Murder-accused councillor accepts suspension from job

A Gold Coast councillor charged with the murder of his stepfather has accepted a suspension from his elected position.

Acting Premier Steven Miles this week gave Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden until the close of business on Friday to show why he should not be suspended with pay as he awaits trial for allegedly murdering Robert Malcolm Lumsden, 58, at the family’s Arundel home on August 23.

Bayldon-Lumsden, 30, was released on bail with a $250,000 surety following a Supreme Court hearing last week.

His lawyers have said he intends to plead not guilty.

Mr Miles, who is also the local government minister, said he had received a letter from Bayldon-Lumsden's lawyers on Friday morning confirming he would not contest Mr Miles' proposal to suspend him with pay until at least the council elections next March.

Mr Miles told reporters it was "the fairest outcome for everyone involved".

"We've sought to have the fairest process possible, taking into account two important principles: one, that everyone is entitled to be presumed innocent until they're found guilty, but also the health and safety of council staff and the needs of the people who live in that division to be represented."

The suspension would be in place until April or the council election, and Mr Miles said it would be revisited if Bayldon-Lumsden stood at the election.

He said he believed the suspension should remain in place until the court proceedings were over.

The Palaszczuk government sought urgent Crown law advice after the charge against Bayldon-Lumsden and Mr Miles informed cabinet of his decision on Monday.

He then issued a show-cause notice to the councillor and gave him until Friday as part of the "natural justice process" to dispute the decision.

Mr Miles said the next steps would be to confirm the suspension at a Governor in Council meeting and appoint an adviser to replace Bayldon-Lumsden in his division.

The Gold Coast council had proposed former councillor Margaret Grummitt, who will be sworn in on Monday. 

Bayldon-Lumsden's case was mentioned briefly in Southport Magistrates Court on Friday and adjourned until January 19.

He was not required to appear. 

Bayldon-Lumsden became the youngest-ever Gold Coast councillor when he was elected at age 27 in 2020.

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