Bundaberg’s local government election candidates were asked which mayoral candidate they would support.
Bundaberg’s local government election candidates were asked which mayoral candidate they would support.

Election candidates asked which mayoral option they support

BUNDABERG political candidates are unwilling to focus on a group mentality in their campaigns, and will not yet publicly endorse either of the two mayoral candidates.

Division 9 candidate Geoff Augutis said incumbent Mayor Jack Dempsey had done well in the current term, but that he wanted to wait until he knew who all the mayoral candidates were.

“I’ll seek a meeting with each of them to discuss their priorities for Division 9,” he said.

Division 4 candidate Tracey McPhee said it was unwise to endorse a mayoral candidate, as becoming councillor would require developing new working relationships.

“I will endeavour to have a good working relationship with either Jack or Helen,” she said.

“It’s in our residents’ best interests to have a councillor who is a team player, no matter who is on the team.”

Candidate Tim Sayre said his focus was on Division 10, rather than on the mayoral candidate, which he said was determined by voters.

“For me it’s about working together with all councillors and mayor, as a team, delivering benefits for our region,” he said.

Division 6 candidate Tanya McLoughlin said the current council had done good work in her area, but she observed both mayoral candidates had been part of that.

“If a councillor or nominee chooses to support a particular candidate then that is their personal choice as we all have to vote for someone,” she said.

“But if elected I will work with whoever is chosen as the mayor and as the councillors of other divisions.”

Division 1 candidate Scott Allison said there were 10 weeks until the election.

“Every individual nominee has a right to support whoever they like, but I choose to say with whoever gets in, I’ll work with everyone,” Mr Allison said.

“It’s irresponsible to go out and say you’re going to support one or another, and we don’t even know who is standing yet. We know two but there could be more.”

Division 9 candidate May Mitchell said she had no direct experience working with either of the mayoral candidates, and so did not want to choose between them.

“Any preference would be based on the experience of others and the views they have formed,” she said.

“I prefer to make informed decisions, not speculative ones.

“The successful candidate would be putting their heart into what’s good for Bundaberg and any Mayor who does that will have my full support.”

Councillors were asked earlier this week if they supported either Cr Dempsey or Cr Helen Blackburn’s campaign. Division 10 Cr John Learmonth and Division 1 Cr Jason Bartels supported Cr Dempsey.

The article was motivated by a letter to the editor written by Division 8 Cr Steve Cooper, who wrote; “One thing I have learnt over many years is that you don’t change a winning team or its captain midgame or during the season,” he said.

“In this case, the season does not end until March 28, 2020, when the selectors, the residents of Bundaberg region, will make their call on who will be the next captain and who will make up the team.”

Cr Blackburn responded with her own letter in today’s edition, saying she was unaware that changing positions before the election was an issue. She said the article had been irresponsible because it was dividing councillors needing to work together before the election.



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