by conservatives has prevented the formation of a strong group to bring about de-amalgamation in the Boonah area.

Shire amalgamation was forced on Queensland by the Bligh Labor government on classic economic rationalist lines. Like much of the neo-liberal agenda, but this move proved to be inefficient, wasteful, corrupt and therefore hugely unpopular.

All three union delegates on the Boonah shire council were made redundant in the process of amalgamation. This was because union membership, as Labor forced the amalgamation, went from the low teens to the high 80% and so became a threat to management of the amalgamation process.

This lunatic scheme of amalgamation, foisted on the shire by a strange coalition of Labor and LNP, has set Boonah and surrounding districts back years, maybe decades.

It has caused the loss of important productive jobs in local government, road maintenance and environmental management.

Is it premature to say our farewells?

Ian Curr
25 June 2015


Scenic Rim mayor John Brent being chased by Westpac over unpaid bank loans

Bank rounds up mayor over loans
Scenic Rim Mayor John Brent. Picture: GUY CREIGHTON

AN INFLUENTIAL southeast Queensland mayor is being chased for almost $3.3 million in unpaid bank loans and finances by Westpac, according to documents filed in the Supreme Court.

Scenic Rim Mayor John Brent is accused by the big bank of not having paid “all or any” of the outstanding money after it demanded he and others pay up after a default on a finance agreement.

Westpac filed the civil action this month against Cr Brent, who was awarded an OAM for services to local government and agriculture two weeks ago, as well as his children Sally and Matthew.

It comes as the Scenic Rim Regional Council prepares to hand down its Budget today. The court case is not connected to the council.

Court documents state the three defendants took out four special farming loans, called agri-finance facility, in 2006, 2007 and 2009 and were owing more than $3.5 million. Westpac is now chasing Cr Brent and his two children for that money as well as $175,156 in legal recovery and finance costs.

The bank has already begun selling ­secured assets to get back $392,000, but is claiming it is owed another $3.288 million.

Cr Brent yesterday declined to give details.

“It’s a private business matter and no one else’s business other than mine,” he said.

Cr Brent lists a personal guarantee with Westpac on his council register of interests.

According to the claim submitted by Westpac, the defendants defaulted under the terms of a business finance agreement regarding the loans, and on March 26, the bank demanded they repay $3.6 million by April 2.

It states that the defendants failed to pay “all or any” of the money by the deadline but that following the sale of secured assets the total amount owed was reduced to $3.288 million.

A Westpac spokesman said the bank was unable to comment due to customer privacy and because the matter was before the courts.

Matthew Killoran
The Courier-Mail
June 24, 2015 12:00AM

One thought on “Mayor Brent may go under, Abbott on his tail

  1. Mayor Brent kicked out says:

    The people of Scenic Rim Shire kicked Brent out at recent local government elections.

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