Rob Burns says his own experiences dealing with Gympie Regional Council have driven him to run for a seat on it, with hopes of making a change.
Rob Burns says his own experiences dealing with Gympie Regional Council have driven him to run for a seat on it, with hopes of making a change.

Candidate: no shortage of council ‘horror stories’

WHEN it comes to Gympie businesses and the region’s council, Rob Burns says there is no shortage of “horror ­stories” to be heard.

Nor are they new to the Gympie businessman and candidate for Division 5 in the March election.

“First-hand I’ve seen the failures in the system,” the long-time owner of Golden Acres Mowing said.

“I believe I can offer a better way forward.

“There hasn’t been the support for locals that you would hope.

“When you talk to other businessmen, there’s no positivity. There hasn’t been for a good few years now.

Rob Burns
Rob Burns

“You just hear of horror stories everywhere you go, and it’s all to do with the council one way or another.”

Honesty, transparency, and the tendering process are key parts of his election ­platform.

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“Truth in tendering, because there isn’t any at the moment,” he said.

“(I want) local tenders treated fairly – not so much have an advantage, but at least treated fairly.”

It will be the first tilt at any level of government for Mr Burns, who was born in Hornsby and lived on the Central Coast before moving to Gympie.

Mr Burns hopes to win a seat at this table in March.
Mr Burns hopes to win a seat at this table in March.

He joined the air force at age 17 and left six years later after his left eye was blinded by glass when he tried to protect a friend from a bashing at the hands of five people.

“I got him out of it and I ended up with glass thanks to it,” Mr Burns said.

Having moved to Gympie almost two decades ago, Mr Burns has been at the helm of his mowing business for 15 years.

Gympie Town Hall
Gympie Town Hall

“I’ve always had a want (to run for council) but … I didn’t want to jeopardise my work with the council by going up the next tier.

“But they’ve pushed my hand now – I’ve lost about 35 per cent of my regular work with them.

“There’s nothing holding me back now.”