Who we know is running for Gympie council
A SPORTS leader, a serviceman, a former councillor and a community worker have stepped forward to double the number of new faces vying for a seat on the 2020 council.
Colleen Miller, Col Morley, Rae Gate and Dolly Jensen confirmed this week they would be running for council when nominations officially open.
The election is expected to be called mid-to-late February next year.
Mrs Miller will run for Division 3, Mr Morley for Division 7, Ms Gate for Division 4 and Mrs Jensen for Division 2.
Mrs Miller said it was hard to ignore growing community discontent with this council’s path.
“The whispering is a deafening roar,” she said.
Mrs Miller’s primary aim is greater transparency, and promised decisions “based on facts”.
“We need a council that is open, honest and accountable, makes sound financial decisions, and listens to its stakeholders – the ratepayers,” she said.
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Mrs Miller is the president of Gympie and District Netball and was awarded a 2019 Australia Day Medal for sports administration.
Mr Morley spent his career serving Australia. This included 20 years in the Army with overseas deployment and 10 years with the police. He moved to the region 20 years ago and spent the past six years “tinkering” on his small farm and working as a speech writer.
He has also worked with Rural Fire Brigade, the RSL, Diggers Soccer, and “raised an Army Cadet Unit”.
His focus is on delivering “good ratepayer services”.
The present council “focused on spending our money without first delivering good basic services,” he said.
“Build new infrastructure, but fill potholes first,” he said.
Ms Gate served two terms as a councillor from 2008-16.
The “semi-retired” former real estate agent serves on multiple Gympie community boards including Bendigo Bank, Gympie District Women’s Health, and Community Action Inc.
She is standing on a platform of “fiscal responsibility”.
“I understand the needs to grow for the community … but some things have to wait for some years,” Ms Gate said.
She said public service was an extension of the community work she was already doing.
Mrs Jensen wants a returned focus to the “three Rs” – rates, roads and rubbish for ratepayers, and “representation, responsibility and recovery” for the council.
“And if you would kindly afford me an extra R, I’d like to add respect,” she said.
The long-time Theebine resident was a unionist, and spent 30 years in banking and seven years on the Finance Sector Union.
Transparency, reasonable rates, youth service and improved road maintenance were among her key concerns.
The four join Leonora Cox (Division 2), Bruce Devereaux (Division 4) and Alexandar Denmeade (Division 8) and Tim Jerome (mayoral seat) in declaring their intent to run.
Colleen Miller, Col Morley and Rae Gate and Dolly Jensen confirmed this week they will be running for seats when nominations officially open.
The election is expected to be called mid-late February next year.
Councillors back in the ring seeking re-election
AT least four Gympie councillors are seeking
re-election in 2020, but the Mayor is still undeclared.
Councillors Mal Gear (Division 3), Dan Stewart (Division 5), Hilary Smerdon (Division 6) and Bob Fredman (Division 8) have declared they all intend to fight to keep their seats
Glen Hartwig is vacating his Division 2 spot for a shot at the mayoral seat.
Mayor Mick Curran declined make any declaration at this time, saying it would be a “disservice” to the community to run an informal election campaign and divert time from mayoral duties.
Division 4’s Daryl Dodt said he would make his decision during the nomination period, and Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch did not answer either way.
“Much has been achieved, and there is always more to do,” he said.
Mark McDonald did not respond by deadline.