Former Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft is now behind bars.
Former Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft is now behind bars. Jessica Lamb

LOFT OPINION: We're jailing the wrong bad guys

THE jailing of a former mayor is historic news for this region and the front page of today's Chronicle reflects that. 

Chris Loft, no matter how noble his end goal may or may not have been, went about achieving it the wrong way.

Making examples out of powerful figures who do the wrong thing is a crucial aspect of deterrence.

But when that punishment is dished out by a system which routinely slaps the wrists of deviant paedophiles and violent thugs, the hypocrisy is hard to take.

So too is the nagging suspicion that he would not have been pursued by the State Government so relentlessly had he not been an outspoken political enemy.

Yesterday's result is no doubt satisfying for our Maryborough visitors who ironically would have been on today's front page had they not been upstaged by the mayor they sacked.

Frustratingly, their presence during such a pivotal time for the Fraser Coast will only fuel conspiracy theories which have flourished since clear battle lines were drawn between extreme Loft supporters and, well, just about everyone else.    

That divide has been even more toxic for our community than the most hellish of workplace environments.

The viciousness from both the pro-Loft and anti-Loft camps has been bitter, relentless and is even more unlikely to improve now that one side will see him as a martyr for the cause and the other will rejoice in his misery.

The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

Would Chris Loft have been targeted had he not so clearly represented everything that grinds the gears of left-leaning bureaucrats? 

Probably not.

Would Lisa Desmond have been spoken about the same way had she not been a woman?

Even now memes about her reign nearly always include a super-imposed image of high heels.

Her enemies were seemingly unable to attack her without vulgar suggestions that she could not have exerted her influence over senior male colleagues without using her sexuality.

How depressingly backwards.

This whole saga has had a huge human toll and at various points been extremely costly for ratepayers.

Getting a job for a mate, even in non-strenuous circumstances, is not a new thing in corporate and government ranks.

This of course doesn't make it ok.

The evidence is embarrassing and overwhelming.

But jailing Chris Loft, a grandfather with no criminal history, makes as much sense as turning Pauline Hanson into a political prisoner.

Just about everyone involved could have handled themselves better.

Meanwhile, a convicted Fraser Coast predator who fantasised about taking a single mum and her children on a "pedo" camping trip was sentenced in September and will be eligible for parole this month.

The system has failed us and we've failed each other.