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Calls mounting for Redland mayor to go after drink drive charge

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A Queensland anti-drink driving advocate is calling on her mayor to quit her job after crashing a council car while allegedly under the influence.

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Redland Mayor Karen Williams has taken unpaid leave as she prepares to face drink driving charges in court next month.

The 55-year-old was allegedly more than three-and-a-half times over the limit when she crashed a council car through a fence and into a tree east of Brisbane earlier this month.

The mayor is an anti-drink driving campaigner and hosted an online meeting with three families, whose loved ones had been killed in accidents involving drink drivers, hours before.

Local mother Judy Lindsay, whose daughter Hayley was killed in a crash involving a drink-driver in 2009, was at that meeting.

She says the other families shouldn’t still have to be calling for Ms Williams to resign.

“She’s supposed to be doing the right thing, she needs to resign from her job,” Lindsay told ABC Radio on Monday.

“She needs to resign, to stand up be accountable.”

More than 6000 people have signed Lindsay’s state parliament petition for Williams to resign, and LNP federal and state MPs also say she should go.

Redland Councillor Paul Bishop on Saturday night called for the mayor to go to prevent “further possible erosion of public trust” in the council.

Lindsay said she’s still shocked that the mayor had spoken out against drink driving with her and other families before she was charged.

“I’m just in disbelief, I’m just probably more insulted for me, the loss of my daughter’s life, for everybody has lost someone due to drunk driving,” she said.

Deputy Premier and Local Government Minister Steven Miles said after seeking advice on potentially removing the mayor, his department had told him that since she had stepped down from her position ahead of her court appearance there was no need to take anything further.

“Let’s see what the court process results in but the advice to me at this stage is that it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to take any further action,” he said.

The Local Government Association of Queensland said mayors should only be sacked in “serious” circumstances, like corruption, and voters should decide Williams’ fate.

However, Lindsay said the mayor’s position would be untenable if she worked in the private sector.

“I can’t understand why she’s still there.”

Williams is due to face Cleveland Magistrates Court on August 1.

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