Widow seeks inquest after council worker death
A GRIEVING widow is seeking a coronial inquest into the untimely death of late Southern Downs Regional Council employee, Scott Locke.
Scott was found dead by suspected suicide at his Warwick home on Monday, February 24, after a "sustained period of workplace bullying and harassment", according to State Member for the Southern Downs James Lister.
"I was shocked by the tragic news," Mr Lister said.
"The family have asked me to assist in having the circumstances of this tragedy investigated and accordingly, I have written to the Attorney-General."
The request to Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath stated Scott's widow, Jodie Locke, placed the blame squarely on "workplace bullying and harassment over a long period of time."
Mr Lister referenced four years worth of detailed complaints made by Scott against his workplace to Queensland statutory bodies including the Ombudsman, the Information Commissioner, the Crime and Corruption Commission and the Officer of the independent Assessor.
Mr Lister said Scott's case was one tragic example of a workplace "dominated by a culture of fear, intimidation and bullying".
"This situation is a result of the attitudes and behaviour of the senior political and operational leadership of the SDRC," he alleged.
Councillor Jamie MacKenzie is believed to have died by suicide in 2016 and another council employee, whose name has been redacted, allegedly attempted suicide in 2017.
"There have been cases of suicide and attempted suicide involving people associated with the Southern Downs Regional Council workplaces and it is time that an open and independent inquiry be instigated," Mr Lister said.
"The family and the community expect answers as to why this most recent tragedy occurred and we want to learn lessons to prevent similar tragedies in the future."
Scott's sister-in-law, Donna Cecil, took to social media to slam the response by the SDRC.
"He deserved so much better than this," she wrote.
"His children deserved to have a father, but (he) was taken from them."
"This family is broken and will never get over what has happened."
Mrs Cecil said the council failed to initiate contact or to provide support to the family in the wake of Scott's passing.
The council failed to respond to The Daily News requests for comment or information regarding the allegations.
Jodie Locke said she was not ready to publicly comment on the circumstances surrounding her husband's passing.
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