The Mackay council election will be held on March 28.
The Mackay council election will be held on March 28.

CANCELLED: Councillor candidate forum called off

THE Daily Mercury has made the tough decision to cancel this week’s councillor candidate forum.

Like many other organisations, we are living in a brave new world and many unusual circumstances came into play.

With the problems in various local governments in Ipswich, Frasr Coast and Logan in recent times, transparency this election is more important than it has ever been.

I have thanked those councillors who committed to turn up and better inform the voting public through a forum process with the Daily Mercury, in partnership with 4MK and CQUniversity.

Mackay Regional Council Election 2020 – a graphic of all candidates.
Mackay Regional Council Election 2020 – a graphic of all candidates.

I was astounded to learn, long before coronavirus arrived, some council candidates were not prepared to participate in the forum.

Some argued questions might be biased towards incumbent councillors.

I have always believed a passionate answer from the heart trumps a polished delivery almost every time.

The important thing, in these uncertain times, is having good leaders to pull us into the future.

The waterfront vision – something that will likely define the future of our city – is going to be a key issue for all elected councillors over the next four years.

We will not get to hear from candidates on their waterfront views.

We wanted to know what projects the council should focus on in their home patch, especially outside of Mackay city in places like Sarina, Walkerston, the Pioneer Valley or Northern Beaches.

Those candidates will no longer get that chance to speak publicly about their towns and what needs to be done.

We wanted to hear their visions for tourism in our region – how we can evolve Mackay from a gateway to the Whitsundays to a destination in its own right.

Every member of our community, regardless of their political experience, should have opinions on these things.

The fact some candidates did not want to tell you, our voters, where they stand or their ideas on key issues has made me question their competency for the job and their ability to help lead our community.

Forums at my sister papers down south have been packed with community members looking to vet their council candidates and decide who to vote for.

I’m sorry we cannot move forward further on this.

But we will continue to run responses from candidates who respond to our questions in this newspaper and on our website to help you decide who to vote for.

If you have any questions you want councillors to answer, please email