Councillor calls out deceptively edited video in river debacle

Noosa councillor Brian Stockwell made a statement at council’s Thursday Ordinary Meeting to attack the behaviour of a member of the fringe Noosa Fishing and Boating Alliance group.

The member erroneously portrayed Cr Stockwell in a Facebook looped video post of his attendance at a 2022 meeting which was discussing the Noosa River Catchment Plan which had him saying “the main driver for us is about the non-powered use [of water craft]”, suggesting he had plans to restrict such craft from Noosa River.

Cr Stockwell sought to correct the minutes of the October meeting.

He was excluded from the October general meeting through a planned “ambush” where Mayor Clare Stewart used her casting vote to seal his fate after he was forensically questioned over a perceived conflict of interest.

The draft River Catchment Management Plan was voted to be delayed until July 2024 as a result.

Cr Stockwell said the loop video “was erroneously used to suggest I had plans to restrict powered craft on the river”.

“The clip was taken completely out of context,” he said.

“ I had just outlined how Marine Safety Queensland has the mandate to regulate power boats and to protect waterways and the people who use them.

“I went on to suggest that safety was just one of the issues that arise from the currently cluttered and congested estuary. 

“It was in this context that I suggested the main driver for Council was ‘about the non-powered use – the relaxation, the amenity benefit, the character of the river’.”

He said he “later reiterated in my closing arguments in that debate that the use of the river both by powered and unpowered, is really important. 

“… if we want to value the benefit of the river, as an opportunity for activity lifestyle and tourism, but MSQ’s (Maritime Services Queensland) only covering the safety aspect, we may have more (of a) role to play” in ensuring that recreational and commercial use is managed within the carrying capacity of the river.”

Cr Stockwell stated he had “enjoyed powered and non-powered recreational boating on the Noosa River for over 40 years and for about 15 years as a Noosa Sea Scout Leader”.

“My interest is in protecting the river experience for future generations. The offence caused by this misinformation is considerable and the promulgators of this should be ashamed.”


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