Gympie Regional Council's Lynne Banford has withdrawn from speaking at tomorrow's Chamber of Commerce breakfast.
Gympie Regional Council's Lynne Banford has withdrawn from speaking at tomorrow's Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Troy Jegers

Council speaker cancels spot at Chamber breakfast

THE planned three-speaker line-up at tomorrow morning's sold-out Gympie Chamber of Commerce breakfast is now two, with Gympie Regional Council's Lynne Banford pulling out of the event.

The Economic and Tourism Development manager had been on the bill to talk alongside Wide Bay director of Regional Government Scott Rowe and State Government Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Innovation director David Sparkes.

Chamber president Tony Goodman said he was disappointed Ms Banford would not be joining the event.

"I believe it's a missed opportunity,” he said.

"She's still welcome if the council has a change of heart.”

Power 30 Tony Goodman.
Chamber of Commerce presidentTony Goodman. Renee Albrecht

A council spokeswoman said they felt it inappropriate for Ms Banford to appear given the Chamber had requested no other councillors or council staff attend the breakfast.

"Although disappointing, council respected the request and notified the Chamber of Lynne Banford's apology some weeks ago as it would be inappropriate for her to attend the forum when no other councillors or staff were permitted to attend,” she said.

"Council is looking forward to meeting with the chamber following on from the forum to hear the feedback and thoughts from those attending the meeting.”

Lynne Banford, Nick and Ashleigh Hamilton at the 2018 Business Awards on Saturday night.
Lynne Banford. Philippe Coquerand

Mr Goodman said he had been aware of Ms Banford's withdrawal, but the Chamber continued to advertise all three speakers in the hope the decision would be reconsidered.

He said the request was made so the meeting would be "independent from the council”, and many councillors had supported the request "and would welcome the feedback after the fact”.

Today's breakfast is the first meeting of the new-look Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Goodman said early this week he wants to adopt a fresh approach for the Chamber's coming years.