Thursday, May 30, 2024

Redland Mayor to pay for damage to Council-owned car after drunken crash

Redland City Council Mayor, Karen Williams has advised the Council that she will pay for damages to the City-owned car she crashed while driving after consuming “several” glasses of wine at a post-budget celebration last Thursday evening.

In a statement, Council CEO, Andrew Chesterman confirmed that the car, which crashed into a tree and fence at the intersection of Queen and Wellington Streets in Cleveland was owned by Redland City Council. 

“Council will continue to work through the next steps regarding its repair,” Mr Chesterman said.

“The Mayor has advised that she will pay for damages to the vehicle if she is found to have been over the legal alcohol limit for driving. Council is not aware of any charges being made at this time.”

Earlier this week, Mayor Williams told a media conference that she did not know how many alcoholic drinks she had consumed on the evening of the crash.

Mr Chesterman said the accident had followed a “small post-budget event” scheduled for one hour last Thursday in the Councillor Lounge.

He said it was held “to thank the people whose dedicated work had gone into developing Council’s 2022-23 budget over many months”.

The CEO said approval was provided for three bottles of wine to be purchased in line with Council’s Entertainment and Hospitality Policy.

“There was also a small amount of alcohol and soft drink already in the Councillor Lounge fridge,” he said.

“Limited amounts of alcohol are purchased, on rare occasions, and only to mark significant events, in accordance with the Entertainment and Hospitality Policy. On Sunday I asked for this Policy to be reviewed.

“A small number of Council employees attended the thank you event, and only for a short time.”

A petition calling for the Mayor’s resignation has so far received more than 2,700 signatures since being launched on Monday. The petition was initiated by prominent Queensland road safety advocate, Judy Lindsay.

Tragically, a drunk driver claimed the life of Judy’s 20-year-old daughter, Hayley, in 2009.

Ms Lindsay had been a participant in a Zoom call with other families of victims of drunk drivers that was hosted by the Mayor in the hours prior to the crash last Thursday night.

The E-petition is being sponsored by Member for Capalaba, Don Brown.

“As her local MP, I am proud to sponsor Judy’s petition calling for Karen Williams to be removed from her position as Redland City Mayor,” Mr Brown said earlier this week.

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