Noosa Councillor Amelia Lorentson.
Noosa Councillor Amelia Lorentson.

Call for SLSQ to explain its position

THE Noosa community deserves some answers from Surf Life Saving Queensland after a Noosa lifeguard pleaded guilty to threatening violence in front of his then partner in 2015.

That is according to Councillor Amelia Lorentson after allegations were aired Sunday on Channel 9's 60 Minutes that lifeguard Mark Jacobs, 50, splashed petrol on Jacqui Barker and threatened to burn the house down.

READ: ALLEGATIONS COULD LEAD TO INVESTIGATION INTO NOOSA POLICE

He had previously denied the claims to police, after a successful private prosecution brought by Ms Barker was sentenced to 120 hours community service for threatening violence without a conviction being recorded.

Mr Jacobs was only just been stood down from doing paid beach patrols.

Cr Lorentson, who described the penalty as "nothing more than a slap on the worst", said it is her understanding Noosa Council has an agreement with SLSQ to provide lifeguard services for local beaches.

"I am presently seeking details of this agreement," she said.

"Noosa Council is responsible for ensuring the safety of locals and visitors on our beaches through this arrangement.

"As a council we need to contact SLSQ to seek a copy of the lifeguard's termination advice as the official statement states that he was stood down. Stood down or sacked? There is a big difference," Ms Lorentson said.

Ms Lorentson said since the program aired, she has spoken to Ms Barker, who no longer lives in Noosa, and Mr Jacob's previous partner of 10 years who was also interviewed about alleged domestic violence.

"Council also needs an explanation from SLSQ as to how it allowed this lifeguard to be on a public service role where he was directly involved with women and children," she said.

In a prepared media statement released on the weekend SLSQ said: "Mark Jacobs has been stood down from his role as a lifeguard on the Sunshine Coast effective immediately.

"Jacobs still holds all relevant qualifications and compliance checks required for Queensland lifeguards.

"After conducting a thorough review over the past few weeks and seeking legal advice, Surf Life Saving Queensland reached this decision. Surf Life Saving Queensland does not condone family or domestic violence in any form," the statement said.

Cr Lorentson will be meeting with the Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton this week to discuss taking the matter further.



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