SPLIT: Seven of the Fraser Coast's councillors have voted in support of a petition titled 'Stop the mosque' which would allow applications for future places of worship be impact assessable.
SPLIT: Seven of the Fraser Coast's councillors have voted in support of a petition titled 'Stop the mosque' which would allow applications for future places of worship be impact assessable. Alistair Brightman

Fraser Coast Council supports 'stop the mosque' petition

UPDATE: Rural councillor James Hansen has made a second attempt at the Fraser Coast Regional Council's meeting to amend planning assessment for places of worship.

At the start of the meeting Cr Hansen tabled a petition from Fraser Coast Safe Communities to amend the council's planning scheme for places of worship.

Later, in general business, Cr Hansen moved a motion for a report to be provided and "see if it's possible" to amend the council's planning scheme to make any application for a place of worship impact assessable. 

Cr Hansen also asked for the report to highlight the consequences of changing the assessment.

Despite stressing the motion would be about "all religions", Cr Hansen's calls outraged deputy mayor George Seymour.

"I want to say how sad I am that this divisive issue has been brought here today," Cr Seymour said.

Rolf Light cited the unrest in Bendigo when a development application for a mosque was put forward.

"We've seen the impact recently in Victoria and how it's torn communities a part," he said.

Cr Hansen's motion to call for a report on amending the assessment for a place of worship was lost 5-6.

EARLIER: A petition titled 'stop the mosque' aimed at changing the council's policy to open public consultation for applications on a place of worship has divided councillors.

The petition asked any future applications for a place of worship to be made impact assessable.

That change to impact assessable from code assessable would mean any application for a place of worship would have to be voted on by councillors.  

 

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The petition was moved by James Hansen, who with the support of councillors Rolf Light, Denis Chapman, Chris Loft, Daniel Sanderson, Anne Maddern and Paul Truscott voted to accept the petition. 

Deputy mayor George Seymour noted the title of the petition was 'stop the mosque'. 

Cr Seymour  promoted religious freedom and said he would vote against any petition that restricted any religion from gathering - whether it be a synagogue or catholic church.

Cr Seymour said councillors should take a stand against comments or calls that were divisive.
Stuart Taylor and Darren Everard voted against the petition. 

The petition was received by councillors and will be referred to the chief executive officer. 


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